CANNES - Jeffrey Katzenberg had quite the Cannes. "How To Train Your Dragon 2" played out of competition with a standing ovation from the festival faithful and he found himself awarded Commander of the Order Of Arts And Letters by the French government. It all coincides with the 20th Anniversary of DreamWorks (although DreamWorks' first animated film didn't arrive until 1998) and was some welcome good news for Katzenberg and DWA.
I was glued to the Twitter application of my iPhone Sunday night waiting for the reactions to Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" to roll in as the film bowed in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. It was interesting to watch the first wave of knee-jerks, all of them just a touch muted, I assume because Miller is not a filmmaker whose movies hit you right away. They kind of seep into you the more you spin away from them, and I got the feeling "Foxcatcher" is absolutely one such example.
One of the most anticipated films at the Cannes Film Festival this year is Ryan Gosling's directorial debut "Lost River," starring "Mad Men's" Christina Hendricks. The neo-noir reunites Gosling with his "Place Beyond the Pines" co-stars Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelsohn, although Gosling is staying behind the camera. "River" also stars Matt Smith ("Doctor Who), Iain De Caestecker ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") and Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna"). The gang descended on Cannes for a photo call on Tuesday, with the world premiere following later this week.
CANNES - There are few faces -- individual, honest-to-God faces -- in the movies today quite like that of Marion Cotillard, her startling beauty assembled from oddly sized, quizzical features that mightn't hang quite right on anyone else's bones. She looks like no one else, and yet never quite resembles herself on screen either: it's a face that different angles and contexts can turn from silken to sallow, hunter to hunted, goddess to guttersnipe. It is, in other words, the closest thing to a character actor's face that a cover girl can have.
CANNES - If "masterpiece" is a word that critics should use with extreme caution -- never more so than at film festivals, where snap judgments are unavoidable but inflexible -- the same should probably go for the filmmakers under scrutiny. Naomi Kawase, the Japanese auteur arguably revered more by Cannes programmers than by anyone else, became a target of derision last week when she announced in an interview that her new film "Still the Water" is her "masterpiece," and that her eyes are firmly fixed on the Palme d'Or.
CANNES - Sometimes directors live in vacuum. You work on a movie for months, you become ingrained with it. That means other films, performances, life events pass you by. Keep that in mind when you see quotes from Bennett Miller that he'd never seen Steve Carell "give material evidence that he could do [anything] like" his performance in "Foxcatcher." Because, frankly, that's not the case.
I've been a little desperate for some new "Guardians of the Galaxy" footage. It seems like the same material from the first teaser has been re-purposed ad nauseam for a number of months now and, this being a pretty bold and risky project from Marvel Studios, I've been very, very curious. Today we got a new trailer for the film and finally get a load of what James Gunn has been whipping up.
CANNES - When you have Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack and David Cronenberg on a panel for thirty minutes you expect a lively and intelligent conversation. Maybe it was the mixed reviews for Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars" or maybe it was just the always dicey prospects of the international press corps but, sadly, this was one press conference that was sort of a dud.
CANNES - The will to win has rarely seemed more self-defeating than it does in "Foxcatcher,” a sinuous, methodical true-crime drama in which the moral and psychological rot sets in long before any crime is committed. Just as Bennett Miller’s first two features, “Capote” and “Moneyball,” were portraits of coolly driven individuals possessed by their own passion projects, so is this remarkable film -- a study of sociopathic billionaire John du Pont’s quest to annex as much of America’s wrestling empire as money and ego could buy. But where Miller’s previous films culminated, however tortuously, in creation -- of a landmark book, a formula that changes the future of baseball -- aspiration here results only in lives literally and spiritually destroyed.
CANNES - Ned Benson's "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" seems to have been well-received in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival after debuting in two parts in Toronto last year. With that reception has come a lot of favorable ink for actress Jessica Chastain. Perhaps it's for those reasons and more (like, um, relaxing in the south of France) that the actress was as cheerful as ever when Greg Ellwood sat down with her to discuss her performance in the film earlier this week.