The low-key first day of the fest was taken over by his excellency, star of "The Dictator," Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen). He brought camels, chicks, and gave the paparazzi a lot of good photo ops. The most shocking thing about a photo op that occurred on Aladeen's yacht? A bikini-clad woman went below deck with Aladeen's "bodyguards," and then they came back up without her, and then they dumped a body bag overboard. ROFL! Also? The dictator made out with Beth Ditto from The Gossip.
What else is going on? Well, it's only day two, so keep your pants on, but in general it seems like Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" was warmly received (read our very positive review here). More mixed was the reception to Michel Gondry's "The We & The I" and Jacques Audiard's "Rust And Bone" starring Marion Cotillard. Freelancer James Rocchi did not like the Gondry film to say the least, while our main-man Kevin Jagernauth was somewhat keener on "Rust And Bone" than some critics, but it's hard to gauge the overall response to the film exactly as every piece of "news" out of France is something about what Cotillard was wearing on the red carpet.
Ok, let's get to the good stuff. Our men in Cannes are hearing the juicy rumor of the day: The Weinstein Company are showing off a 10-minute scene from Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" to prospective international buyers. It sounds feasible. 'Django' has been lensing since early in the year, and what appears to be the last leg of the shoot is happening now-ish in New Orleans.
Speaking of films screening early, it was revealed today that the Wachowski siblings' and Tom Tykwer's epic "Cloud Atlas" has played in Cannes for international buyers. Apparently it has a December release date stateside and it's two hours and forty-five minutes long! Oscar contender or something that will put the olds to sleep? Time will tell.
And these are far from the only pictures being given sneak-peeks on the Croisette; comic adaptation "Dredd," Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," found-footage horror "Chernobyl Diaries" and Rian Johnson's "Looper" have all screened to interested parties since the start of the week, according to Deadline. Of these, it's "Dredd" that seems to have been best received, according to an IM Global rep, who calls it "an edgy, cool film with a rocking soundtrack... very fresh and distinctive. It’s 'Dirty Harry' meets 'District 9'." Given the reports of behind-the-scenes troubles, we might need a little more convincing.
Finally, Harvey Weinstein hasn't yet found a pick-up with the Oscar potential of "The Artist," but he may have bigger things on his mind, as The Hollywood Reporter suggest that his Cannes shopping list aims to help get Barack Obama re-elected. So far, Harvey's acquired "Code Name Geronimo," a spoiler for Kathryn Bigelow's Bin Laden movie from the director of "Blue Crush," and "The Oath Of Tobruk," a documentary by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levin about the fall of Colonel Gadaffi. Weinstein seemingly wants to use both films to help demonstrate Obama's foreign policy credentials. Because nothing wins over the swing states like documentaries made by Bernard-Henri Levin called "The Oath Of Tobruk."