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The Playlist

Sony Pick Up Cannes Hit 'The Past,' Sundance Selects Take The Dardennes' Marion Cotillard-Starring Next Project

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • May 20, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment
With every major festival that arrives there’s more chances for hopeful filmmakers to ink deals that would put their films in front of paying audiences, so of course with the Cannes Film Festival in full swing there’s a whole smorgasbord of distribution news.

First Look: Photos, Posters & Clip Of Mads Mikkelsen In Cannes Entry 'Michael Kohlhaas'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 20, 2013 1:46 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Mads Mikkelsen, MICHAEL KOHLHAAS BY ARNAUD DES PALLIÈRES
This time last year, Mads Mikkelsen was about to become the toast of Cannes. The Danish actor was on the Croisette starring in Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt," a stunning morality play, and went on to win the Best Actor prize at the festival for his role in that. "The Hunt" is still yet to open in the U.S. (it's coming next month), but Mikkelsen has gone from strength to strength; he's currently killing it, as it were, as the title character in "Hannibal," which has unexpectedly turned out to be one of the best dramas currently on television.

Cannes 2013: 5 Coen Brothers Motifs That Show Up In The Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 20, 2013 12:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Inside Llewyn Davis
By now, word of the flat-out loveliness of the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” has probably reached your ears -- if not, take a moment to read our Cannes review from Saturday. Amid the peaks and troughs of the Cannes competition line-up, it’s a polished, warmhearted gem displaying all the of the brothers’ trademark intelligence and wit, in a remarkably ungimmicky, classical way. Simply put, it sings.

Cannes Review: Admirable Ambition Isn't Enough For James Franco's 'As I Lay Dying'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2013 11:25 AM
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  • 5 Comments
As I Lay Dying, James Franco
To be certain, James Franco has never been lacking in ambition. From the meta quasi-doc "Francophrenia (Or Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)" to the Hart Crane biopic "The Broken Tower" to the kinky "Interior. Leather Bar." to the primate co-starring "The Ape," Franco has leapt into filmmaking, taking on challenges and narrative most other filmmakers wouldn't dare to attempt. And while there is something to admire in the ambition of the 35 year-old actor/writer/director's latest venture, "As I Lay Dying," it never amounts to much more than a curiosity.

Cannes Review: Takashi Miike's 'Shield Of Straw' A Tedious, Dumb & Overstuffed Thriller

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Particularly with a filmmaker like Claire Denis shifted to the Un Certain Regard category or Ari Folman's "The Congress" scuttled to the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, many will be wondering what on Earth the Cannes selection committee saw in Takashi Miike's "Shield Of Straw" to have it play in competition (especially considering it already opened a month ago in Japan). A b-movie potboiler at best, and indebted to countless other and much better films, this tedious, dumb, so-bad-it's-almost-funny procedural is an overstuffed thriller that offers one single idea, and proceeds to beat it to death, without much of anything to say.

Cannes Review: Sprawling, Uneven Crime Saga 'Blood Ties' Falls Short Of Epic Scope

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 19, 2013 2:27 PM
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  • 9 Comments
If there is any movie this year at Cannes that is absolutely brimming with promise on paper, it's Guillaume Canet's "Blood Ties." With an extended cast featuring Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, Matthias Schoenaerts, Zoe Saldana, James Caan, Marion Cotillard, Noah Emmerich and Lili Taylor among others along with a script co-written by James Gray, one wonders how it could go wrong. And while "Blood Ties" isn't a disaster, it's certainly a mess, a sprawling crime saga that endeavours to evoke the great character-driven movies of the 1970s, but never quite lives up to its epic scope.

Cannes Review: ‘Grand Central’ Weaves A Lyrical Tale Of Love And Radiation Around Tahar Rahim & Lea Seydoux

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 19, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 4 Comments
GRAND CENTRAL BY REBECCA ZLOTOWSKI, Lea Seydoux, Tahar Rahim
Director Rebecca Zlotowski scored big in 2010 when her debut feature “Belle Epine” (aka “Dear Prudence”) won the Prix Louis Delluc for best first film, and snagged star Léa Seydoux a nomination for Most Promising Actress at the Césars. Three years on and Seydoux has certainly made good on that promise, with her profile rising ever higher -- in this year’s Cannes she’s one of a select number of actors to have two films in the Official Selection, one of them being her reteaming with Zlotowski on “Grand Central” with Kechiche’s ”Blue is the Warmest Color” in competition being the other.

Cannes 2013: T-Bone Burnett Teases Live & Studio Versions Of 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Soundtrack, And Further “Events,” Plus New Photos From The Film

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 19, 2013 11:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Inside Llewyn Davis
Following its almost uniformly rapturous reception yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival (you can read our take here) today the ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ team showed up in force for the press conference. With Joel and Ethan Coen, Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, T-Bone Burnett and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel comprising the panel it really felt like of the principals, only John Goodman and perhaps “Doogie Howser” alum Max Casella (who incidentally, is totally having a moment right now) were absent. It wasn’t perhaps the most illuminating press conference ever, with hard-hitting questions ranging from “How much did you laugh on set?” to “Oscar Isaac, you were amazing, how did you manage to be so amazing?” but one tiny detail caught our attention.

Cannes Review: 'Seduced And Abandoned' Enjoyably Explores The Surreal World Of Film Financing

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 19, 2013 10:45 AM
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  • 4 Comments
It's hardly any surprise for people who follow film news (or read this site) that cinema, at least as far as the major Hollywood studios go, is mostly a dead art. With a shift toward four-quadrant, brand pushing, sequel spawning blockbusters, the days of the $50 million drama are a distant memory. And so here comes James Toback's "Seduced And Abandoned," described by the director as an "uncategorizable" film that finds him teaming with Alec Baldwin, as they set their cameras on the movers and shakers (financially speaking) in the movie biz, while talking to filmmakers and actors about their craft, moviemaking, and much more.

Cannes Review: ‘Borgman’ Delivers A Deliciously Dark, Twisted Cannes Competition Treat

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 19, 2013 10:15 AM
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  • 6 Comments
BORGMAN BY ALEX VAN WARMERDAM
Caustic, surreal, creepy, and blackly funny, Dutch polymath Alex van Warmerdam’s “Borgman” is the trickster god in this year’s Cannes competition pantheon. Tonally similar to recent cultish favorites from Yorgos Lanthimos and Ben Wheatley (“Dogtooth” feels like a particularly close and favoured first cousin), there’s also a little Haneke in its chilly dissection of a perfect bourgeois life. But it’s really its own thing, due to the inspired choice to take recognisable archetypes of evil and mischief-making, and let them loose on a crisply contemporary, contained playground in the form of an aspirational, architect-designed modernist house, its gardens, and the lives of the family that lives there.

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