<p>Errol Morris and Werner Herzog at the 40th annual Telluride Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Errol Morris and Werner Herzog at the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival

Credit: Tom Quinn

Telluride: Wrapping up the 40th annual fest

The Academy celebrated the festival's anniversary and the Oscar season revved its engines

TELLURIDE, Colo. - The 40th annual Telluride Film Festival has come to a close, unofficially launching the Oscar season and wrapping up another wonderfully curated program that continues to be one of my most anticipated journeys each year.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Telluride Roundup: 'Prisoners,' 'Palo Alto,' 'Gravity'

Looking back at some of the major films at Telluride's 40th

TELLURIDE, Colo. - The 2013 Telluride Film Festival has come to a close and, overall, the quality of the slate was befitting the event's 40th anniversary. Granted, you might have expected more celebratory moments, but Telluride has always been about the movies first. Parties? Special ceremonies?  Eh, they'll stick with the annual Thursday "feed" and Labor Day picnic thank you very much.

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<p>Christoph Waltz in &quot;The Zero Theorem.&quot;</p>

Christoph Waltz in "The Zero Theorem."

Credit: Voltage Pictures

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' doesn't add up to much

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Headache-inducing sci-fi's futurism is so dated, it's practically a period piece

VENICE - Playing an online shrink, Tilda Swinton raps for about 30 seconds at the midpoint of "The Zero Theorem" -- a stiff, Scots-accented Fresh Prince breakdown performed from under a broom-like hairpiece. It doesn't advance the story in any way, but then, nothing here does; her screen is switched off and the rap passes without comment, like a slippery fart in an elevator; the onscreen witnesses look sheepish to have heard it at all.

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<p>J.C.&nbsp;Chandor (right) and Robert Redford on the set of &quot;All is&nbsp;Lost&quot;</p>

J.C. Chandor (right) and Robert Redford on the set of "All is Lost"

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Telluride: J.C. Chandor on the multiple metaphors of 'All is Lost'

Is it an abstraction about the financial crisis? Maybe...

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Like any artist, J.C. Chandor isn't interested in tying his work down with one thematic takeaway. Indeed, his latest film, "All is Lost," lives in the abstract and can service any number of perspectives on it. But for a guy who launched his career with the financial crisis indie "Margin Call," one can't help but wonder if this film, about a man stranded at sea as things go from bad to worse, isn't in some way a metaphor for market collapse and financial ruin as seen over the last five years.

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<p>&quot;Gravity,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;Labor Day&quot; hope to keep the fire going through the fall.</p>

"Gravity," "12 Years a Slave" and "Labor Day" hope to keep the fire going through the fall.

Credit: Warner Bros./Fox Searchlight/Paramount

Off the Carpet: Telluride launches the season from 'Gravity' to '12 Years a Slave'

Will films that hit be able to keep the high going through the circuit?

The Telluride Film Festival wraps up today and with that, the upcoming awards season has finally taken a little shape. We have a long way to go, of course, and no one should be calling the race from this far out, but we certainly know a few things.

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<p>Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones in &quot;The Invisible Woman.&quot;</p>

Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones in "The Invisible Woman."

Credit: Sony Classics

Review: Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones can't light a fire in 'The Invisible Woman'

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Sophmore effort reiterates Fiennes filmmaking talent

TELLURIDE, Colo. - More than any other medium, the chemistry between two actors is paramount onscreen. The camera intimately reveals what the stage cannot and, ultimately, is most unforgiving if there is none. The latter, sadly, is the fate of Ralph Fiennes' impeccably realized "The Invisible Woman," which premiered at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival on Saturday.

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<p>&quot;Tim's Vermeer&quot;</p>

"Tim's Vermeer"

Credit: Sony Classics

Telluride: Penn and Teller's 'Tim's Vermeer' might be the breakout hit of the festival

A story of art, ingenuity and human spirit is lighting up audiences this weekend

TELLURIDE, Colo. - I must say I'm happy to see that the media is finding its way to Penn and Teller's "Tim's Vermeer" here at the fest. I caught the film on a whim Friday morning and haven't found the right time and head space to write it up, but it might just be -- still -- my favorite entry of the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in &quot;Gravity&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Telluride: Jonás Cuarón's 'Aningaaq' short plays as a companion piece to Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity'

'Tracks' viewers are catching an echo of the festival's hottest ticket

TELLURIDE, Colo. - There's an interesting bit of synergy happening in Telluride this year between the hottest ticket of the festival and a modest short film that has been screening before John Curran's "Tracks."

Without giving too much away (though some might consider this paragraph to contain SPOILERS -- you've been warned), Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" features a scene in which astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) makes an S.O.S. radio call down to Earth and picks up the signal of an Inuk man in the arctic. Of course, you don't really know he's an Inuk until you get a look at Jonás Cuarón's short film "Aningaaq," which depicts the very same scene but from the Inuk man's point of view with Stone's voice coming in over the radio.

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<p>Mia Wasikowska in &quot;Tracks.&quot;</p>

Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks."

Credit: See Saw Films

The Weinstein Company chases after 'Tracks'

John Curran's Outback biopic premiered at Venice earlier this week

VENICE - It may not have received ecstatic reviews across the board, but when the dust settles on this year's Venice Film Festival, one of my personal highlights is still likely to be "Tracks," John Curran's classical, visually resplendent true-life tale of Australian explorer Robyn Davidson's 1700-mile trek across the Outback desert. Judi Dench may have all the Lido buzz right now for "Philomena," but were it up to me, "Tracks" lead Mia Wasikowska would be the leading contender for Best Actress at this point in the fest.

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<p>Hayao Miyazaki</p>

Hayao Miyazaki

Credit: AP Photo

Does confirmation of Miyazaki's retirement boost the awards prospects of 'The Wind Rises?'

The animated aviation epic premiered at Venice and Telluride today

VENICE - If I wasn't surprised by the news today of Hayao Miyazaki's retirement, it's not just because he's made several preliminary remarks to this end over the last few years. Rather, as I noted in my review last night of the Japanese animator's apparent swansong "The Wind Rises," it seemed to me that he indirectly made the announcement in the film itself.

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