Telluride: Where Will Scott Cooper’s ‘Hostiles’ Land? TELLURIDE, Colo. — It’s rare for there to be a hot acquisitions title in the Telluride lineup poised to make a mark on awards season, but Scott Coope

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TELLURIDE, Colo. — It’s rare for there to be a hot acquisitions title in the Telluride lineup poised to make a mark on awards season, but Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles” fits the bill. The “Black Mass” director has returned with a potent, muscular western — made with an independent spirit outside the studio system — that has prospective buyers circling, as they have been for weeks. On a wave of positive critical notices coming out of the fest, Cooper and the film’s producers, John Lesher and Ken Kao, could have a lot more leverage than they did a few days ago.

“We just want someone who loves the movie,” Lesher said at a private dinner event for the film Sunday night. “It’s nice to be in that position [to be able to pick and choose].

Part of the fuss is a jaw-dropping performance from Christian Bale that easily ranks among the greatest he’s given, one that could become an instant Oscar contender in the right hands. It seems Cooper is uniquely capable of drawing out Bale’s very best work, as the actor’s performances in both “Hostiles” and 2013’s “Out of the Furnace” are natural, unfussy efforts that stand in direct contrast to some of the showier (though no less brilliant) portrayals he’s come to be known for.

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