It was the first full day of movies and events at the 40th Telluride Film Festival. Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern and another potential Best Actor contender this year, All Is Lost‘s Robert Redford met up at the picnic and sat together talking with another legend, Francis Coppola. Of course Redford and Dern co-starred in 1974’s The Great Gatsby, but Dern told me he hasn’t seen the new version. Redford is, the subject of a Telluride tribute and seemed to be having a great time catching up with old friends during his first visit to this festival. His late entrance to the picnic caused a stir with lots of cameras whirring. Coppola is returning to Telluride after several decades and supporting his granddaughter Gia Coppola’s feature film directorial debut, Palo Alto, which premiered Friday night and next heads to Toronto. The proud grandpa told me Gia represents the fourth generation of his family in the movie business – father Carmine (an Oscar winner for music), himself, kids Roman and Sofia. But back to Dern, who is here for screenings of his new film Nebraska and made very clear to me where he stands on the issue of being recognized this awards season.
The Internet recently offered Dern and the movie’s distributor Paramount unsolicited advice on which category – lead actor or supporting – he belongs in for his terrific performance in the Alexander Payne film releasing November 22nd. The thinking is that, because he is an older veteran actor, he could instantly become a frontrunner in the supporting category (like Christopher Plummer in Beginners or James Coburn in Affliction). Whereas the Lead Actor race is overcrowded and he could be squeezed out of even a nomination.Dern is aware of the Internet chatter but completely dismisses it. “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’,” he told me at Thursday’s opening picnic. (more…)