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Entries in Cannes (95)

Monday
Oct062014

FYC: Marion Cotillard in 'Two Days One Night'

Jose here. You know how sometimes a performer will win a gazillion awards for their breakthrough performance and then never be recognized again, even as they deliver much more complex, superior work? It’s the “been there done that” syndrome, which has sadly made most awards groups forget all about Marion Cotillard, who is once again Best Actress material in Two Days, One Night (Michael reviewed it here)


As the recently laid-off Sandra, Cotillard is unforgettable. We follow her as she visits her co-workers’ homes asking them to help her win her job back. As some show support, others display contempt and pity, making for a harrowing moviegoing experience. The Dardenne brothers, who in the past have been reluctant to work with movie stars, put their trust in Cotillard and the payoff is evident. The actress sheds all her glamour and star presence to play someone so fragile it seems as if being filmed is causing her pain. Sandra doesn’t talk much, but her face says everything. In one of the film’s most devastating moments, the Dardenne’s give Sandra some inner peace through a song in the radio, not only do they allow Cotillard’s smile to finally shine, but they also highlight the actress’ ability to reshape herself according to the emotions of her character. All throughout the film, Cotillard seems to be physically smaller, something she did in her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf. The trick is more powerful here because Sandra is a “regular human being”.

Throughout the film we feel her pain and at times it’s so unbearable that it made me wonder what someone like Lars Von Trier would do with such a vulnerable character. The Dardenne’s are much more sensitive than the mad Dane and give Sandra her dignity, but not without pointing out how willingly she submits herself to humiliation in the name of survival. During most of the film Sandra wears a coral t-shirt with a ribbon pattern, which I feel Cotillard chose for the character. It makes her plea even more heartbreaking, as she knocks on doors trying to be festive and optimistic, when inside she’s completely destroyed.

Many cinephiles thought this turn would finally bring her the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival but it became the first Dardenne brothers’ film not to win a single award at Cannes. It was Marion's third straight loss at the festival (2012 Rust and Bone, 2013 The Immigrant) which is a head-scratcher considering who won in those respective years. As Two Days One Night gears up for its Oscar-qualifying release later this year, I can’t help but wonder, does Marion have to knock on every AMPAS’ member’s door to finally get nominated again?

Why do you think Oscar keeps ignoring Marion? Where do her recent performances rank among your favorites for each year? 

Tuesday
Sep232014

NYFF: Growing Up, Italian Style in 'The Wonders' and 'Misunderstood'

The New York Film Festival begins this Friday. But our screenings have already begun. Here is Glenn on two Italian films, "The Wonders" and "Misunderstood"

If Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning The Great Beauty (2013) was an ode to the fantastical visions of Federico Fellini's Italy, then Alice Rohrwacher’s The Wonders is an appropriate return to the world of the country’s famed neorealist movement of the 1940s and ‘50s, concerning itself with the economic and moral quandries of so-called everyday Italians. Coming in second place at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it follows a family in rural Italy who scrape by due their honey farming, but an encounter with a television production in their hometown spearheads the eldest daughter’s desire to lift herself and her family out of the poverty line that they barely manage to survive above.

Perhaps Rohrwacher’s greatest achievement with The Wonders is the way she is able to authentically represent the  rural life of this Italian family without reducing their countryside suffering to lazy miserabilist bleakness. Their world of naturalistic overcast greys and damp browns is countered by the beauty of a region. Rohrwacher lets these moments of beauty linger, too, punctuated by occasional fleeting figments of fantasy at the hands of the wonderful Monica Bellucci. Her appearance as the host of a (rather perplexing) TV show, adorned in billowing costume and pitch-white wig, brings to the film an extra element of surprise that shows the director as a keenly smart filmmaker who knows when to highlight the plight of her characters and when to allow them a reprieve. [More...] 

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Thursday
Aug212014

Throwback Thursday FYC: sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

Our 1989 25th anniversary celebration continues...

Have you ever seen sex, lies and videotape? Steven Sodebergh won the Palme D'Or at Cannes for his very first film and somehow it wasn't all downhill from there. The film, which was a minor box office hit, was crucial in planting the seeds for the American indie boom of the 1990s but when Oscar nominations rolled around the Academy played it very safe largely shunning both of the year's most provocative critical darlings (the other being Do the Right Thing which we honored earlier this summer in a post just like this one). I spotted these FYC ads on eBay and thought I'd share them.

Andie MacDowell has won a lot of harsh criticism over the years for various performances, most notably Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (for which she was dubbed over by Glenn Close) and Four Weddings and a Funeral but she's really wonderful in this picture and in Short Cuts. Blame Steven Soderbergh and Altman if you must but don't even try to deny it! 

More...

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Wednesday
May282014

Cannes Coverage is a Wrap

Leila Hatami, Jane Campion, and Nicolas Winding Refn finishing up their jury duties at the closing ceremony2014 marked our most Cannes coverage ever, with one team member on the ground as well as retrospectives and tidbits from afar (mostly NYC). We hope you enjoyed. Here's the index of our two week-long cinephile dream that is the Cannes Festival...

Diana in Cannes
Arrival - Opening night
Grace of Monaco - Nicole's troubled princess movie
Mr Turner & Timbuktu -two reviews
Amour Fou & The Blue Room -deadly unrequited love
The Homesman Press Conference - Tommy Lee Jones, curmudgeon
The Homesman -reviewed
Maps to the Stars, Two Days One Night, Mommy - Best Actressy reviews
Foxcatcher & Sils Maria - two reviews
Leviathan, Lost River, The Rover - three reviews 

Cannes Specials & Retros
Top Ten Palme d'Or Winners - Team Experience on the greatest films to ever win the festival from La Dolce Vita and The Umbrellas of Cherbourgh through The Piano
Closing Night Ceremony -arrivals & winners
Fahrenheit 9/11, Ten Years Later - Michael C looks back at the controversial 2004 win
Monologue, Certified Copy - Andrew asks what is real and what is fake but why does it matter when Juliette Binoche's brilliance is involved?
Monologue, Secrets & Lies -'sweetheart' Brenda Blethyn
Monologue, Norma Rae - Sally Field is one of only 4 women to win both Cannes & Oscar
Tidbits 2 - Mommy surprises, Foxcatcher wows, and Lost River annoys
Tidbits 1 - Jane Campion presides, Nicole Kidman arrives, Amy Adams sells
Podcast Preview - salivating over the competition and Un Certain Regard lineups  
Podcast Finale - grilling Guy Lodge about his favorites at the festival 

the very actressy "Clouds of Sils Maria" premieres: Kristen Stewart, Juliette Binoche, Chloe Moretz and director Olivier Assayas

Cannes Beauty
27 Dresses - gowns from the Croisette 
Party Girls - Naomi, Julianne, Lupita & Rooney 
Jess + Jess - Besties on the red carpet 
It's All About Jessica Chastain - sigh

Tuesday
May272014

Podcast: Cannes Aftermath with Special Guest Guy Lodge

For this quickie edition of the podcast Nick and Nathaniel speak to Guy Lodge on the last day of the festival about his experience, from favorites to disappointments, festival politics and even a little Oscar buzz. He answers the really important questions like: is Kristen Stewart really that much of a revelation in Clouds of Sils Maria?; is Hitchcock's The Birds is a fair comparison for the Hungarian dog movie White God?; Which movie convinces you that Xavier Dolan is the real deal?

00:01 Winter Sleep and the politics of being "overdue"
05:00 Leviathan & Mommy: late bows and multiple raves
07:45 Acting Prizes: Julianne Moore in Maps and Timothy Spall as Mr Turner
13:00 "Foxcatcher is really terrific!"
18:00 Un Certain Regard: The Tribe and White God
22:00 Competition quality and surprises: Party Girl winning Camera D'Or and the media praise for Channing Tatum and Kristen Stewart
28:00 Last words, movies missed.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments... and while you're at it listen to the last couple of week's of the podcast which were two of my favorite episodes and weirdly less remarked upon than usual.

Cannes 2014 in Review

Tuesday
May272014

Cannes Diary: 3 Men Against The System – Leviathan, Lost River & The Rover

Diana Drumm reporting from Cannes... or rather flying home from Cannes as you read this...

As people, we are defined by how we cope with the world’s cruelty, injustice and unfairness. In a leap of metaphysics, the same can be said about films, being judged by how they handle the subject and in turn how their protagonists handle their conflicts and struggles. At this year’s Cannes, there were more than a few films in the thick of existential waters and questions of morality, with protagonists leading the way against a larger society. In Timbuktu, a farmer and his family grapple with a newly inserted regime to dire results. In Amour Fou, a young poet stakes the life of himself and his “lover” on an escapist higher philosophical notion he’s concocted. In Foxcatcher, an “ornithologist, philatelist, philanthropist” attempts to fabricate a more successful legacy for himself and melts down after reality and other people’s free will gets in the way. Here are three more that tackle the issues of male insecurities when faced with a larger, opposing system (from the great to the already infamously bad to the steady).  

Andrey Zyvagintsev’s Leviathan, Ryan Gosling's Lost River, and David Michôd's The Rover after the jump...

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Monday
May262014

Cannes Monologue: Norma Rae

Andrew's Cannes-inspired subseries in our Monday Monologue tradition ends with Sally Field in Norma Rae, one of only four Best Actresses to win both Cannes and the Oscar...

 

Is Julianne Moore finally going to get that Oscar? Blame it on the human urge to tie everything down to laurels, but it seems that's biggest wishful-thinking question coming out of Cannes after the awards ceremony. It’s not enough that she’s recently joined Juliette Binoche as one of the few  “European Best Actress Triple Crown” winners –the allure of Oscar is hard to resist. Cannes and Oscar rarely measure up, of course, but it seems like a good excuse to look back to one of only two performance to manage both Best Actress wins in the last 50+ years: Sally Field in Norma Rae (1979)...

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