CANNES AT HALF TIME
As I post this morning, the 67th Cannes Film Festival has reached the halfway point as measured by the number of films in the Palme d'Or competition section have screened. Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" rolled out in France this morning...which for us here in the States means about six-ish hours ago. As I type, David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars" should just about be finished with its first screening. The two films will have been the ninth and tenth of the 18 competition films to play. I'm very interested to see the critical reaction for both of them as the day progresses. Both films have some possibility of playing in Telluride this Labor Day.
The films that I will be closely tracking in the second half of the Palme eligible films are:
Michel Hazanvicius' "The Search", The Dardennes Brothers' "Two Days, One Night", Jean Luc Godard's "Goodbye to Language" and Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria"
Looking back on the first half of the fest, here's what has jumped out at me.
Lots of people early on have speculated that Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Winter Sleep" might be the picture to beat for the Palme and it seems to have a substantial critical reception as well (this for a three+ hour, dialogue driven film...). Also faring well in the early going critic-wise: Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner" and "Timbuktu". Pilloried by the critics: Opening Night (non-competition film) "Grace of Monaco" and Atom Egoyan's "Captives"
In the Un Certain Regard section, films that seem to have done well: Mathieu Amalric's "The Blue Room" and Lisandro Alonso's "Jauja" starring Viggo Mortensen.
CANNES AND THE CRITICS
And speaking of critical reaction, here are the cumulative critical responses so far as collected by Ioncinema, Critic's Roundup, todaslascriticas.com.ar. and http://cannes-rurban.rhcloud.com/2014:
Concurrent with its premiere in Cannes as a part of the Palme d'Or competition slate, Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" has a new clip. I have to tell you that every time I see a little something more on this film I get increasingly excited. Sony Pictures Classics is distributing, so I'm cautiously optimistic about its chances of making the Telluride program. Here's the new clip...(Carell for the win!)
Late note: This morning as I prepare to publish, the first reviews for "Foxcatcher" are coming out of Cannes and they're generally very good. I have linked Variety, HitFix and Indiewire reviews here:
CANNES ACQUISITIONS OF NOTE
Sundance Selects has picked up Mathieu Amalric's "The Blue Room" for U.S. distribution and Sony Pictures Classics has grabbed "Wild Tales" from director Damain Szifron. Those actions increase the chances for both films as potential players at Telluride this year.
SPC was represented last year at Telluride with: "Tim's Vermeer", "The Invisible Woman", "The Lunchbox", "Jodorowsky's Dune" and "The Past".
Sundance Selects/IFC had "Blue is the Warmest Color" in the TFF #40 lineup.
OUTSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
"You can't stop what's coming"...that's a line from the Coen Brothers 2007 Oscar winner "No Country for Old Men" but it pertains to the latest Coen Brothers news out this week that I and others have mentioned in the past. Also pertaining, the title of this segment...they're really going to go away from "Inside Llewyn Davis".
Word this week was that the Coens' next project will be "Hail Caesar". The film will probably star George Clooney and is described as the third film in their collaboration called "The Numbskull Trilogy". "O Brother, Where Art Thou? " and "Intolerable Cruelty" representing the first 2/3rds of said trilogy. Various reports this week indicated that the film will feature Clooney as a 1950's era Hollywood "fixer". No word from any source that I could find about when shooting might commence...but I'm hoping for a late 2015 release date.
Here are links to some of the stories that came out this week about the project:
More on Thursday!