It’s never been easier to follow the Cannes Film Festival from the comfort of one’s couch. You can debate about whether that’s a good thing or not — but it’s certainly frugal. And, since I wrote a fun feature for Variety editor Carole Horst from this very well-worn spot in which I talked to Christine Vachon, who produced Carol with Elizabeth Karlsen about Vachon’s favorite Cannes eatery, I have skin in the game. About as much skin as can be found on the underside of a Barbie Band-Aid given to a child for dramatic effect for a skinned knee. Anyway, here are more films that have broken out, including Todd Haynes’ Carol.
Macbeth: Ever since I heard from Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard that she was starring in this William Shakespeare tragedy opposite Michael Fassbender — and directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) — I’ve been desperate to see it. Now it’s out. Cotillard’s one of my favorite actresses and Fassbender’s easy on the eyes.
— Variety (@Variety) May 23, 2015
The Lobster: In a dystopian future beyond Match.com, singletons have 45 days to reconnect — or they are turned into animals. Greek Director Yorgos (Dogtooth) Lanthimos’ star-studded exploration of future love features Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, Lea Seydoux and John C. Reilly that was just picked up by Alchemy.
— Variety (@Variety) May 15, 2015
Youth: Boos and bravos met Italian Director Paolo Sorrentino’s (2013’s La Grande Belleza) gorgeous English-language entry for the Palme d’Or. Michael Caine stars as a famous orchestra conductor contemplating aging in a posh mountain resort. Snapped up by Fox Searchlight for U.S. distribution, the drama also stars Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano.
Based on vocal mix of applause & boos, Paolo Sorrentino’s YOUTH looks to be the most divisive (& most worthy?) film in #Cannes competition.
— Peter Debruge (@AskDebruge) May 20, 2015
Disorder (Maryland): Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust & Bone) stars as a French special forces operative with PTSD hired to protect a Lebanese businessman’s wife (Diane Kruger). Alice Winocour (Augustine) directs this home invasion thriller that has been picked up by Sundance Selects.
Mon Roi: The great Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, A Dangerous Method), who I interviewed for Huffington Post in 2010, and Emmanuelle Bercot (Polisse, Carlos) chart the doomed path of their relationship and marriage without succumbing to good guy/bad guy tropes. (The one you love; the one you cannot keep.) What excites me is that it is directed and co-written by Maiwenn, who directed Polisse, in which she fully submerged herself in the muck of the Paris Child Protection Unit (and won a Cannes jury prize). If you’re curious about that film, check out my late column, Adams on Reel Women, with the editor Nina Hammerling Smith about that French procedural perfect for Law & Order junkies who love subtitles like I do. The You Tube trailer is in French but the charisma is universal:
Sicario: French Canadian director Denise Villeneuve (Incendies) returns with a drug cartel drama pairing Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt. (When Villeneuve’s last film, Prisoners, came out I talked to Jake Gyllenhaal about his role as a detective-with-demons for Yahoo Movies.) THR‘s Todd McCarthy wrote: “The violence of the inter-American drug trade has served as the backdrop for any number of films for more than three decades, but few have been as powerful and superbly made as Sicario.” The title means “hitman” in Cartel slang (and you’d have to kill me for me to reveal how I know that).
Cemetery of Splendour: Already being hailed as a masterpiece by no less than the Film Society’s Dennis Lim, this is the first feature from the unspellable Thai Director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul. He won the Palmes d’Or in 2010 for Uncle Boommee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. That movie, which I caught up with at the Dubai International Film Festival, felt like being charmed by a snake out of The Jungle Book, a fantastic out-of-body experience wedded to the completely ordinary. This film, just acquired by Strand Releasing, is about — as much as his films are “about” anything — nurses tending to soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness and the dreams, phantoms and spirits this kicks up in a swirl around them at the clinic. Inside Out: Swimming against my own biases (and those warning voices in my head), I can’t ignore the mad praise for Pixar’s latest from Pete Docter (Up), which premiered at Cannes to, yes, cheers. According to The Wrap’s Steve Pond: “[Docter] has figured out how to pull off a daunting concept, and in the process made a movie as thematically daring as it is emotionally moving.” With Amy Poehler, Mindy Kalling and Bill Hader among the vocal talent, this story of a young woman jousting with her (very vocal) emotions following a move from the Midwest to San Francisco lacks a single Kraft-cheese colored Minion. And for that I’m thankful. [Read more…]