Despite the star wattage films that the Cannes Film Festival books annually — and this year was no exception, with such titles as the Kristen Stewart-Juliette Binoche film Sils Maria, Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman and the Robert Pattinson apocalyptic headliner The Rover — it’s a cinematic event that’s always at the forefront of lauding the artsier titles, no matter how popular they are with the masses or critics. Here’s a closer look at some of today’s winners in trailers and clips:
Palme d’Or Winner: Winter Sleep
Pete Hammond pointed out early in the festival that the Nuri Bilge Ceylan film from Turkey was this year’s longest sit at 3 hours and 16 minutes at the Palais Grand Theatre Lumiere. Film follows Aydin, a retired actor, who runs the Othello Hotel in central Anatolia. The snow begins to fall, and one could say that a cabin fever ensues for Aydin who tends to a stormy relationship with his wife and arguments about rich vs. poor with his recently divorced sister. Memento Films is handling foreign sales.
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The Hollywood invasion of Cannes began in earnest this weekend and continues big time as the U.S.-set movies get their day in the sun on the Croisette — even as a little rain begins to fall for the first time since this movie smorgasboard got rolling last week. Yesterday, Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank hit the fest with a female-centric Western, The Homesman, that is looking for distribution and should find it with no problem. In fact, I just heard they have had at least three offers and a deal could be imminent. Stay tuned. Despite a mixed bag of reviews (but generally upbeat), there’s awards potential there, believe me (more on that one later).
But leading the pack is tonight’s premiere of Bennett Miller’s long-awaited Foxcatcher, which screened for press at 8:30 AM this morning to a wall-to-wall crowd at the Grand Theatre Lumiere (an overflow screening was quickly set up for those who couldn’t get in at the nearby Salle du Soixantieme). And at the press conference that followed, there were loud “bravos” from some journalists as Miller, stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, along with producers Megan Ellison and Jon Kilik, entered the room. That is not usually the case at these things — at least in my experience with the jaded press corps here. The accolades are well-deserved. This is 3-for-3 in the short filmography of Miller, whose two previous films – Capote and Moneyball – went on to Best Picture Oscar nominations. Foxcatcher will make it a third and continues to give distributor Sony Pictures Classics a very good Cannes outing so far following near universal praise for the first film seen in competition, Mr. Turner (it releases December 19). I’m also predicting some sort of prize here at Cannes when the Jury hands them out on Saturday. Certainly Carell is a solid Best Actor contender here for his mind-blowing , slow-burning and completely unexpected turn as wealthy heir John Du Pont, who in 1988 establishes his own stable of world-class American wrestlers at the mammoth DuPont estate engaging in a twisted relationship with two brothers that ended in murder. Sony Classics had intended to release this film last December and even had set an AFI Fest world premiere in early November, but it was abruptly cancelled when Miller decided he needed more time to shape the film, and SPC had to pull it from their 2013 awards-season plans.
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EOne has dropped the first trailer for David Cronenberg’s thriller Maps To The Stars. Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadan star in the ghost story that’s described as a scathing attack on celebrity-obsessed LA. Bruce Wagner penned the script. Check it out: