CANNES - Last year, Lionsgate held a party to celebrate "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" on the beach here, only to have steady rain put a slight damper on the proceedings. This year, lady luck was on their side with sunny skies and every major cast member on hand as the upcoming "Mockingjay Part 1" was the theme of the night. The studio moved the extravaganza to a decadent private mansion 30 minutes outside of Cannes in Antibes. Needless to say, the Capitol City elite would have been proud.
CANNES - After debuting last September at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in separate "Him" and "Her" versions, the combined "Them" (version) of Ned Benson's "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" screened on this side of the pond this afternoon. "Him" and "Her" told a story of a couple in crisis from the different perspectives of the film's main characters, Connor (James McAvoy) and the eponymous Eleanor (Jessica Chastain). "Them" is an attempt to tell the story as an equitable narrative for both characters, but it is clearly still driven by Eleanor's heartache and emotional journey.
CANNES - Another year and another Cannes means The Weinstein Company is once more staging a show and tell for their upcoming slate. After ending 2013 on a somewhat disappointing note at the box office, TWC is hoping a number of new titles can change their fortunes over the rest of this calendar year. The company's annual presentation consisted of familiar trailers for titles releasing in the next few months and selected clips from projects that we haven't seen any footage from up until now. Oh, and Harvey, of course.
CANNES - While the Cannes Film Festival is known for its celebrity-filled red carpets and the prestigious Palme d'Or, it's also a major film market for distributors around the world. For over 50 years international production companies have hawked completed films or movies they are trying to secure financing for to theater owners from the far corners of the globe. For good reasons and bad, the Cannes Film Market is also notorious for its sometimes hilarious promo posters for films that may never see the light of day in the United States.
CANNES - Speaking to a colleague this evening, we felt it was clear "Grace of Monaco" is on its way to being one of those highly anticipated festival films that critics viciously pounce on when it's not good. Both myself and Guy Lodge are not fans of it, but we can admit it's entertaining in a bad movie way. The general word is so negative you'd think it was "Diana" or "God's Pocket" (it's bad, but it's not unwatchable in a campy way).
CANNES - Nicole Kidman is back in Cannes for the third year in a row, but this visit may be her least memorable. The Oscar winner stars as cinema icon Grace Kelly in the festival's opening night film, "Grace of Monaco," and the early reviews have not been good. Throw in the fact that Kelly's family has announced they are boycotting the picture and, well, you have to give her credit for being willing to appear before a throng of global journalists at the festival's kick-off press conference.
CANNES - The arrival of the Cannes Film Market means the first buzz and first looks at a number of upcoming films. Many have US distribution, many do not. One film that has displayed its first imagery is StudioCanal's new adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
ANAHEIM - First thing's first. The new "Fantastic Four" movie is definitely happening. No delays, no recasting. Josh Trank's vision is going to come to fruition. That's the word from the movie's screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg who was on the Baton Rouge, LA set two days ago and reveals that production begins in earnest in two weeks.
ANAHEIM - Simon Kinberg had an unexpected trip to WonderCon on Saturday. The "X-Men: Days of Future Past" screenwriter and producer stepped in for director Bryan Singer who finds himself in the middle of a publicity nightmare surrounding abuse allegations that took place almost 14 years ago. It's a rare moment in the spotlight for Kinberg who, in many ways, has become the key man on 20th Century Fox's superhero movies.
The last four or five editions of the Cannes Film Festival have been heavy on global movie star power. Sure, it won't always compete with Hollywood fueled Toronto, but the programmers have made sure the paparazzi have had someone pretty to photograph on the festival's legendary red carpet. 2014 is no different.