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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes Review and Roundup: James Gray's 'The Immigrant' vs. 'Nebraska'

A pair of films addressing very different aspects of the American experience, and set 92 years apart, have screened in Competition over the last couple of days: Alexander Payne’s "Nebraska" and James Gray’s "The Immigrant." Sad to say, I had expectations for both but didn’t engage with either, although admittedly my perceptions may be tainted by the cumulative effects of a nine-day onslaught of early morning screenings and inevitable late nights.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 24, 2013 1:14 PM
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Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner

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. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 12:58 PM
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Cannes: Winners Announced for Critics Week, Cinefondation and Europa Cinemas Label Prize

A number of awards are being announced out of Cannes. "Salvo," a Mafia romance co-directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, has nabbed the Critics Week Grand Prize; UK director Clio Barnard's "The Selfish Giant," an update of the Oscar Wilde short story focusing on the friendship between two boys, has taken the Europa Cinemas Label prize as Best European Film in the Directors Fortnight section; and the Cinefondation and Short Films Jury, headed by Jane Campion, has awarded the 2013 Cinefondation prizes. Full list below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 11:52 AM
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Cannes Film Festival Diary: Le Dernier Jour

“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. The photographer was particularly happy about a shot he got of Nicole Kidman french-kissing her husband Keith Urban. Someone asked him if he yells at the celebrities the way some photographers do. “Sometimes you have to,” he said. “ It’s so that they look at you.” Much more saleable. And that’s where Carey Mulligan came in. “She’s an oyster, she gives you nothing.” He makes a face, to give an idea of what Carey Mulligan looks like as an oyster. She is not smiling; she is impassive; she is closed. In fact she looks a little like her character in “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 23, 2013 1:18 PM
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Cannes Market: Weinstein Co. Nabs Stephen Frears' 'Philomena,' Starring Dench and Coogan

More news is coming in from the ever-busy Cannes Market. The Weinstein Company has snapped up the latest Stephen Frears film, "Philomena," a drama starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, with plans for an Oscar-friendly fall 2013 release.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2013 12:53 PM
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Cannes Review Roundup: Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' a Wistful but Slight Father-Son Road Trip Film

Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son embarking on a roadtrip, screened today at Cannes. The response is thus far mixed to positive, with praise for the film's wistful tone and a "career-crowning" performance from Dern. Those less impressed site the film's slightness, calling it "affably unexceptional" and that it provides "not much to talk about." Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2013 12:33 PM
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The Coens, Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan & Oscar Isaac Give Seven Easy Steps to Get To Know 'Llewyn Davis'

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; he even gets to show off his musical chops, while carrying the film about an unheralded folk singing talent who attempts to succeed solo after the suicide of his singing partner.
  • By Brian Brooks
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  • May 22, 2013 6:47 PM
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Winding Refn Talks 'Only God Forgives': Cannes Press Conference, Review Roundup

"Only God Forgives" was unveiled Wednesday morning to the most divisive response at the Cannes festival thus far, and even with the smattering of boos and walkouts we’d hazard a guess that Nicolas Winding Refn couldn’t be more delighted by the reception. As empty, soulless, frenziedly art-directed viewing experiences go, "Only God Forgives" is one of the better examples. At the press conference following the screening, the Danish filmmaker expounded on his ultra-violent, hyper-stylized follow-up to "Drive," which features dismemberments, torture, eye gouging, Kristin Scott Thomas as a trashy, bestial, peroxide-wigged mother who calls her son’s female companion a “cum dumpster” and Gosling as a vaguely sketched mean machine operating in a seedy Thai underworld who makes the "Driver" look like a motormouth.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 22, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes Review Roundup: Robert Redford Keeps Things Afloat in Chandor's Dire Existential Adventure 'All Is Lost'

Reviews are coming in from Cannes for J.C. Chandor's ("Margin Call") second feature, "All Is Lost," a virtually dialogue-free adventure starring Robert Redford as a man battling the ocean elements solo on his boat. Reactions are largely positive, praising Redford's "tour de force" performance and Chandor's existential direction, while dissenters wish Godspeed to the film's languid pace -- that "a shark attack might put poor Redford out of his misery." Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 22, 2013 11:52 AM
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Cannes Fest Diary: Le Weekend, from Compelling 'Jimmy P.' to Toback's Doc and 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

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”). Based on a book by French anthropologist/psychotherapist George Deveraux, it’s the more or less true story of a Native American WWII vet, played by Benicio del Toro, who winds up in a military hospital suffering from post-war injuries, real or imagined. When the staff decides the problems are not physical, but don’t have a grasp on the potential mental issues an Indian might face, they call in Deveraux, who is also an expert in Native American culture.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 21, 2013 10:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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