CANNES — “Mad Max: Fury Road” hit the Croisette this morning and like their counterparts in America and the UK, the global media went gaga for George Miller’s visual masterpiece. Before the movie's red carpet screening, the director and his cast sat down for a packed press conference in the Palais. While Theron wasn't asked about the silly controversy centered on misogynists who are calling for men to boycott the movie, Miller was asked what the original Mad Max, none other than Mel Gibson, thought of the movie.
CANNES — Once upon a time there were fairy tales that were strange and horrific. Fairy tales that were meant to entertain and to enlighten. Fairy tales that weren't just meant for young children. Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone takes you back to that time with "Tale of Tales," his loose adaptation of Giambattista Basile's "The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones," which screened Wednesday night at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The result is a slightly bumpy two hours of storytelling, but it's peppered with wonder and unexpected humor.
We mentioned in our Cannes/Oscar preview that Fox Searchlight was circling Paolo Sorrentino's competition play "Youth." Well, they closed the deal. Last year's Best Picture victor adds the film to an eclectic slate that already includes Sundance hits "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and "Brooklyn" as well as Jean-Marc Vallée's "Demolition" and Luca Guadagnino's "A Bigger Splash."
Another pick-up at the Cannes Film Festival for Lionsgate this morning was Michael Grandage's "Genius," which feels like awards bait given the subject matter and the talent involved. The film tells the story of Scribner book editor Max Perkins, who oversaw works by legends like Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in his time. The script, based on the book by A. Scott Berg, was written by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan ("Gladiator," "The Aviator," "Hugo").
CANNES — If it's opening day at the Cannes Film Festival that means it's time for another awkward press conference with the competition jury. Typically, a Cannes jury is comprised of nine directors, actors and artists from all over the world who have often never met each other beforehand and have no intention of tipping their hands that they might actually already be looking forward to seeing particular films in the competition. The good news is that you can always count on a few members of the international press corps to ask some silly questions or get their facts so inexplicably wrong (guys, "Mad Max: Fury Road" isn't in competition) you wonder how they got credentialed in the first place.
CANNES — It doesn't take long to understand the important message Emmanuelle Bercot wants to convey with her new drama "La tête haute" (Standing Tall)." Effectively, she wants you to know that the juvenile court system can be used to positively affect the lives of troubled youth, but if and only if the people involved care enough to stick by their kids. To Bercot's credit, it's a particular point of view that you rarely hear of outside of documentaries and hour-long news programs. Unfortunately, "Standing Tall" takes way too long to reach its happy ending.
Angelina Jolie, Kristen Stewart or Ryan Gosling won't be walking the iconic red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Nor will Lionsgate be holding another glamorous shindig with J-Law, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth on hand to celebrate it's blockbuster "Hunger Games" franchise. And, thankfully, we won't have the "Expendables" crew pretending to drive a tank down la Croisette. That being said, the 68th Festival du Cannes may have more recognizable Hollywood or Hollywood-adjacent stars on hand than in recent memory. There are at least eight English-language films in competition and studio fare such as Pixar's "Inside Out," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and Woody Allen's latest, "Irrational Man," are screening as well. Basically, if you're a movie fan, you should pay attention because many of the films we'll be reporting on won't just hit your local art house, but mega-multiplex as well.
OK, we have more than a half a year of movies to go, so "win" is hyperbole. But thanks for clicking all the same. What I'm saying is George Miller's latest is such a nuts-and-bolts marvel of the form that not only should it be up for consideration in a number of areas, it really ought to be the impetus that drives the Academy to finally add a certain new category that has long been championed in some industry circles.
Two years after his Oscar-winning juggernaut "Gravity" opened the Venice Film Festival, director Alfonso Cuarón has been tapped to preside over the International Jury for the upcoming 72nd edition of the fall festival season kick-off.