'Blue is the Warmest Color' a thrilling Palme winner, but there's more good news
I wonder if Nanni Moretti is feeling just a tiny bit envious of Steven Spielberg right now. A year ago, the Italian filmmaker -- then wrapping up his stint at the president of the Cannes Film Festival -- politely grumbled that the awards hadn't gone entirely as he and his jurors would have liked. So enraptured were they by their universally well-received Palme d'Or choice, Michael Haneke's "Amour," that they wanted to throw it an extra award or two, particularly for its remarkable veteran leads Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Adaptation of Broadway hit is more fun than 'Carnage,' but just as minor
CANNES - For a man who spent the better part of a year under house arrest between 2009 and 2010, it's odd that Roman Polanski seems to have subjected his own art to the same punishment ever since. "Venus in Fur" is his second straight film -- after 2011's largely forgettable "Carnage" -- to fashion an economical stage play into clammy real-time cinema that doesn't leave the confines of a single interior space.
'Inside Llewyn Davis' has put the filmmaking siblings in rare air at the fest
It wouldn't be too apt to call the Coen brothers the Kings of the Croisette or anything. They have amassed five awards at the Cannes Film Festival throughout their career, but Lars Von Trier, the Dardenne brothers, Michael Haneke and, certainly, Ken Loach have all won more.
However, with today's announcement of awards at the 66th annual fest, the filmmaker siblings did enter a bit of rare air with their latest film, "Inside Llewyn Davis": Joel Coen joined Haneke and Wim Wenders as the only filmmakers to have netted a Palme d'Or, a Grand Prix and a Best Director award at the festival. A few have won two of the three, from Buñuel to Clouzot* to Antonioni* to Altman (and Malick, too), but only Haneke, Wenders and now Coen have scored the hat trick.
Here's a look back at the Coen brothers' history with Cannes…
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.
A weak year for awards season on the Croissete
CANNES - The granddaddy of global film festivals has always had an up and down relationship with Oscar. Over the past few years Best Picture nominees such as "Amour," "Midnight in Paris," "The Tree of Life," "Inglorious Basterds," "Babel" and "Up" had their world premiere's on the Croisette. Debuts "The Artist" and "No Country For Old Men" even went on to win the Best Picture prize. Before 2007, however, the pickings were slim for decades. For every "Pulp Fiction" and "Moulin Rouge!" there were multiple years where awards season and Cannes barely intertwined. 2013 looks like something of a mixed bag for films hoping to find recognition from the Academy down the road. Let's take a look at each major category and which contenders emerged from this year's Cannes.
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.
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.
For both good and bad reasons
CANNES - Spend a few days at a major film festival and it won't take long to run into someone who has an opinion on a movie. With the end of the 66th Cannes Film Festival drawing near, it's intriguing to look at some of the films that have generated a lot of buzz over the past week and a half.
Are people still talking about films from the beginning of the festival? Well, in the case of"Great Gatsby," "Jeune & Jolie" and "Bling Ring" they've almost been forgotten. "Jimmy P"? This year's consensus whipping boy (and for obvious reasons). "Only Lovers Left Alive"? The latest polarizing title that seems split down the middle. There haven't been a lot of god awful movies at this Cannes, but opinions certainly vary.
With that in mind, here are 10 other films everyone's been talking about and my quick opinions on each.
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.
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.