A Guide to TbtS 2019 Titles!
It’s time to announce the titles coming to Telluride by the Sea this year! If you happened to miss this big announcement or just want a little more information about the movies, we’ll go through each of the extraordinary films here.
Ford v Ferrari: With his father’s car company in the doldrums, Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) decides to build a car to challenge Ferrari’s Formula One dominance. He hands the task to designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), two obsessive artists who clash with each other and with the suits assigned to keep control over the project. James Mangold (Walk the Line) skillfully manages both the kinetic thrills of the races and the subtle psychology of the project, which is endlessly complicated by ego, ambition, and imagination.
Beanpole: What happens when war is given a woman’s face—and body? The two Red Army vets in Kantemir Balagov’s second feature are women—striking and very young. Nurse Iya, nicknamed Beanpole because of her height, and Masha, a decorated war hero, explore sex, love, death, and procreation in Leningrad, bled white by the war. Enjoy the haunting daylight of the subpolar city; relish its rusty-red interiors inhabited by the heroines who seem to have walked off a Vermeer canvas (the sublime cinematography is by Ksenia Sereda). Beanpole offers period authenticity through the lens of the new generation. Winner of Best Director and the Fipresci prize at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
Marriage Story: Baumbach weaves his dark comedy with tragic romance, following a New York playwright (Adam Driver) and actress (Scarlett Johansson) as they dissolve their once happy union with aid from some seen-it-all lawyers (Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, and Alan Alda) and the concerned family (Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever). Baumbach brings his gift for precise observation of human behavior to this bicoastal, artistic couple untangling their lives from one another while raising their son. But there’s a new warmth and reflectiveness in the way the writer-director treats the highly personal material, with subtle performances by Driver and Johansson, who deliver moments of bewilderment, tenderness, loss, and one bravura fight.
Motherless Brooklyn: When Frank (Bruce Willis), a tough private eye, is murdered, his protégé Lionel (Edward Norton) decides to do something about it. But Lionel suffers from Tourette’s and has trouble connecting with people and himself. Norton adapts and directs Jonathan Lethem’s prize-winning novel, brilliantly navigating a tangle of betrayals, real-estate crime, and jazz set in the New York of the classic film noir era. The superb cast includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann, and Cherry Jones. Alec Baldwin plays a ruthless power-broker inspired by Robert Moses, and Michael K. Williams (Omar in The Wire) burns it up as a jazz trumpeter.
The Assistant: Cinema is packed with tales of powerful men. Australian writer-director Kitty Green turns her camera lens on another figure—the young woman who makes one such man’s life possible. Julia Garner plays the title role in this drama, as a new assistant working the desk of a domineering film executive. Over the course of one day, what seems like a humdrum if demanding entry-level job becomes treacherous, as Garner’s ambitious assistant finds herself enmeshed in the executive’s messy personal life, belittled by her male peers, and increasingly aware of their boss’s predatory aims with the hopeful actresses who float into his office. Green brings a sharp, nuanced angle to a story we thought we already knew.
The Climb: Kyle and Mike have been best friends since high school. Can their friendship survive a terrible breach? That question begins during the grueling uphill of a cycling trip and continues through funerals, the appearance of an old friend, and harmonizing gravediggers. Michael Angelo Covino’s utterly idiosyncratic and hilarious bromance, written with his co-star Kyle Marvin, follows a close but dysfunctional bond undergirded by a mutual genius for passive-aggressive sabotage and a true cluelessness in how to deal with women. Endearingly strange and wholly original, The Climb will keep you off balance with its unexpected mixture of sweetness and cruelty. Winner of Un Certain Regard Heart Prize at Cannes 2019.
Don’t forget to get Weekend Passes before they’re gone (Patron Passes are already sold out), and we’ll see you in a few short weeks!