October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“Never Let Me Go” splits Telluride critics

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Man, it’s difficult covering Telluride in the days before Toronto.

I’m not in Colorado for the former festival, but I am heading to Canada for the latter. So I’m trying to collect critical reactions to the films premiering in the mountains while avoiding crucial spoilers before I hit the Great White North and see these anticipated projects for myself.

Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go” is one of the first films I’ll see at TIFF. An adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, it stars Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield as students in a seemingly idyllic English boarding school who must come to terms with some harsh truths as they age.

It played in Telluride to mostly positive reviews, though I’m not digging too deep into filed pieces so as to stay fresh. Just know that Variety called it “a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that’s emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics,” while Alex Billington of FirstShowing said it’s “a beautiful film full of fantastic performances.”

Not everyone was jumping for joy, though, as other critics seemed to find “Go” cold and detached. That’s all I want to know. This one is high on my list for Toronto, and if anything’s going to knock it down, I’d prefer it to be the film itself, and my own opinion of it once screened.

“Never Let Me Go” opens in limited release on Sept. 15.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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