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CANNES: Competition Underway With Double Bill Of Tilda Swinton & Gus Van Sant

Pete Hammond

After a fun opening night living vicariously through Woody Allen’s Paris, the Cannes official competition and sales market really got down to business Thursday. And how’s this for a good time? The fest started the competitive entries with a double bill of downer flicks directed by two very smart women. Unfortunately, only one of them worked.

First up was the dreadful Sleeping Beauty, an Australian drama revolving around a girl, played by Emily Browning, who subjects herself to such degrading inhuman sexual acts we can’t even go into it here. As she is induced into a coma-like state a number of eighty-something men have their way with her. Fun, huh? The really stunning thing is that rare Palme D’Or winning woman, Jane Campion (The Piano), is lending her name to this dreary exercise from first-timer Julia Leigh.

It could only go up from there and it did — waaaaay up — at the 8:30 AM Thursday morning press screening for Lynne Ramsey’s extraordinary We Need To Talk About Kevin, starring the ever-remarkable Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly as parents dealing with tragic circumstances caused by their out-of-control son. It is a most impressive acting and directorial feat that gives the festival its first genuine awards contender, and if it can secure domestic distribution (may distribs such as Sony Pictures Classics and Lionsgate were seen entering the early AM screening), the Oscar-winning Swinton could once again find herself in the Academy race next year and definitely for a prize here on May 22. Read More »

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Kelly Preston Joins ‘Gotti’ Pic

By | Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 4:06pm PDT

Kelly Preston will play Victoria Gotti, the wife of John Gotti Sr., in Fiore Films’ indie biopic Gotti: Three Generations. She will play opposite her real-life husband, John Travolta, who plays the Dapper Don.

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Barry Levinson In Talks To Direct ‘Gotti’

By | Monday May 2, 2011 @ 4:31pm PDT

Barry Levinson is negotiating to come aboard Gotti: Three Generations, Fiore Films’ indie biopic that has cast John Travolta at the Dapper Don and Joe Pesci as his right-hand man. Nick Cassavetes was tapped as the director when the project was announced last month, but he recently dropped out because of a scheduling conflict.

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Nick Cassavetes Is Out As ‘Gotti’ Director

By | Monday April 18, 2011 @ 1:09pm PDT

Gotti: Three Generations, the John Gotti biopic that indie production company Fiore Films announced last week, has lost director Nick Cassavetes, who had been attached but apparently has a scheduling conflict with another film. The Gotti project, which will star John Travolta as the Dapper Don as well as Joe Pesci and possibly Lindsay Lohan, was set to go into production in October with an eye on a 2012 release. During last week’s press conference, executive producer Marc Fiore said he will self-finance the film, though he declined to say how much will be budgeted. Cassavetes, who attended the media gathering last week with Travolta and Fiore, is currently directing the indie drama Yellow, which stars Sienna Miller and Ben Foster.

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Joe Pesci Joins “Iconic” John Gotti Biopic; Lindsay Lohan Latest In Talks For Big Role

Fiore Films made the announcements today at a NYC press conference attended by John Gotti Jr as well as the already cast John Travolta and already attached director Nick Cassavetes. The biopic, titled Gotti: Three Generations, begins shooting in October with an eye to a late 2012 release. Until now, the film had no financier, but today the independent production company announced it will finance the film itself, but declined to say how much it will budget. Producer Marc Fiore says that Joe Pesci has now joined the cast as John Gotti Sr’s deputy Angelo Ruggiero, and Lindsay Lohan (newly with ICM) is in talks for a role. The production will cast Gotti Jr “within the next week or two,” Fiore says. This is the first film about the Dapper Don being made with the cooperation of his son and will show the infamous mobster as “an iconic figure in American history,” says Fiore. But Cassavetes says that he’ll show Gotti Sr’s “warts.” Gotti Jr says the script shows his dad was “a man’s man” who “paid for every sin he may or may not have committed.” Unlike other projects that told the family’s story “from a journalistic or government viewpoint,” Gotti Jr says this biopic will show that “Everybody’s a victim. … There a lot of ups and downs. A lot of tears. And a lot of happiness.” Travolta is playing the one-time Gambino crime family boss who was convicted in 1992 of five murders, loan sharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion. Travolta called this ”probably the most interesting untold story in this country,” adding that Gotti Sr was “filled with dichotomies.” Travolta claims Lohan ”happens to be a very big fan of mine,” and added, ”I’ve always thought she was gorgeous and talented and filled with a lot of depth.” Read More »

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