Telluride wraps with increased buzz for “King’s Speech,” “Black Swan” and “127 Hours”

By Sean O’Connell The Telluride Film Festival drew to a close yesterday. Before we turn our attentions to Toronto, and the buzz that will emerge from that festival with regards to the annual Oscar race, let’s take a spin around the dial and see which films connected with the awards experts who attended Colorado’s exclusive, fan-friendly event.

Tom Hopper’s “The King’s Speech” seems to have emerged as a favorite among critics and audience members. Writing for HitFix, Gregory Ellwood says Colin Firth’s turn as a stuttering King George VII “may arguably be the best performances of his career” while adding that “Speech” is “one of The Weinstein Company’s strongest awards season contenders in quite some time.”

Kris Tapley at In Contention mirrors that sentiment, saying, “Without question, the film launching full speed ahead and into the Oscar season this week is Tom Hooper’s ‘The King’s Speech.’ I truly haven’t heard an unkind word about the film all weekend here in Telluride, and I imagine that goodwill will continue into the Toronto fest this week as well.”

Tapley must have missed Eugene Novikov’s less-enthusiastic tweet regarding “Speech” for Cinematical, but he’s right. The film was widely praised and now needs to avoid the pitfalls of perceived frontrunner status. It has damaged awards-worthy films in the past.

Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” also continued to impress critics as it moved from Venice to Telluride. Writing for Slash Film, Peter Sciretta called it “a brilliant mind fuck. It is one of the boldest films I’ve seen produced by a Hollywood studio in years.”

And Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” which had its official North American premiere while sneak-previewing at Telluride, found its audience members to be feint of heart. Buzz out of early screenings have star James Franco seriously contending for a Best Actor trophy as he holds down the difficult role of a mountain climber trapped under a boulder while hiking in Utah.

Expect more on these titles and more as Toronto gets underway this Thursday. We’ll be reporting live from Canada, so bookmark and check back often for updates.

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