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.
Un Certain Regard entry sets pulses racing with surfeit of steamy gay action
- Critic's Rating B
- Readers' Rating n/a
CANNES - Nothing I've seen at Cannes so far -- not even the current Palme d'Or favorite, Hirokazu Kore-eda's button-cute parenthood drama "Like Father, Like Son" -- has, to my ear, pushed the end-credits clap-o-meter quite as far into the red as Alain Guiraudie's Un Certain Regard entry "Stranger by the Lake." Elated whoops and whistles greeted this minimalist French thriller's final fade to black: not the reaction you'd usually expect from a civilian festival crowd for a work of such sleek, stark nihilism as to prompt visions of Robert Bresson adapting Patricia Highsmith. All of which leads me to at least one conclusion: audiences out there are really starved for gay sex.
Matthias Schoenaerts will also star in the Fox Searchlight co-production
A year ago at Cannes, Dogme 95 co-founding filmmaking Thomas Vinterberg was stirring up talk with his film "The Hunt." It went on to win an acting award for Mads Mikkelsen, currently creeping out television audiences in NBC's "Hannibal." Drew was a fan of the film, noting that it "infuriates in all the right ways." This year's fest brings news for Vinterberg's next.
Harvey holds court with Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara
CANNES - Harvey Weinstein took center stage Friday evening as The Weinstein Company held what has become a semi-annual preview of the rest of their yearly slate for select members of the domestic and international press corps at Cannes. In the past Weinstein has used this event to tease expected players such as "Nine" and "My Weekend with Marilyn." Last year, however, the event created a tremendous amount of buzz after a surprise 10 minute plus first look of "Django Unchained" as well as sneaks of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook." This time around "Grace," featuring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, "August: Osage County," starring Meryl Streep and an all-star cast, and "Mandela: A Long Road to Freedom," starring Idris Elba as the legendary South African civil rights leader, were the more anticipated sneaks. And yet it "Only God Forgives" star Kristin Scott Thomas who unexpectedly stole the show. More on that later, first let's get to the awards season players.
Noah Baumbach's latest heads out in limited release this weekend
Here's some counter-programming for you. Noah Baumbach's "Frances Ha" is slipping into select theaters this year as "Star Trek Into Darkness" dominates the wide release conversation. I saw and was delighted by the film at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival, and that's coming from someone not particularly in love with Baumbach's aesthetic. It's also one of our under-the-radar films for the 2013 summer movie season. Will we be talking about the screenplay and Greta Gerwig's performance come Oscar time? Can the film push out of the critics and indie awards circuits? Time will tell, but for now, those of you who get around to seeing it (or have caught it on the festival circuit the last few months), tell us what you thought in the comments section and by voting in our poll below.