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Telluride Recap: Fest Buzzing Over ‘Women Talking,’ Robert Downey Jr.


The 2022 Telluride Film Festival opening day brunch brought “Bardo” running time truthers, a candid Robert Downey Jr., and some surprise guests.

One week after the box office experienced decade lows, the fall film festivals have come to save the day, premiering dozens of new movies that hope to bring audiences back to theaters and maybe even win some awards.

At the opening day brunch, Telluride attendees were already chatting about what they have heard of the films that premiered out of Venice, which had kicked off two days ago. Naturally, the conversation turned to a couple of projects that also happen to be at Telluride as well.

While there is still much excitement for “TÁR,” which will close the Cate Blanchett tribute on Saturday night, the previous day’s wave of divisive reviews for “Bardo” had brunch goers wondering whether or not they can power through its ever-evolving runtime (there were whispers that even sure exceeds the 174 minutes listed on the program guide).

One person who is powering through the experience is director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who had just flown in from Italy and came straight to the brunch. One could not tell the filmmaker had just had such an arduous trip, as he kept a sunny disposition being surrounded both his family members and his cast (who kind of all blend together given how much of his personal story he is telling through the film). He did say he plans on getting some rest during the day though, in order to make it to the first “Bardo” screening at 8:45 p.m.

Exploring more of the picturesque locale, there was one enviable corner across from the gift bags, and near a little photo op with a cardboard cutout of former German chancellor Angela Merkel (the documentary “Merkel” is playing at the festival), where Robert Downey Jr. was cycling through conversations with press, other actors like the young stars of “Tori and Lokita” and “Close,” and even the sales agent for his documentary “‘Sr.’” about his late father. The film, which is produced by his wife Susan Downey and directed by Chris Smith, reportedly has offers from HBO, Amazon, and Netflix already.

“The Avengers” star, dressed in a cozy get-up complete with red sweatpants, shared that this is his third Telluride, the last two each being decades apart from each other. He first tagged along to support one of his dad’s films in the late 70s, then came on his own to promote “Two Girls and a Guy” in 1997. Downey also openly joked about not looking forward to people seeing how he looks in “‘Sr.,’” comparing himself to a bloated elf, but followed the suggestion of Smith to stay mum about why the title of the documentary includes quotation marks.

2022 Telluride Film Festival

The scene at the 2022 Telluride Film Festival Patron Brunch

Marcus Jones

If there was a consensus about the one film that Telluride attendees are dying to see, it would be “Women Talking.” As star Rooney Mara…



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