<p>Director Abdellatif Kechiche (left) and actors Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux receive the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film&nbsp;Festival.</p>

Director Abdellatif Kechiche (left) and actors Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux receive the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Francois Mori

'Blue is the Warmest Color' wins Palme d'Or at Cannes, Coens take second place

Spielberg's jury made history by handing top prize to the film's director and stars

CANNES - There were those who suggested that a Cannes jury headed by Steven Spielberg might be responsible for a lot of safe choices, but the Hollywood legend sure proved us wrong. Not only did did he present the Palme d'Or to "Blue is the Warmest Color," Abdellatif Kechiche's edgy, erotic epic about first lesbian love, but he also made history by handing the award jointly to Kechiche and the film's two young stars -- an unprecedented move that brazenly dodges the festival's recent, restrictive rule that the winner of the top prize can't also take an acting award.

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<p>Can Michael Douglas win Best Actor at Cannes for an Emmy-bound performance?</p>

Can Michael Douglas win Best Actor at Cannes for an Emmy-bound performance?

Credit: HBO

Previewing the Cannes Film Festival awards: What will win, and what should

Who will get the gold from Steven Spielberg and his fellow jurors?

CANNES - I say it every year: trying to predict the Cannes Film Festival awards is a fool's errand. Unlike, say, the Oscars, you aren't making educated guesses about a large, consistent body of voters with plenty of precedent and precursor information to go on. The Cannes jury is tiny, highly idiosyncratic and changes every year; you're effectively trying to read the minds of nine individuals with no voting track record. Who knows whether Nicole Kidman harbors a quiet passion for Mexican new wave cinema, or if Steven Spielberg is an unlikely Jim Jarmusch devotee? Perhaps not even them, until they see the films in question.

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<p>Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux in &quot;Blue is the Warmest Color.&quot;</p>

Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux in "Blue is the Warmest Color."

Credit: Sundance Selects

Early Cannes awards for 'Blue is the Warmest Color,' 'The Past,' 'Fruitvale Station'

Cambodian film 'The Missing Picture' wins Un Certain Regard section

CANNES - With screenings having wrapped here at the Cannes Film Festival, all eyes are on tomorrow's big awards. I'll preview those in the morning, but in the meantime, we received the first Competition bellwether in the form of the FIPRESCI Critics' prize, which went to Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour lesbian romantic drama "Blue is the Warmest Color" -- currently the bookies' favorite for the Palme d'Or.

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<p>Julian&nbsp;Assange</p>

Julian Assange

Credit: AP Photo

WikiLeaks goes to war with Alex Gibney over 'We Steal Secrets'

A series of talking points and a full annotated transcript hit the net

When I saw Alex Gibney's new documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" at Sundance, I was bowled over. My instant reaction was mostly admiration for Gibney, who has become "a beast at his craft," as my first blush Tweet noted. The film, opening in limited release this weekend, is a towering study of one of the most enigmatic figures of our time, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and it will surely be seen as the definitive documentary of the organization, which trades in leaked classified information that has had an impact on everything from the Arab Spring to perceptions of National Security here at home.

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<p>Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in &quot;Only Lovers Left Alive.&quot;</p>

Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in "Only Lovers Left Alive."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Cannes Review: Swinton and Hiddleston don't bite in 'Only Lovers Left Alive'

HitFix
C+
Readers
A-
Jim Jarmusch is on typically deadpan form in mildly amusing vampire film

CANNES - A Jim Jarmusch vampire movie? Sure, why not? Much of "Only Lovers Left Alive" seems to have been made in this spontaneous, scarcely thought-through spirit, which is responsible for what is both most appealing and most enervating about it. It's a designer doodle of a dream, like much of Jarmusch's work, though it's clear some effort has gone into making it appear this cast-off. If the "Twilight" series has taught us anything, it's that vampires are natural poseurs, which creates a stronger creative bond between Stephenie Meyer and the bequiffed crown prince of American indie cinema then you might have expected.

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<p>Ethan&nbsp;Hawke and&nbsp;Julie Delpy in &quot;Before Midnight&quot;</p>

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in "Before Midnight"

Credit: Sony Classics

Tell us what you thought of 'Before Midnight'

Audiences revisit Celine and Jesse this weekend

For many of our readers, I know today has been circled on the calendar for a long while. Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight" brings a third look into the lives of Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke). It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it was very well received and was soon after picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. It featured prominently in our summer movie preview feature here at HitFix and I, of course, am over the moon for the film. I can't wait to give it another look. For now, though, let's hear what you thought of it. Rifle off your thoughts in the comments section and as always, feel free to vote in our poll below.

<p>Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;The Immigrant.&quot;</p>

Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in "The Immigrant."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Cannes Review: Fifty shades of James Gray on show in exquisite 'The Immigrant'

HitFix
A-
Readers
A+
Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix play out a bad romance in 1920s-set drama

CANNES - James Gray has always made period films – it’s just that they haven’t always been set in the past. Since arriving on the scene as a precocious 25-year-old with his Venice-laurelled 1994 debut “Little Odessa,” the New Yorker has unobtrusively fostered a reputation as one of the American cinema’s last true classicists, his writing and visual storytelling alike distinguished by an unfashionable emotional sincerity and matte polish – virtues that the French have embraced far more openly over the years than Gray’s compatriots.

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<p>Marion Cotillard in &quot;Blood Ties.&quot;</p>

Marion Cotillard in "Blood Ties."

Credit: Lionsgate

Cannes Review: Starry, diverting 'Blood Ties' is no thicker than water

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
Matthias Schoenaerts the ensemble standout in overlong period thriller

CANNES - Fans of New York-based writer-director (and lovingly adopted son of France) James Gray are getting a lot of bang for their, well, Euro at this year's Cannes Film Festival. His long-awaited new feature "The Immigrant" may be the main attraction, of course, but he also has a writing credit on Guillaume Canet's thriller "Blood Ties" -- a film that might be described as too James Gray for Gray to have directed himself. Between its elegiac genre qualities, its fuzzily gray visual textures, even its age-old tale of brothers on opposite sides of the law, it's a veritable checklist of attributes from the director's past films; small wonder it took a Frenchman to make it.

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<p>Judi&nbsp;Dench at the 2013 BAFTA&nbsp;Awards</p>

Judi Dench at the 2013 BAFTA Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Weinstein acquires Stephen Frears's 'Philomena' with Judi Dench for Fall 2013 release

This one looks poised for an awards run

The Weinstein Company came to Cannes ready to show off with films like "Only God Forgives" (via VOD shingle RADiUS), "The Immigrant" and "Fruitvale Station" in tow, not to mention a big presentation of material including peeks at biopics "Grace of Monaco" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom". There were rumblings that footage from Judi Dench starrer "Philomena" at the film market had revved the distributors engines, and indeed, today TWC has announced acquisition of the title in the US, UK and Spain and positioned it in the fall of 2013, obviously aiming for an awards trajectory.

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<p>Bruce Dern and Will Forte in &quot;Nebraska.&quot;</p>

Bruce Dern and Will Forte in "Nebraska."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Cannes Review: Alexander Payne goes home, but doesn't hit home, in 'Nebraska'

HitFix
C
Readers
n/a
Amusing moments outweighed by sour notes in minor-key family drama

CANNES - "Nebraska," Alexander Payne's latest dramedy of American ennui and mislaid family relationships, opens with a vintage monochrome Paramount Pictures ident standing in for the flashier, CGI-enhanced mountain peak of recent years. It's a detail that may strike you either as a cute throwaway (hey, the film's in old-timey black-and-white!) or something rather more calculated. Like so many of his peers, Payne is deeply indebted to the American new wave of the 1970s, and with its Bogdanovich-esque lensing and revival of Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" cops to that debt pretty openly with this badge of cinematic classicism. That's all well and good, but is it stretching to detect a certain smug conservatism there too, a whiff of self-congratulation in its resistance to the new?

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