Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Watch: First 2 Clips From Steamy 3-Hour Cannes Entry 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' Starring Lea Seydoux

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • May 23, 2013 10:38 AM
  • |
  • 18 Comments
Abdellatif Kechiche's 'Blue is the Warmest Color', Lea Seydoux
If you have a thing for Lea Seydoux, this was a good year to be at the Cannes Film Festival. The French actress spends most of "Grand Central" (read our review here) either naked or strutting around noticeably bra-less in a jean shorts and a one piece body suit. And then there's "Blue Is The Warmest Color," an epic three hour lesbian love story with love scenes that are already creating chatter, with Jeffrey Wells noting that one sequence in particular earned applause during the movie. Damn.

Cannes Review: Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’ An Overfamiliar Tale Of Connections Broken & Remade

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 23, 2013 6:32 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Nebraska, Bruce Dern, Will Forte
There’ve been great masses of critical laurels laid at Alexander Payne’s door over the years, some, in our eyes, more earned than others. When it really hits home, the director’s quiet humanism and wry humor can yield perceptive insights, especially into certain trademark areas of expertise: family dynamics, the vanities and follies of aging men, the reluctance to let go of old dreams. But the downside to this kind of blanket approbation is that, because we know what to look for in an Alexander Payne movie, sometimes we might kid ourselves that we find things that aren’t really there. And so, we come trundling to "Nebraska," already being buzzed about as a major player here in Cannes, and certainly not a bad film in any way, but one that failed to engage us with anything like the kind of witty perceptiveness we found in, for example, “Sideways,” to reference the other two-man road trip-style film of Payne’s.

Cannes Review: Cannibal Tale ‘We Are What We Are’ Threatens To Give Horror Remakes A Good Name

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 22, 2013 12:55 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
“When I saw his movie,” said director Jim Mickle in his opening thank you to Jorge Michel Grau, the director of “Somos Lo Que Hay,” “I was jealous of everything: the idea, the plot, the style, and jealous that it was playing at Cannes in Director’s Week.” And so Mickle went about securing the rights to remake the hit Mexican film, co-opting the idea, the plot and elements of the style for his English-language “We Are What We Are,” which played yesterday in Cannes, as part of, oh yes, Director’s Week. It’s a nice narrative to have surround your picture, and the admiration between the directors is mutual, as we reported recently, with Grau giving Mickle’s take fulsome, glowing praise, even calling it “an improvement of my story.” We admired the original, so could that dirtiest of concepts, the US remake, possibly live up to all the excited chatter? Happily, it does, pulling off the rare trick of remaking a strong original into a strong new version that honors the story but provides a different slant on it that feels as authentic to its transposed environment as the original did to its setting. It does a “Let Me In,” shall we say, rather than a Platinum Dunes.

Ghosts, Pornographic Cock Talk, Bitch Switches & Art & Violence As Penetration: Highlights From The ‘Only God Forgives’ Cannes Press Conference

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • May 22, 2013 11:10 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
Only God Forgives, Refn, Gosling
“Only God Forgives,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest collaboration with Ryan Gosling just let out in Cannes this morning and the conversations on Twitter are heated and polarizing. There’s either love or loathing in the air and not a lot in between. Many are remarking that it’s similar in tone to Refn and Gosling’s last team-up in “Drive.” This stands to reason as Gosling himself told us earlier in the year, “It's very extreme. It's part of the same dream as ‘Drive,’ but it's more of a nightmare than a dream... So that's what happens when you let Nicolas loose in Thailand. There's no one around to put the reins on and he's completely unleashed.”

Cannes Review: 'Only God Forgives' Stretches Refn's Neon-Noir Style Over Too Little Oedipal, Amoral Substance

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 22, 2013 6:48 AM
  • |
  • 87 Comments
Only God Forgives
With the weight of expectation behind it, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” was never going to be able to deliver the same neon blue jolt of surprise that thrilled through the 2011 Cannes crowd at the first screening of “Drive.” But the audience in attendance today was prepped and primed, and practically salivating, for something that looked a little like “Drive 2” -- reuniting Refn with star Ryan Gosling in a similarly taciturn role, and also with that reflective black and fizzing blue/red aesthetic that’s as heady and addictive as a drug to the director’s fans (of whom we number ourselves, of course).

Cannes Review: 'La Grande Bellezza' An Indulgent But Dreamy Reflection On Life, Love & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • May 21, 2013 3:45 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Opening with a literal bang from a cannon and proceeding into an over-the-top party sequence, Paolo Sorrentino lets you know from the start that nothing will be held back in his latest, "La Grande Bellezza." After breaking out on the international scene with "The Consequences of Love" and "Il Divo," and then taking a jaunt into English language filmmaking with 2011's "This Must Be The Place," Sorrentino returns to his native country, for a Fellini-esque tale that isn't so much a story as a set of impressions. Life, love, philosophy, religion are just some of his subjects in an indulgent but heady piece of cinema, from a singularly distinctive voice.

Matt Damon’s Brazilian Tan Line & 9 Other Highlights From Cannes 'Behind The Candelabra' Press Conference

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 21, 2013 2:59 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Soderbergh, Douglas, Cannes, 2013
It was hard to envisage as positive a Cannes response to a U.S. competition film as that which greeted the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” the other day, but if such a thing is possible, it may well have happened today, for Steven Soderbergh’s wonderful Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” (our review here). Immediately after the press screening stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, writer Richard LaGravanese, Producer Jerry Weintraub and director Steven Soderbergh spoke to press, turning up some choice anecdotes and opinions in the process. Here are our 10 favorite moments.

Cannes Review: Claire Denis Destined To Divide With Disturbing, Salacious 'The Bastards'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 21, 2013 11:59 AM
  • |
  • 7 Comments
The Bastards, Claire Denis
If all art is only ever about sex and death, Claire Denis’ Un Certain Regard film “The Bastards” may be the most "artistic" one we’ve seen in Cannes to date, as it rolls around positively shamelessly in the musk of both. Or it may be a grubby little exercise in exploitation, depending on who you talk to. Whichever magnetic pole your opinion is drawn to (and it seems likely even this early on that very few of the responses to the film will share our relative middle ground -- it's a film that has so far not so much divided as cleaved), what’s for certain is that while in its elliptical, fragmentary, non-linear storytelling it bears the hallmarks of a Claire Denis film, in it the filmmaker strays into territory we’d never normally have associated her with, with peculiar and deeply unsettling effect. Fans of her dreamier, long-take, composed photography will be shocked by the choppy, disorienting close-ups we get here (slow opening scene aside), while those expecting any hint of her recurring post-colonialist themes and extraordinary sense of place will be disappointed by a film that eschews all wider politics and geography in favor of an almost generic psycho-sexual thriller plot, which of course ends up anything but generic in Denis’ hands.

Cannes Review: Steven Soderbergh's 'Behind The Candelabra' Puts Dazzling Entertainment On Top Of Toxic Relationship

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • May 21, 2013 7:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Behind The Candelabra
It's almost unfair how easy Steven Soderbergh makes it look. As the filmmaker heads into his hiatus from movie-making, he's spent the few last years dipping between high grade entertainment ("Magic Mike") and accomplished genre films ("Side Effects," "Haywire") and for his goodbye, he's more or less combined the two. "Behind The Candelabra" is a cinematic bauble, that coats typical biopic fare with some real panache and heart. And while this does indeed mark Soderbergh's last hurrah for now, it's likely that a different narrative will soon form around the film. That narrative will surround Michael Douglas, with the 68 year-old actor delivering his best performance in a least a decade if not longer.

Cannes Review: The Rich Also Cry In Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi’s 'A Castle In Italy'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 20, 2013 5:22 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
It’s hard not to read a degree of self-justification into Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi’s (mostly) French-language comedy-drama “A Castle In Italy,” so we’re not really going to try. We took notice of the film in advance mainly because it made headlines as the Cannes Competition’s sole entry from a female director but as handsomely shot and occasionally diverting as the film is, it’s also terrifyingly bourgeois. For every moment of comedy that lands or drama that touches a nerve, there are ten of “why the bloody hell should I bloody care?” or “cry me a river, you had to sell your Brueghel.” Bruni-Tedeschi undoubtedly has talent both as an actress (she takes the lead role here) and behind the camera , but we can’t help but feel that her dramatic strengths -- familial relationships, odd romances, religious (specifically Catholic) dilettantism -- could have played in a less rarefied setting to more universal sympathy. As it is, detailing the gradual decline in fortune of a rich European family, her film amounts to little more than an occasionally charming glimpse at people whose life events we might relate to, but whose lifestyle keeps getting in the way.

Email Updates

Recent Comments