Will Smith, Maggie Gyllenhaal And Many More »THE TRIBUNE

“King Richard” rules Telluride. The Warner Bros. biopic by Reinaldo Marcus Green about Richard Williams, the fearless father of tennis stars straight out of Compton Venus and Serena Williams, performed in public on Friday afternoon, creating a best actor buzz for his star and producer, Will Smith. She owned the rights to the tennis duo’s story, but it was Jada Pinkett-Smith who suggested that her husband meet Green after serving on the Sundance jury in 2018, the year the youngliver broke up with “Monsters and Men.”

This full-bodied performance marks Smith’s best Oscar move in years. He has been nominated twice, both for roles that had to live people: boxer Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s “Ali” in 2002, and Chris Gardner, a man who went from roaming to becoming a stockbroker and motivational speaker, in “The Pursuit of Happiness” by Gabrielle Muccino in 2007

Here, Smith presents Williams as vulnerable, complicated and often obnoxious, but with a love for his family and an undeniable commitment to his daughters. Green makes everything authentic and gives Aunjanue Ellis quality time as matriarch Brandi Williams (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Jon Bernthal (“Ford v Ferrari”) as coach Rick Macci. Saniyya Sidney as Venus and Demi Singleton as Serena are compelling and credible athletes, but their characters are less attracted than their father. This is the Will Smith show.


Venice Film Festival

Breaking in Venice was another Warner contender with Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” a great epic entertainment that should do well globally, especially on the big screen. Critics debate its merits, but the Academy crafts will sing about the production design of the planet Arrakis, from clever gadgets to giant sandworms, cinematography, costumes, and the lush score of Hans Zimmer. This mother and son story centers on the two protagonists, Timothée Chalamet as the young prince Paul Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as the mother, who possesses magical powers that she passed on to her royal son. The two of them can get acting nods, but no one in the strong supporting cast gets enough screen time. If the promised second installment comes true, Zendaya and Javier Bardem are likely to appear.


The Telluride world premiere of Joe Wright’s stage musical adaptation “Cyrano” also provided some splendid visuals. MGM / UA was the only Hollywood studio willing to fund it, Wright said during the question-and-answer session. The production took place during the pandemic at the site in an old walled city in Sicily, with the island’s active volcano, Etna. While the Academy’s craftsmanship will encompass Wright’s rotating cameras and elaborate period costumes, the cast will delight in this cast. Peter Dinklage fondly portrays the main character’s romantic desire for his unattainable love Roxanne (Hayley Bennett); The supporting stars are Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“12-year-old slave”) as a soldier who relies on Cyrano’s spirit to woo her, and Ben Mendelsohn, always entertaining and twisting his mustache.


Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson in “The Lost Girl.”


Telluride also makes Maggie Gyllenhaal’s masterful directorial debut with her Netflix adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel “The Lost Daughter.” The camera looks at the expressive face of Oscar winner Olivia Colman (“The Favorite”) as a 48-year-old British teacher on vacation alone in Greece. He reads, writes, bathes, drinks wine and flirts with the help of the local hotel (Ed Harris and Paul Mescal). When shaken by a family briefly losing a young child, she recalls her tumultuous time when she was a young college student (Jessie Buckley) raising two demanding girls. Gyllenhaal creates mystery and atmosphere as we learn more about the origin of women’s triggers. Like Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird,” this promising new career will bring the support of actress, screenwriter and director Gyllenhaal on various fronts at the Academy (actor, screenwriter, directing).

Kenneth Branagh’s “Lost Daughter”, “Cyrano” and the self-fiction “Belfast” feature three Welcome to Telluride films, all performed during the running of the bulls. More, please!

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