As I get ready to depart for the Toronto International Film Festival next week (crossing my fingers that the Toronto humidity won’t be too bad this year, and that my Benedict Cumberbatch interview works out), I’m gazing east, to the Telluride Film Festival, which has just gotten under way. Telluride, always taking place over Labor Day weekend, is a unique festival: top-notch films, a schedule only announced a couple of days before opening, a mountain setting, and a remarkably brief duration — it started yesterday, and will wind things up Monday. There’s always some overlap between Telluride and Toronto, but this year a few high-profile films are showing up in Telluride then taking a break: among them Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” starring Bruce Dern. Dern’s in Telluride, making it clear what he thinks of the idea of putting him into the supporting actor category in the Oscar race (it’s clearly a lead role, but the buzz is that he’d have less competition in supporting, where beloved veterans often win): “I don’t know why they are saying that. I suppose they could take a stopwatch and say someone else has one minute and 45 seconds more screen time than I do so that makes me supporting. But I say ‘get the f**k out of here’,” said Dern. This should be a fun awards season. Dern also had a reunion with Robert Redford, who’s here with “All Is Lost” (also skipping Toronto); the two worked together in 1974’s “The Great Gatsby.”
Also at Telluride (and Toronto): Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day,” based on the Joyce Maynard novel and described by Deadline.com’s Pete Hammond as a “romantic drama that harkens back to the great tradition of Hollywood tearjerkers and reminded me of a combination of The Bridges Of Madison County, Shane, and a 1940s-style melodrama that might have starred Robert Mitchum and Jennifer Jones.” Sounds like a fascinating new direction for Reitman, whose previous films include “Juno” and “Young Adult.” Looking forward to seeing this one soon.