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Cannes Tree of Life Update: Malick Shows Up For Big Night

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 17, 2011 at 10:19AM

Terrence Malick did come to Cannes, even if he didn't show up for The Tree of Life press conference, having asked Brad Pitt to do his heavy lifting for him. Fox Searchlight did not beg the director to walk the red carpet for the photographers, as did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (pictured), but Malick did enter the Palais right before the movie in order to hear the announcer boom the magic words: "L'auteur, Terrence Malick!"-- amid thundering standing applause. Per usual, the film played far better than at the press screening, which elicited an equal measure of clapping and boos. At the official screening, Malick won a sustained standing ovation.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Terrence Malick did come to Cannes, even if he didn't show up for The Tree of Life press conference, having asked Brad Pitt to do his heavy lifting for him. Fox Searchlight did not beg the director to walk the red carpet for the photographers, as did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (pictured), but Malick did enter the Palais right before the movie in order to hear the announcer boom the magic words: "L'auteur, Terrence Malick!"-- amid thundering standing applause. Per usual, the film played far better than at the press screening, which elicited an equal measure of clapping and boos. At the official screening, Malick won a sustained standing ovation.

Check out Time's Richard Corliss, Film Society of Lincoln Center's Scott Foundas, and Manohla Dargis's review, which cites the Bible, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Walt Whitman, in that order.

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Reviews, Cannes, Drama, Brad Pitt, Fox Searchlight


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.