Roundup: Putting the brakes on '12 Years a Slave'

Posted by · 3:13 am · September 16th, 2013

The Toronto Film Festival always showers Oscar buzz on a critical and audience favorite, but I can’t remember the last time a film was quite so aggressively elevated to frontrunner status as “12 Years a Slave” — which had many rational critics and pundits going so far as to declare the Best Picture race over before it’s begun. So just wait a minute, says Mark Harris: “It’s a long road to the Oscars, and even if ’12 Years a Slave’ ends up crossing the finish line first, no movie makes it from September to February without hitting some speed bumps – other movies, backlash, op-ed page harrumphing, hype fatigue.” “Argo” stealthily weathered those obstacles after emerging as the ordained frontrunner at Toronto last year; will “Slave” do the same? [Grantland

Well, whaddaya know — the “op-ed page harrumphing” starts here. “12 Years a Slave” and “The Butler” are “created for a white, liberal audience to engender white guilt,” says Orville Lloyd Douglas. It’d help if he saw the films. [The Guardian]

Anyway, Toronto’s all well and good for major titles like “12 Years a Slave,” but what about its 146 other world premieres? Wendy Mitchell wonders if the festival is just too big. [Screen Daily]

Larry Rohter on the recent boom of the Canadian film industry. Can they nab a fourth consecutive nod for Best Foreign Language Film? [New York Times]

The Creative Arts Emmy ceremony brought good news for “Behind the Candelabra,” Oscar winner Melissa Leo and genius Aussie cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. [HitFix

Is British cinema on the crest of a new wave? Richard Ayoade (“The Double”), Jonathan Glazer (“Under the Skin”) and Clio Barnard (“The Selfish Giant”) are among the directors profiled. [The Guardian]

Tom Brueggemann on the impressive art house box office for Saudi Oscar submission “Wadjda.” With the film already in a good position, this only boosts its chances. [Thompson on Hollywood]

On the more mainstream end of the box office conversation, why low-budget horror continues to be a good investment. [LA Times]

Joss Whedon? Benedict Cumberbatch? J.J. Abrams? Michael Cusumano wonders who cinema’s current King of the Nerds is. [The Film Experience]

On the tension between long titles and hashtag marketing in the modern cinema. Are you looking forward to Ben Stiller’s “#Mitty?” [Ultraculture

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