'Traumatized critics exhale.'
When last year's Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron were tapped for the 2014 Academy Awards, speculation immediately swirled around the possibility that they would offer hosting duties to Seth MacFarlane once again. With Academy president Hawk Koch keeping the "consistency" mantra going -- citing a ratings boost, though failing to consider that the films in play had plenty to do with it -- it made sense that MacFarlane might be back, regardless of the critical thrashing he and the telecast took in February.
Indeed, an offer was extended to the "Family Guy" funny man, despite his stern "no way" response to a Twitter query in the wake of the 85th annual show about whether he'd consider it again. Well, whether he was game or he wasn't, MacFarlane has officially dropped out of the running today, he revealed on Twitter. And he even took a bit of a shot at that critical thrashing in the process.
T Bone Burnett spills the beans...a bit early
CANNES - Quick bit from the Croisette. The festival is still coming off a high following the rapturous premiere of the Coen Bros. "Inside Llewyn Davis" Sunday evening and, most likely, many members of the audience still have a song or two from the film's early '60s folk soundtrack stuck in their head.
The prestige distributor also handled Asghar Farhadi's 'A Separation'
CANNES - As a rule, Sony Pictures Classics tends to make the first big acquisitions strike at the Cannes Film Festival: last year, they moved quickly when Chilean sensation "No" started getting sidebar buzz (and steered it all the way to an Oscar nomination.
Is it possible to make these kids sympathetic?
CANNES - Sofia Coppola is a bit tired. As we sit down for one of her last interviews of the day it's clear she's lost a wee bit of enthusiasm to talk once again about the world of celebrity culture her characters in "The Bling Ring" are obsessed with. She succinctly notes, "You can't really look at US Weekly as in the same way after making this movie."
Where was Peeta?
CANNES - Lionsgate tried to bring a taste of the "Hunger Games" to Cannes Saturday night with a Capitol City party on the Croisette in honor of the upcoming sequel "Catching Fire." After grossing $400 million in the U.S. you might wonder why the studio would shell out big bucks to trek stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and new cast member Sam Clafin to the south of France for one day of red carpets and a swank beachfront party. This wasn't about America, though, this was about the world.
Oscar Isaac is a revelation in melancholy study of arrested artistry
- Critic's Rating B+
- Readers' Rating A
CANNES - For artists now closing in on their thirtieth year of sustained filmmaking success, Joel and Ethan Coen still find an inordinate amount of inspiration in failure. From Barton Fink to Larry Gopnik to the Dude himself, underachievement – whether by personal or social standards – has been the hallmark of many a great Coen hero, sometimes more proudly (and more deservedly) than others. To this estimable gallery of schmucks, we can now add Llewyn Davis: a sincerely talented musician, a compellingly gauche social maladjust and, as played by the winningly rumpled Oscar Isaac, star of one of the brothers’ most bittersweet films.
Putting a bow on last year's awards season with a few laughs
You didn't think "Argo" and its Oscar run was through with you yet, did you?
Tonight on "Saturday Night Live," last year's golden boy Ben Affleck took up hosting duties for the fifth time in his career, bringing the 38th season of the show to a close and putting a big bow on the 2012-2013 Oscar season.
Love and radiation in a nuclear world
- Critic's Rating B+
- Readers' Rating n/a
CANNES - After making her feature film debut with 2010's "Belle Epine," director Rebecca Zlotowski returns to Cannes with the compelling new drama "Grand Central." While Zlotowski benefits from the presence of a number of critically acclaimed French actors this is the sort sophomore jump that will cement her status as one to watch within the global filmmaking community.
How has the franchise fared at the Academy Awards over the decades?
J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" has arrived. From here the film goes out into the unforgiving summer and we'll just have to see where it stands fiscally on the other side of things. But I imagine at the very least its various craft achievements will be in the awards discussion at the end of the year.
So with that in mind, how has a franchise that spans 12 films over 34 years fared at the Academy Awards all this time? It seemed like something worth digging into for our purposes here and with the new film on screens, so let's take a look…
Competition's first outright dud is a major letdown from Arnaud Desplechin
- Critic's Rating C-
- Readers' Rating n/a
CANNES - Something's ailing Benicio Del Toro's title character in "Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian)," but let's lay that to one side for now. More pressingly, what is up with Arnaud Desplechin? The French writer-director is typically one of his country's liveliest talents, with big, crowded, unapologetically chaotic films like "A Christmas Tale" and "Kings and Queen" bristling with emotional and intellectual curiosity -- but he's come a cropper in this lethargic, self-important psychiatry study, which he himself seems to have directed from the couch.