Two possible awards contenders have been met with the requisite critical reception in Telluride to confirm their potential for plentiful nominations come year's end.
It was inevitable, if you ask me, that Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave would be well-received by critics, after I loved Hunger and Shame so very much. Peter Debruge's Variety report praises pretty much all elements of the film, giving notice to several actors among the starry cast, and noting the disgrace that it took a British director to bring this story to the screen. Among those who receive acclaim from Debruge among several critics is newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, and she, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson (incorrectly credited as Laura) and particularly Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead are mentioned by HitFix's Gregory Ellwood. 'A mesmerising triumph of art and polemics' writes IndieWire's Eric Kohn in his A+ review. Scott Feinberg notes the film's considerable awards potential in his review of The Hollywood Reporter, which is more a review of the actual screening than of the film.
Once perhaps less of a sure thing, but now a definite contender, is Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, which Stephen Farber describes as 'a difficult subject bolstered by outstanding performances and masterly filmmaking' in The Hollywood Reporter. Kris Tapley has great admiration for Villeneuve's work, alongside the widely praised cinematography by Roger Deakins and editing by Joel Cox and Gary Roach. And Variety's Scott Foundas acclaims the script by Aaron Guzikowski and Hugh Jackman's lead performance, and is one of quite a few to remark on its chances for Oscar nominations. The film will be released on the 20th of September in the US, and on the 27th in the UK.