Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to this year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep. The Turkish drama took the top prize despite its daunting 3-hour, 16-minute run time that even had jury president Jane Campion wondering if she’d need a bathroom break in the middle of the Palais premiere. “But it had such a beautiful rhythm and it just took me in,” Campion said at the post-awards press conference. “Actually I could have sat there for another two hours. It was all very Chekhovian. I could see myself in all of the characters.” Adopt plans a year-end 2014 U.S. release.
It’s all over but the re-runs. The 67th Cannes Film Festival unofficially ended Saturday night with the crowning of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s endless, but admired, Chekovian epic Winter Sleep being crowned with the coveted Palme d’Or. Because French elections fall on Monday the festival decided to end the key competition a day early and leave Sunday to repeats of movies shown earlier, just as they did on Saturday where fortunately I was able to catch up with Winter Sleep just so I would be prepared for its big victory. At 3 hours and 16 minutes it was easily the longest movie in the competition and still managed to prove, just as the three-hour Blue Is The Warmest Color did last year, that length doesn’t matter when it comes to impressing juries. At the post – press conference Jury President Jane Campion said she was worried initially. “I was scared when I looked at the running time and it said three hours and fifteen minutes. I thought I might need a toilet break. But it had such a beautiful rhythm and it just took me in. Actually I could have sit there for another two hours. It was all very Chekhovian. I could see myself in all of the characters,” she said. Another two hours? Don’t encourage him, Jane. Turkish arthouse fave Ceylan has been coming to Cannes for an ego boost for years and …
UPDATE 11:24 AM PT: Before my colleague Pete Hammond weighs in with his analysis of tonight’s winners and comments from the jury, here’s a little bit about what went down at the prize ceremony. There were several emotional moments with Master of Ceremonies Lambert Wilson kicking things off by saying, “The best things have an end. Not films.” He introduced outgoing Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob, who is leaving the organization after joining in 1977. In a fitting turn in his last official capacity, he awarded the Camera d’Or for best first feature and received a standing ovation on his way onto the stage, and as he exited. There were not a lot of dry eyes for the rest of the running, as Best Actor Timothy Spall fought back his own tears, and Xavier Dolan, the enfant terrible of Canadian cinema, accepted his shared Jury Prize for Mommy. This was his first film in the main competition after first coming to Cannes in 2009 with I Killed My Mother in Directors’ Fortnight at the ripe young age of 20. He particularly thanked jury president Jane Campion, telling her that The Piano helped to define his career. There were some surprises, and some films that we expected would win statues. Pete will tell you more in just a bit.
Sundance Selects To Release Palme d’Or Winner ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ With NC-17 Rating In The US
Blue Is The Warmest Color hasn’t had an easy road since it won the top prize at Cannes in May. First Abdellatif Kechiche’s film was ruled ineligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race because of its October 9 opening in France, which is nine days after the deadline for a submitting country. Now the controversial lesbian drama’s US distributor says it will release the film domestically with an adults-only NC-17 rating. Sundance Selects, which isn’t an MPAA member, says it opted not to trim scenes of “explicit sexual content” or release the pic unrated. Warmest Color, starring Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos, will open October 25, shortly after its screening at the New York Film Festival. “This is a landmark film with two of the best female performances we have ever seen on screen,” Sundance Selects/IFC Films President Jonathan Sehring said in a statement. “The film is first and foremost a film about love, coming of age and passion. We refuse to compromise Kechiche’s vision by trimming the film for an R rating. … An NC-17 rating no longer holds the stigma it once did.”
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Adéle Exarchopoulos, the 19-year old actress who stars with Lea Seydoux in Blue Is The Warmest Color (La Vie D’Adele). That film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May, and for the first time in festival history, the prize was given to Exarchopoulos and Seydoux along with the film’s director Abdellatif Kechiche. IFC’s Sundance Selects will release in the U.S. the critically acclaimed film about the awakening of a young woman who engages in a lesbian relationship. Exarchopoulos’s credits include Boxes (Les Boites), Les Enfants de Timpelbach and La Rafle. The actress is managed in France by Bunch of Talents.
EXCLUSIVE: When controversial French sensation Blue Is The Warmest Color won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, it was expected to be a major player in the upcoming Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film. Now it’s ineligible to compete and not even impassioned pleas from Sundance Selects, its American distributor, have done the trick. This unexpected development as first reported on Deadline is due to its October 9th French opening. Local distributor Wild Bunch will not change the date in order to comply with an arcane Academy rule that says each film must have opened in the country of origin by the end of September. Now Sundance Selects/IFC Films President Jonathan Sehring who picked up the U.S. rights to Blue in Cannes is very disappointed that this decision appears irreversible. “I talked to them about it and said it was a missed opportunity if you don’t qualify it. So they actually were going to do a qualification run in the town where it was shot in Northern France,” Sehring tells me. “But ultimately the French governing body said no. It had to be a wide release in order for it to qualify and so [Wild Bunch] called and said ‘We don’t want to move off our date. We have a great date.’ It’s unfortunate.”
Although it won’t help Blue this year, Sehring hopes the Academy will deep-six the September 30th eligibility date and change it in the future to be more reflective of the realities of the international film industry. “It’s a global business right now and [it's not good] to hold the Foreign Language titles to a September 30th date. This present Academy administration has been really great about re-visiting things that don’t really make sense and I’m just hoping that will happen.” However as a distributor he does fully understand the Wild Bunch decision and its box office potential in France. “What could be better than that for them? If the French want to choose it as next year’s title I can always hope there, but unfortunately it didn’t work out in terms of qualification,” he said.
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:
Blue Is The Warmest Color, dir: Abdellatif Kechiche
Inside Llewyn Davis, Ethan and Joel Coen
Amat Escalante, Heli
Like Father, Like Son, dir: Hirokazu Kore-Eda
Zhangke Jia, A Touch Of Sin
Bérénice Bejo, The Past
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Ilo Ilo, dir: Anthony Chen
Safe, dir: Byoung-Gon Moon
Special mention: 37°4 S, dir: Adriano Valerio
Whale Valley dir: Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson
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.
It’s all over now, and really all over at Cannes for the American contingent of five competition entries plus English-language films like Walter Salles’ On The Road and David Cronenberg’s not-well-received Robert Pattinson starrer Cosmopolis. The Cannes Jury led by italian actor-director Nanni Moretti has spoken and Americans hoping for a repeat of last year when the single U.S. entry, The Tree Of Life actually won the Palme d’Or, are crying in their french onion soup. At the post-awards press conference American jury member Alexander Payne was asked if he thought the ‘Americannes’ snub said anything about the overall quality of the country’s movies. He snapped back that one festival does not speak for the state of cinema in any one country.
The closest thing to a film American audiences won’t need subtitles for is Ken Loach’s wonderful The Angels’ Share which is set in Glasgow and features accents so thick the filmmaker decided to add English subtitles. It is also the only comedy to take a prize as the jury mainly favored some of the more dour, serious-minded films in the race. Cannes juries often do that. Backstage Loach was elegant when he said his film shows solidarity with all those in Europe who resist austerity and believe “another world, a better world is possible”.
There’s also one head-scratcher just about every year and this year it’s a beheaded scratcher, Post Tenebras Lux from Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas in which a man rather remarkably manages to twist off his head using only his hands. There’s also a pointless orgy scene thrown in but even its defenders are hard-pressed to say what this film is about. So of course they gave him a major prize, Best Director. At the press conference at least two of the jurors strongly defended the film. They were so convincing they had me believing that I must have seen a different film.
Michael Haneke’s Amour today took the Palme d’Or prize for Best Film at the finale to this year’s Cannes Film Festival. A hugely popular win at today’s ceremony as well as its premiere, the intimate drama about an elderly couple confronting the end of life was Haneke’s second win in three years. He won in 2009 for White Ribbon. Haneke and his actors on stage Jean Louis Trintignant and Emmanuele Riva received a huge standing ovation. The five American entries were shut out of the top awards — last year’s winner was the single U.S. entry, Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, and all this year’s were foreign-language films. FULL ANALYSIS and interviews with the jury coming.
Cosmina Stratan and Christina Flutor shared the Best Actress prize for Çristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills. Mungiu also was awarded the prize for best screenplay for Beyond The Hills, which was a rare case in which the jury honored one film with two awards. Mads Mikkelsen was named best actor for Jagten (The Hunt) directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Carlos Reygadas was named best director for Post Tenebras Lux. The Jury Prize went to Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share. The ceremony began with the prize for Best Short Film going to Sezziz Be Deng (Silent) by L. Rezan Yesilbas.
This year’s Sundance Film Festival hit Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which …
In the end, it was the movie that has been the most talked about over the past two Cannes Film Festivals, so it was probably preordained, even in a great year for movies like this one has been, that Terrence Malick’s epic dissertation on life would win the big prize, the Palme d’Or, and so it has. But Malick wasn’t there to accept for The Tree of Life, and instead producers Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner took the stage, saying he was too shy to show, a line they first used in their post-screening press conference and later tonight at a post-awards news conference. They were joined at the press confab by a jubilant Patrick Wachsberger of Summit, who has been handling international distribution, and EuropaCorp’s Luc Besson. Pohlad said he talked to Malick just before the show and said, “I think there’s a chance we might win something.” Gardner said Malick told her he would have thanked his wife and parents if he were there, but of course he wasn’t there. Earlier in the week at the premiere, he skipped the news conference and the red carpet but appeared in the theatre to take applause and see the film. The Tree of Life was the sole competition entry to be designated as American, even though two other winners …
Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, which just handed out its awards. The reclusive director did not attend the ceremony, and the award was picked up by producers Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner. The meditative drama starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Sean Penn received a mixed reaction when it had its world premiere in competition this week, a year after it was supposed to appear at the festival. Fox Searchlight opens the film in the U.S. on May 27. Here is the full list of winners, with an analysis coming later today:
Palme d’Or: The Tree Of Life (dir: Terrence Malick)
Grand Prix (Runner-up to main award): (tie) Kid With A Bike (dir: Dardenne brothers), Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Mise en Scene (Best Director): Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Prix du Scenario (Screenplay): Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Israel)
Prix Du Jury: Poliss (dir: Maiwenn)
Palme d’Or Court Metrage: Cross Country (dir: Maryna Vroda)
Camera d’Or (Best First Film): Las Acasias (dir: Pablo Giorgelli)