The Playlist

Cannes Review: Brilliant & Angry 'Killing Them Softly' Is The Anti-Thriller For Our Times

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 22, 2012 6:09 AM
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  • 17 Comments
"What is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect," Barack Obama said at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. And that section of the speech opens Andrew Dominik's seething "Killing Them Softly," as he cuts the audio between white noise and the silent black title screen, signifying the blind emptiness of Obama's statement and the thematic current he'll be taking for the film. We are not a changed nation. We are not a nation of equals. The government are a bunch of children who need to be led by the hand into any decision making process and Americans at both the top and bottom rungs of the ladder all have their share of the blame to take. Uncompromising and uncommercial, divisive and brave, "Killing Them Softly" bitterly boils at the state of the nation.

Cannes Review: Ken Loach's 'The Angel's Share' Is Slight, Sitcom-y & Suspense-Free

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 21, 2012 6:36 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The working class are a little funny in “The Angels’ Share,” English director Ken Loach’s new bluecollar comedy. “The Angels’ Share” is Loach’s (“Kes”) latest film to play Cannes after his “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” won the 2006 Palme D’Or and both "Route Irish" and "Looking for Eric" played in competition in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Tonally, Loach’s latest is more of a piece with “Looking for Eric” than “Sweet Sixteen,” though all three films concern young people looking for a way to find a loophole and rise above their lousy social stations in life.

Cannes Report: Chris Tucker Dials It Back, Jennifer Lawrence Impresses In First Footage From 'Silver Linings Playbook'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 21, 2012 5:16 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Sandwiched between Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" was the oddball of The Weinstein Company presentation this evening at the Cannes Film Festival. Not that there's anything wrong with it specifically, but just coming in the middle of two much more ambitious, auteur driven movies, only emphasized just how...ordinary and run-of-the-mill Russell's film felt.

Cannes Report: First Footage From 'The Master' Impresses & Yes It's About Scientology

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 21, 2012 4:03 PM
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  • 6 Comments
The Weinstein Company are feeling confident this year at the Cannes Film Festival, and why not? With three films in the lineup eaching earning a fair share of buzz -- "Lawless," "Killing Them Softly" and "The Sapphires" -- tonight they decided to up the ante, and show off some previews for three films that will make up the rest of their impressive 2012 slate.

Cannes Review: 'Room 237' An Outstanding, Fascinating & Funny Exploration & Celebration Of 'The Shining'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 21, 2012 3:00 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Is "The Shining" just a horror movie about a guy who goes berserk in a hotel, or is it subversively about the history of American genocide? Why did Stanley Kubrick use cans of Calumet and Tang in the hotel's storeroom? Were these just random products, or were they each chosen and framed in the camera with a specific intent? And what's the deal with the Bill Watson? If you think you know "The Shining," guess again, as Rodney Ascher's outstanding "Room 237" goes down the rabbit hole of the meanings and interpretations of the horror classic, from the plausible to the outlandish.

Exclusive: New Images Of Gael Garcia Bernal In Pablo Larrain's Cannes Hit 'No'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 21, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
He's still relatively little-known in the U.S, but we've become huge fans of Chilean director Pablo Larrain over the last few years. The director first came on the scene with the excellent "Tony Manero," and followed it up a few years back with the equally good, but very different "Post Mortem." Neither received more than a perfunctory release in the States, but that may be about to change; Larrain's closing out his self-described trilogy looking at his birthplace under the rule of General Augusto Pinochet with "No," which premieres in Un Certain Regard at Cannes tonight, and stars international star Gael Garcia Bernal.

Cannes Review: Chris O'Dowd Shines In The Otherwise Uneven 'The Sapphires'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2012 7:13 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Among the The Weinstein Company's pre-Cannes Film Festival buys this year was the largely unknown (until it was bought) Aussie musical/drama/comedy effort "The Sapphires." It's certainly easy to see why this easy-to-digest, feel-good movie earned their attention. With a slate this year that includes "Lawless," "Django Unchained," "The Master" and "Killing Them Softly" they could probably use something that's guaranteed to have broad appeal, and that's something the first-time feature film from director Wayne Blair carries in spades. And it's largely thanks to the winning charm of unlikely leading man Chris O'Dowd.

Weinstein Company To Show Off Footage From 'The Master,' 'Django Unchained' & 'Silver Linings Playbook' In Cannes Tomorrow

  • By The Playlist
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  • May 20, 2012 2:08 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Here's something to whet your appetite for the fall film festival season. While journos, pundits and fans alike all lamented the absence of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" in the Cannes line-up this year, it appears The Weinstein Company -- already dominating the festival with buzzed-about in-competition films and acquisitions of would-be crowd pleasers -- were paying attention to sad-faced frownies on Twitter.

Cannes Review: 'Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir' A Fascinating Look At The Director As Told By The Man Himself

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2012 9:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Who is Roman Polanski? That's the question at the center of "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir," a deeply fascinating look at the life and (sort of) career of the controversial filmmaker as told by the man himself. But this isn't a hagiography -- the documentary doesn't shy away from the more tabloid-worthy elements of his life (you know what we're talking about), and is more about the events that made Polanski into the man and director we know him as. 'A Film Memoir' doesn't dive into the making of his movies so much as contextualize them with where he was personally and professionally at the time. And this perspective, particularly with the participation of Polanski, offers a refreshing look at the filmmaker you thought you might have known.

Cannes Review: Age & Illness Test Love In Michael Haneke's Unflinching 'Amour'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2012 6:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Michael Haneke makes it clear from the opening of the film exactly where he's going in "Amour." Kicking off with a literal bang, a team of police officers force open the door of a flat in France, and with masks over their mouths, they walk around the apartment, open the windows and finally find what they're looking for. A dead body, respectfully surrounded by flowers, lays in a bed. And in pure Haneke fashion, this is when he throws up the title card for "Amour," a movie that is, to put it simply, two hours of a woman dying.

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