When the Cannes Film Festival's Official Selection was unveiled last week, many were surprised not to see one carry-over from the Sundance fest in the Un Certain Regard section -- in recent years, it's been something of a tradition for a Park City sensation (often the Grand Jury Prize winner) to compete again there, with the likes of "Precious" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" getting a second surge of festival buzz on the Croisette.
We'd been waiting a good long while to see James Gray's "The Immigrant" even before it premiered at Cannes 11 months ago, and we've been waiting a good long while since -- split festival reviews presumably made The Weinstein Company cautious with this delicate art-house item, but those excited for it have been understandably impatient. Anyway, the wait (in the US, at least) is almost over, with the film set to hit screens on May 16 -- just as Cannes 2014 starts up, as it happens. And while the posters thus far haven't exactly sold the film, the latest trailer is rather more seductive.
Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival is one of those institutions that generally looks impressive only in retrospect. In advance, it's hard to tell which of the films selected for the sidebar will really land, but look back at the archives, and it's remarkable how many significant films -- from Ken Loach's "Kes" to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu's "Amores Perros" -- have quietly premiered there.
As noted in last week's news about Steve Spielberg saddling up to a new Tony Kushner script, the Oscar-winning director has plenty on his plate, as always. The Film Stage recently dug through all the possibilities and came up with an ordered list of eight projects most likely to come to fruition, including a Cold War project, further details of which have bubbled up today.
With ratings on the rise over the last three years, the Academy is sticking with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as Oscarcast producers.
As I've written before, Kelly Reichardt's "Night Moves" is a film that creeps up on you even after you've seen it -- even as a devoted Reichardt fan, after seeing it in September, I wasn't sure I'd still be thinking about it the next spring, but here we are. It's tough to sell this kind of slow-burner with a single clip, but this one -- debuting exclusively on HitFix -- gives a pretty precise indication of the indie thriller's brittle, nervous tone, with every exchange between the characters from a certain point building the fractious tension.
Ever since the Cannes International Film Festival knocked down a few walls between itself and the West in 2001 with festival director Thierry Frémaux coming on board to liven up the Croisette with more of a Hollywood acceptance, the connection between the annual May event and the awards season has become more pronounced.
For me, there are two immediately interesting takeaways from the news that Steve Spielberg will be developing the religious drama "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara." The first is that it would mark his third collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner after "Munich" and "Lincoln." The other is that the project would be a co-production between DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company.
The Academy has filled out its calendar for the 2014-2015 Oscar season, which is set to kick off even earlier than last year as the Governors Awards date has been yanked up a week to Saturday, Nov. 8. The nominations will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 15, while the Oscars, of course, are set for Sunday, Feb. 22.
There was slight disappointment for those awaiting "Animal Kingdom" director David Michôd's buzzy post-apocalyptic revenge thriller "The Rover" this morning -- it didn't nab a slot in the Cannes Competition. Nevertheless, it will premiere at the festival in the Midnight Screenings section, and if this stark, moody and decidedly unsettling first trailer is anything to go by, that might be the right place for it.