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CANNES TOLDJA! The Weinstein Company Acquires U.S. Rights To Todd Haynes-Helmed ‘Carol’

Mike Fleming

They’ve announced it and it’s in the trades. Deadline broke the story Saturday. Here’s the official word:

The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced that it has acquired US rights for Number 9 Films CAROL from HanWay Films. Producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley simultaneously announced that Academy Award nominee Todd Haynes (I’m Not There, Far From Heaven) has come on-board to direct.

Carol is a love story about pursuit, betrayal and passion that follows the burgeoning relationship between two very different women in 1950s New York. One, a girl in her twenties working in a department store who dreams of a more fulfilling life, and the other, a wife trapped in a loveless, moneyed marriage desperate to break free but fearful of losing her daughter in the process.

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Hammond On Cannes: Spielberg And Jury Award France’s Sizzling, Sexy And First Gay Palme d’Or Winner; Is Oscar Next?

Pete Hammond

Blue Is The Warmest Color (La Vie D’Adele – Chapitre 1 & 2) is only the second purely French film in this most French of festivals to win the Palme d’Or in the past 46 years. The film has had the festival talking ever since its late Thursday night debut and was tipped as a top contender for a prize. This 3-hour sexually explicit drama about a teen’s lesbian love affair proved triumphant tonight, winning perhaps the most coveted prize in cinema next to Oscar. Five years ago The Class was a surprise winner for France’s  Laurent Cantet,  but you have to go all the way back to 1966 and the iconic Claude LeLouche romantic hit A Man And A Woman for another French director to win the Palme d’Or. It’s a sign of the changing times that this film, starring Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, could actually be called A Woman And A Woman.  The jury led by president Steven Spielberg spoke in glowing terms about it as a pure romance and not the first gay-themed movie to ever win top honors here. “For me the film is a great love story, and the fact that it is a great love story that made all of us feel that we were privileged, not embarrassed, to be flies on the wall invited to see this story of deep love and deep heartbreak evolve from the beginning,’ Spielberg said. “We were absolutely spellbound by the brilliance of the … Read More »

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CANNES: Sundance Selects Lands U.S. For ‘Like Father, Like Son’

Mike Fleming

Sundance Selects acquired U.S. rights to Japanese writer-director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Jury Prize Winner Like Father, Like Son from Wild Bunch. With a screenplay by Kore-eda, the film stars Fukuyama Masaharu, Ono Machiko, Maki Yoko, and Lily Franky, and was produced by Kameyama Chihiro, Hatanaka Tatsuro, and Tom Yoda. The film made its world premiere this week in Competition at the festival. Pic mixes drama and humor as the film examines the agony of two families who are informed that their 6-year-old sons were switched at birth. Sundance Selects’ sister label IFC Films previously released Hirokazu’s Still Walking and Nobody Knows. Deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Carole Baraton at Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Cannes: ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Wins Palme D’Or; Coen Brothers Take Grand Prize; Bérénice Bejo, Bruce Dern Nab Acting Kudos

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Steven Spielberg‘s jury is handing out the awards for the 66th Cannes Film Festival this evening in the Palais. There have been some stand-out favorites over the past two weeks, while many films have divided critics. We’re following the ceremony live, and Deadline’s awards columnist Pete Hammond will be chiming in after the proceedings with analysis and comments from the jury. See below for the full list of winners:

Palme d’Or
Blue Is The Warmest Color, dir: Abdellatif Kechiche

Grand Prize
Inside Llewyn Davis, Ethan and Joel Coen

Best Director
Amat Escalante, Heli

Jury Prize
Like Father, Like Son, dir: Hirokazu Kore-Eda

Best Screenplay
Zhangke Jia, A Touch Of Sin

Best Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Past

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Camera d’Or
Ilo Ilo
, dir: Anthony Chen

Short Film
Safe, dir: Byoung-Gon Moon
Special mention: 37°4 S, dir: Adriano Valerio
Whale Valley dir: Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson

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Hammond On Cannes: Suspense Builds To Sunday’s Palme D’Or And Acting Winners

By | Saturday May 25, 2013 @ 1:45pm PDT
Pete Hammond

We are at the end of a long Cannes, and jury members have had the opportunity to see all 20 films in the main competition. But who wins the Palme d’Or? I have learned  that jury president Steven Spielberg has specifically instructed his colleagues to remain tight-lipped and not provide any clues. Cannes juries anyway are notoriously hard to predict and critical reaction through the festival doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But, jumping into the shark-infested waters of predictions, I would say frontrunners for the Palme d’Or are likely Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s stunning The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color (thanks to buzz), and possibly Iranian director  Asghar Farhardi’s The Past which was shot in Paris and mostly in French. I also would throw in the wonderfully heartfelt Japanese entry Like Father, Like Son, a truly moving film from director Kore-Eda Hirokazu. It’s a long-shot but human emotion goes a long way with juries. I could have picked J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost with a virtuoso performance from Robert Redford but for some reason it was shown out of competition and not eligible. Otherwise it would have been in the top tier of contenders. Watch for a possible sleeper with the  Chinese entry (their first in a few years) ,A Touch Of Sin  from director Jia Zhangke who is overdue. Reaction was mixed overall  to the overlong four-segment story that examines China today warts and all in some cases. Plus it has some pretty extreme violence. But he could win a prize as a statement supporting more honest and open China filmmaking which this seems to represent. Further down the list  are Alexander Payne’s Nebraska and James Gray’s beautifully realized period piece The Immigrant, at least in terms of Palme d’Or buzz for both very American directors. The wild card is likely Steven Soderbergh’s Behind The Candelabra since he said it’s his last film for the forseeable future. But that could be hampered by the fact it premieres on HBO in the U.S. tomorrow and most think it is more likely to win for its acting, specifically Michael Douglas.

The last three days of the festival saw the sun come out on the Croisette and the quality of films particularly impressive. High profile contenders holding premieres included Nebraska, The Immigrant, and the much touted by critics 3-hour French teen lesbian drama Blue Is The Warmest Color. Followed by Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Roman Polanski’s Venus In Fur had its official premiere Saturday night. This entertaining French language adaptation of the hit Broadway play stars his wife Emmanuelle Seigner in an actress audition that turns into a sexual game of cat and mouse with her director portrayed by Mathieu Amalric (who looks uncannily like a younger Polanski – likely on purpose).

The acting categories will provide the most Solomon-like decisions for the jury. Michael Douglas may receive a prize alone or add his equally fine co-star Matt Damon. The actor race is impossibly crowded and also includes the magnificent Toni Servillo of Great Beauty, Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruce Dern and Will Forte of Nebraska, and Amalric of Venus In Fur. And if the jury is watching closely there’s a truly moving performance from Masaharu Fukuyama as the flawed parent in Like Father, Like Son. I would also give a shout-out to the excellent Souleymane Deme as Grigris in a film that didn’t get a lot of traction. On the women’s side, Adele  Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux could be honored together or apart for brave and explicit work in Blue Is The Warmest Color. Read More »

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Cannes: Un Certain Regard Winners Include ‘The Missing Picture’, ‘Fruitvale Station’

The 2013 Un Certain Regard prizes were handed out by Thomas Vinterberg’s jury this evening in Cannes. Cambodian director Rithy Panh won the top award for his first-person story The Missing Picture. The Jury Prize was given to the well-liked Omar by Oscar nominee Hany Abu-Assad. Alain Guiraudie won the Directing Prize for the controversial but acclaimed erotic thriller Stranger By The Lake which Strand Releasing picked up this week. The Un Certain Talent award was given to the ensemble of actors from Spanish director Diego Quemada-Diez’ The Golden Cage. And Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station was honored with the Prize of the Future. His film, which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in Sundance, held a berth in UCR that’s usually reserved for movies that made a name in Park City. Eventual Oscar nominee Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild ran in UCR last year. Read More »

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Harvey Weinstein Closes Prolific Cannes With Deals For ‘Carol’ And ‘The Young And Prodigious Spivet’

By | Saturday May 25, 2013 @ 10:33am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: As the Cannes Film Festival announces the winners of the fest’s competing films, the big winner in the market portion of the festival is Harvey Weinstein, hands down. Weinstein has just closed two more acquisition deals, leaving Cannes with six films under his arm, and another two for his multi-platform arm Radius-TWC. The Weinstein Company has completed a deal for U.S. distribution rights to Carol, a film that shoots in the fall, directed by Far From Heaven helmer Todd Haynes for HanWay Films. TWC has also just completed the acquisition of U.S. rights to The Young And Prodigious Spivet, the 3D film that reunites Weinstein with Amelie helmer Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska and is based on a Patricia Highsmith novella adapted by Phillis Nagy. It tells the dual stories of two women: a twenty-something woman working in a department store hoping for a better life; and a wife trapped in a loveless marriage, afraid for her daughter if she bolts. Helena Bonham Carter heads the cast of Jeunet’s 3D film, about a 12-year-old cartographer who secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother, to travel across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute. CAA brokered the latter deal.

While the pace of buying at the fest by U.S. distributors seemed lackluster most of the way through, Weinstein and … Read More »

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Cannes: ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’, ‘Blue Ruin’ Among FIPRESCI Winners

Ahead of tonight’s Un Certain Regard prizes comes word that the International Federation of Film Critics has honored three films in three Cannes sections. Directors’ Fortnight title Blue Ruin, which Radius-TWC has Stateside, took the FIPRESCI prize for a film in a parallel section. Jeremy Saulnier directs. Abdellatif Kechiche’s hot Competition title Blue Is The Warmest Color was FIPRESCI’s pick from among that section. Sundance Selects previously acquired that one. In the Un Certain Regard sidebar, banned Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s Manuscripts Don’t Burn was the FIPRESCI winner. Cineuropa reports that prizes were also handed out by the Ecumenical Jury today, with Asghar Farhadi’s The Past (Sony Pictures Classics) the main winner. Hirozaku Kore-Eda’s Competition title Like Father, Like Son and Valeria Golino’s Un certain Regard entry Miele each received a special mention.

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Cannes: Competition Movies Divide Critics; How Much Do Reviews Really Matter?

Whichever way the mistral wind blows on Sunday when Steven Spielberg’s jury hands out its awards, it’s fair to say that, for critics, the Competition has been divisive. While a number of films received huzzahs in the Palais, several met with mixed reactions. Among the best received were the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, Steven Soderbergh’s Behind The Candelabra, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s Like Father Like Son, and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color. Among the not so hot were Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives and Takashi Miike’s Shield Of Straw, both of which were subject to boos during press screenings. And, yet, each has its supporters. Read More »

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Cannes: SPC Sinks Teeth Into Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American rights to Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, the vampire pic that premieres tomorrow at Cannes in the In Competition section. The film was produced by Jeremy Thomas of Recorded Picture Company and Reinhard Brundig of Pandora Film. Christos Konstantakopoulos of Fairilo House served as executive producer. Starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin and Jeffrey Wright, Only Lovers Left Alive takes place against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier and follows an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, who reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. “It would take a stake through the heart to keep Barker, Bernard and Leiner away from a good movie,” stated Producer JeremyThomas. Thorsten Schumacher and Jan Spielhoff for HanWay Films and ICM negotiated the deal.

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Cannes: Directors’ Fortnight Honors ‘Les Garçons Et Guillaume’, ‘Selfish Giant’

The Directors’ Fortnight sidebar has its closing ceremony tonight with Yolande Moreau’s Henri screening after the prize ceremony. The section is actually non-competitive, but certain partners of the Société des Réalisateurs Français, the French directors’ body that organizes the event, attribute awards. Frenchman Guillaume Gallienne won two prizes tonight for Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!, while Brit helmer Clio Barnard took the Europa Cinema Label honor for The Selfish Giant. Her film was recently acquired by Sundance Selects. Last year’s winners included Pablo Larrain’s No, which went on to be nominated for a foreign language Oscar, and Noémie Lvovsky’s Camille Redouble which later scored 13 nominations at France’s César Awards. Here’s the group that took prizes for the 2013 edition of the Fortnight: Read More »

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CANNES: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Moving Toward U.S Deal With Relativity/Weinstein

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Relativity and The Weinstein Company are in advanced negotiations to team in the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights for Jane Got A Gun, the Western that is being directed by Gavin O’Connor and star Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Noah Emmerich and Rodrigo Santoro. The deal is for a wide release but they haven’t finalized a slot for the film. CAA is brokering the deal. I hear CBS Films and Focus Features were also in the mix.

The film’s backers showed footage of the picture on Wednesday, and they were looking for a deal with no upfront money, a discounted distribution fee and a small equity percentage of the gross until the film’s overages are covered. Relativity was negotiating with JGAG producers and it became clear that Weinstein wanted a piece of the movie. Harvey Weinstein has a close relationship with David Boies, the hot shot attorney who is partner in Jane backer Straight Up Films. His daughter, Regency Boies, is a producer on the movie for Straight Up Films. Relativity will handle distribution, I’m told, and TWC is taking the lead on marketing the film, and they decided this would be a good strategic fit. The film is produced by Scott Steindorff, Portman and her Handsomecharlie Films, Aleen Keshishian, Terry Dougas, Scott LaStaiti and Straight Up Films’ Regency Boies.

It’s the latest bit of good news–now this picture is … Read More »

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Cannes: SPC Grabs N.A. Rights To ‘The Lunchbox’

By | Friday May 24, 2013 @ 7:49am PDT
Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to the Viewer’s Choice Award, Grand Rail d’Or, winner at the 2013 Critics’ Week, The Lunchbox. The film, written and directed by Ritesh Batra, stars Irrfan Khan (Life Of Pi), Nimrat Kaur and Nakul Vaid. A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to a stranger in the dusk of his life. They build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. Gradually, this fantasy threatens to overwhelm their reality.

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Hammond On Cannes: French Hero Jerry Lewis On His Return To Movies, Unfunny Women, And The Film You Will Never See

By | Friday May 24, 2013 @ 5:02am PDT
Pete Hammond

If there is one place Jerry Lewis can go to get an ego boost it is clearly here in France, a country that has had a collective love affair with the comedian his entire career. Lewis, now 87, has been here many times to collect awards and adoration , he’s even made French movies but he hasn’t been in Cannes for about two decades so it was a big deal Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival when Max Rose, the first movie in which he has starred in 18 years, premiered to a standing ovation for Lewis (naturally) and turnaway crowd (filled with many locals). The film is anything but a typical vehicle for Lewis as it is a sentimental and somewhat serious study of the dilemna of old age and how we treat our senior citizens when life throws them a curveball just when they least expected it. Presented Out Of Competition and billed as an “homage to Jerry Lewis”, the film came about when first-time writer/director Daniel Noah approached him to play the role , and much to his surprise, Lewis accepted right away telling the filmmaker it was the best script he had read in 40 years. Clearly it also spoke to him personally.

A press screening that had been scheduled for the movie Thursday morning was abruptly cancelled, though … Read More »

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Cannes: Another Jewelry Heist? $2.6M Necklace Missing After Hotel Du Cap Soirée (Reports)

In what would be the second high-profile jewerly heist of the Cannes Film Festival, a diamond necklace valued at $2.6M is said to be missing after a star-studded party at the Hotel Du Cap earlier this week. Fawaz Gruosi, founder of Swiss jeweler De Grisogono, told Reuters that the necklace disappeared after being worn as part of an annual event, which this year celebrated the company’s 20th anniversary and was attended by Sharon Stone and Paris Hilton among others. Local police, hotel security and 80 bodyguards had been on duty Gruosi told Reuters, but an inventory at the end of the night found the necklace missing. A Cannes police source said they were investigating whether it was a theft, an inventory issue, or a loss, according to Reuters. Last week’s theft of $1.4M in Chopard jewels is still under investigation. Swiss newspaper Le Matin says police are actively pursuing at least three suspects.

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Hammond On Cannes: Leo DiCaprio’s Moon Trip Tops ‘Cinema Against AIDS’ Auction

Pete Hammond

Would you pay €1.5 million ($1.94 million) to spend a weekend at Oscar parties? Or €1.8 million to fly to the moon on Virgin Galactic with Leonardo DiCaprio?  Someone did — and more. That happened at amFAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS Cannes Film Festival gala’s very special 20th anniversary Thursday night. Co-hosts Weinstein and Kenneth Cole announced to a roomful of very high rollers that the event, held of the Hotel Du Cap, raised €25 million ($32.3 million), smashing last year’s record total of over €10 million. The ultra-high style party is a two  decades long staple of the Cannes festival, and Weinstein told me if it just made a dollar more than the previous year they’d be happy. But these multimillionaires and billionaires obviously came to play this year and really stepped up at the auction that featured numerous stars including jury members Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz, along with Jessica Chastain, Jeremy Renner, Rosario Dawson, Heidi Klum, Goldie Hawn, Janet Jackson, Adrien Brody and major fundraiser/auctioneer Sharon Stone.

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Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond, Episode 27

Pete Hammond

Listen to (and share) episode 27, a special Cannes Film Festival edition of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and other notable films screened in competition so far at Cannes; the legacy of Liz Taylor and a restored Cleopatra; and whether Oscar season should just officially start with the festival, given its recent success in spotlighting awards-worthy films.

Deadline Awards Watch, Episode 27 (MP3 format)
Deadline Awards Watch, Episode 27 (MP4a format) Read More »

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Cannes: Well Go USA Lands N.A. Rights To ‘On The Job’

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 2:21pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Well Go USA Entertainment acquired all North American rights to Erik Matti’s On The Job, a Filipino crime action-thriller, ahead of its world premiere in Directors’ Fortnight on Friday. The film is set for a fall 2013 theatrical release. Written by Matti and Michiko Yamamoto, On The Job was inspired by a real-life corruption scandal involving the temporary release of inmates so they could work as contract killers for crooked politicians. It stars many of the Philippines’ mainstream actors including Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Rayver Cruz, Shaina Magdayao, Empress Schuck, alongside vets such as Joel Torre, Angel Aquino, Vivian Velez, Joey Marquez, Leo Martinez, Michael de Mesa, Al Tantay and Niño Muhlach.

On The Job reiterates that it is an exciting time for Filipino cinema,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President of Well Go USA Entertainment. Said Matti: “All the hard work and patience has paid off. After almost four years, we have finally seen this movie cross over internationally. And we are happy that our company, Reality Entertainment, is at the forefront of bringing Filipino movies to a wider, more competitive market thanks to XYZ and Well Go.” Pic was produced by Matti’s Reality Entertainment and Star Cinema. The deal was brokered between Pfardrescher and Nate Bolotin and Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films.

Related: Cannes: Sundance Selects Picks Up ‘The Selfish Giant’

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Cannes: Sundance Selects Picks Up Directors’ Fortnight Title ‘The Selfish Giant’

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 2:01pm PDT

Sundance Selects has acquired its fourth film of the Cannes Film Festival, making a deal for North American rights to writer-director Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant. Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas and Sean Gilder star, and the pic was produced by Tracy O’Riordan with the backing of British Film Institute and Film4. It premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the fest. The contemporary fable is about about a 13-year-old boy (Chapman) and his best friend (Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the boys meet a local scrapdealer (Gilder). They begin collecting scrap metal for him using a horse and cart but tensions eventually build among the trio, leading to a tragic event that transforms them all. Sundance Selects already closed deals here for U.S. rights to a pair of competition titles, François Ozon’s Young & Beautiful starring Marine Vacth and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color. It also landed U.S. rights to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night, which is in preproduction with Marion Cotillard starring.

The deal for Selfish Giant was negotiated by Sundance Selects/IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco with Mike Goodridge of Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

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