By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood May 29, 2013 at 1:30PM
The Cannes Film Festival always unveils a few stragglers at the end of the fest, and the 66th installment was no exception. There were quite a few from the likes of Roman Polanski ("Venus in Fur") and Jim Jarmusch ("Only Lovers Left Alive").
Following the Cannes debut of "All Is Lost," many have been left wondering why J.C. Chandor’s man-vs-sea saga wasn’t selected for Competition. The film’s compelling and increasingly harrowing narrative, about a man on a solo ocean voyage who ends up in dire straits after his sailboat collides with a cargo container, played tremendously well with critics and the black-tie crowd attending its red-carpet gala, who gave it a nine-minute standing ovation. Redford, who is the only actor in the film and hardly says a word, delivers a performance of astonishing and emblematic potency.
The Coen Bros' re-visit of the early folk music era in New York's Greenwich Village was certainly not lost in translation here in Cannes where it was received with almost universal affirmation earlier this week. "Inside Llewyn Davis" may also mark a turning point for actor Oscar Isaac, who's presence is in virtually every frame of the film.
If "Seduced and Abandoned" meanders and strays off course throughout, it matters not a jot because Toback and Baldwin form a magnificent double act, and the talent they’ve rounded up to spout off includes Bertolucci, Scorsese, Polanski, Coppola, Chastain and Gosling.
When it screened at Cannes last week, the Mexican film “Heli” raised eyebrows and some hackles for its unsparing evocation of Mexico’s drug-war violence, including torture. A compelling story of one simple family who, through no real fault of their own, stumble into a nightmare, “Heli” is director Amat Escalante’s third film at Cannes, and his first in competition.
Intricately woven and perceptively acted, “The Past”’s suspenseful narrative is filled with tiny, unexpected shocks that change your perception of each character and their relationship to the others, all of them handled and revealed with masterful authority by Farhadi.
Lowery's 2011 Sundance short "Pioneer" was a ramp-up to his exquisitely crafted neo-noir western, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," which was picked up by IFC Films after its rapturous reception at Sundance, and is playing Saturday during the Cannes Film Festival's Critics Week.
Writer-director Coogler's debut "Fruitvale Station" recreates the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, who at 22 years old was shot and killed by an Oakland police officer at the titular BART station on New Year's Day, 2009. Michael B. Jordan ("The Wire") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help") are getting rave reviews, and it's a gut-wrenching tearjerker in the "Precious" tradition. And Harvey Weinstein is no slouch when it comes to taking films like "The Artist" from Cannes to Oscar contention. "Fruitvale Station" treads in the heartstring-tugging, social realist tradition that festivalgoers and Academy voters embrace.
Just three years after Jorge Michel Grau's 2010 Mexican film "We Are What We Are" played at the Cannes Festival market (see clip and original Mexican trailer below), Jim Mickle's American remake, which debuted well at Sundance, is playing in the festival proper, in the Director's Fortnight, which sometimes welcomes smart well-made horror films such as this one.
The first indication that things at Cannes weren’t going to be quite as I imagined them to be – red carpet and champagne, rinse and repeat – was the crush trying to get on the express bus from the Nice airport.
Coppola is a poet of disconnection, and it feels as if she knows the territory well: While gracious, she appeared not exactly unhappy at being there, but not exactly especially interested either. And she’s remarkably under-expressive about her work.
It was a weird, wooly and wet weekend in Cannes. And it began with what has to be one of the stranger ideas ever put forward for a film: “Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian” from Arnaud Desplechin (the wonderful “A Christmas Tale”).
“Carey Mulligan is an oyster.” So said a French photographer outside a cafe on the rue Hoch. Five of us were sitting around, with Christine in the middle, which is to say that everyone knew her; the photographer was a colleague from Paris, and was just coming from the red carpet at the Palais. He shoots conflict zones normally, but the red carpet pays, especially in Cannes.
In one of their final deals at Cannes, the Weinstein Company has snapped up US rights to "Carol," set to be directed by Todd Haynes (HBO's "Mildred Pierce") and starring Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska. The film is a new adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novella of the same title.
The folks at Sundance Selects are smiling, as they not only acquired U.S. rights to Cannes Palme d'Or winner"Blue is the Warmest Color," a lesbian romance that is sure to be a hot ticket back stateside, but U.S. rights to Japanese writer-director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Jury Prize Winner "Like Father, Like Son," as well.
"It would take a stake through the heart to keep Barker, Bernard and Leiner away from a good movie,” said producer Jeremy Thomas as Cannes 2013 drew to a close. Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American rights to Thomas and Jim Jarmusch's competition title "Only Lovers Left Alive."
The Weinstein Company has acquired distribution rights for the US, Canada, the UK and Spain to director Stephen Frears' ("The Queen") latest, "Philomena," starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The film, based on the novel "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee," centers on the true story of an Irish woman, Lee (Dench), searching for the illegitimate son, Michael, she gave up for adoption.
Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings.