Over the Labor Day weekend, those who make the trek to the Telluride filmfest will get to see two of the five leading Oscar contenders for Best Actress — frontrunner Laura Linney in “Hyde Park on Hudson” and Marion Cotillard in “Rust & Bone.” Five years ago, Linney lost the last of her three Oscar races (“The Savages”) to Cotillard who won her sole bid for “La Vie en Rose.”
“Hyde Park on Hudson” is Roger Michell‘s recounting of the love affair between Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his cousin Margaret Stuckley (Linney), set during the 1939 weekend visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England. Murray, who plays the 32nd president, is in the Best Actor mix but that race is dominated by two-time Oscar champ Daniel Day Lewis who portrays the 16th president in “Lincoln.”
“Rust & Bone” details the relationship between a young father (Matthias Schoenaerts) and an animal trainer (Cotillard) who loses her legs in an accident. This love story by Jacques Audiard (“A Prophet”) was bested for the Palme d’or at Cannes by another romance, “Amour,” which is also screening at Telluride.
Two years ago, “The King’s Speech” debuted here to a raucous reception and ended up winning five Oscars, including Best Picture. Colin Firth claimed Best Actor for his sensitive portrayal of George VI, who suffered from a stammer. Samuel West takes on that role in “Hyde Park on Hudson,” which includes a scene between the wheelchair bound FDR and the monarch commisserating about their afflictions.