Bring on spring already

Posted by · 6:39 pm · December 8th, 2010

Okay, I know we’re all jacked up for the next few months of awards-watching, but would anyone mind if we just fast-forwarded straight to May? I’ll miss the Oscars, but frankly, the winter freeze is getting me down, the movies have petered out, and then I read a Cannes-teasing tweet like this from the ever well-informed Cédric Succivalli. Here it is, short and (very) sweet:

Almodovar, Despentes, Kar Wai, Malick, Ramsay, Sorrentino, von Trier on their way to Cannes ’11.

Cédric is a reliable source on all matters Croisette-related — so this would appear to cement the LA Times’s report yesterday of a “likely” Cannes debut for “Tree of Life,” though the film’s festival-shadowing US release date of May 27 was already something of a clue. In that LAT piece, meanwhile, Steven Zeitchik writes that Fox Searchlight plan to market Malick’s long-delayed opus as an “event” befitting its summer status.

He writes:

The idea, a Fox Searchlight spokeswoman said, was to create a sense of significance as spring and summer moviegoers look for a big-event theatrical experience.

Searchlight wants audiences to understand that Malick … has created something accessible.”We don’t want people to think it’s ‘Stand by Me,’ but we want them to know there’s a traditional narrative,” [Searchlight co-head Nancy] Utley said. She added, “We hope this can be the kind of spring counterprogramming for thoughtful people, people who like a little philosophy with their movies.”

It’s comforting to hear that Searchlight are so confident in the film, given the crushing pressure it will be under when it eventually surfaces at Cannes. It’s also great to see a summer release for one of the year’s big-ticket art films, resisting the annual year-end crush of prestige fare. Grown-ups go to the movies all year round, you know.

Returning to that opening tweet, however, “Tree of Life” clearly won’t have it all its own way in the festival publicity stakes. After a comparatively low-key 2010, Cannes is clearly planning another all-star auteur pileup along the lines of last year’s edition. As breathless as I am for new work from usual suspects like Almodovar, Wong Kar-Wai and Lars von Trier, however, the name getting me most restless is Lynne Ramsay, robbed of a competition slot in 2002 for “Morvern Callar” and evidently returning after nine long years with the Tilda Swinton-starring “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” (Yep, she’s been quiet even longer than Mr. Malick.)

Five months isn’t that far away, is it?

→ 34 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

34 responses so far

  • 1 12-08-2010 at 6:52 pm

    Speaking English said...

    The movies have only “petered out” if you’ve seen them all already. You forget the majority of us still have the biggest contenders yet to come (outside of a few, of course).

  • 2 12-08-2010 at 7:03 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, I wasn’t claiming to speak for everyone. I’m selfish that way.

  • 3 12-08-2010 at 7:36 pm

    André said...

    didn’t know Wong Kar-Wai had stuff coming up… what is it??

  • 4 12-08-2010 at 7:47 pm

    Drew said...

    As great as my anticipation is for this film I’m also expecting some level of backlash if Searchlight plans this much hype for it.

    Fingers crossed on this movie being a mind blowing experience.

  • 5 12-08-2010 at 7:58 pm

    Lance McCallion said...

    WKW’s new film is a 50’s set martial arts epic about Ip Man, starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi. A few promotional stills and posters have been seen, and it looks and sounds expectedly amazing. WKW Rarely disappoints. Really excited that it will be at Cannes finally.

  • 6 12-08-2010 at 8:02 pm

    McAllister said...

    The “Tree of Life” trailer makes me want to cry.

  • 7 12-08-2010 at 8:29 pm

    Mitchell said...

    I’m looking forward to May 27 in film, too. Kung Fu Panda 2, baby!! WOOHOO!!

  • 8 12-08-2010 at 9:04 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Bring on Fall 2011! And the New York Film Festival so I can see all of these films.

    Or better yet let’s fast forward to 2012 so all of these titles are available on Netflix.

    But yeah slow down Guy all of us here have to catch up on 2010. Tree of Life, Skin and Melancholia will have to wait.

  • 9 12-08-2010 at 9:19 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    Yes, I would mind if we fast-forwarded straight to May. I’m not a blogger with special access, so I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of prestige films and there’s no way I can keep up. It’s an amazing situation to be in, and I look forward to it every fall. Please allow me to enjoy the remaining 2010 films before rushing into the next year.

    I think it’s a bit unfair to sassily dismiss Speaking English for putting forward the same sentiments I am now after you outright ask if anyone opposes your suggestion.

    But, yes, there is a lot to look forward to next year. And, don’t worry… I still like you.

  • 10 12-08-2010 at 9:32 pm

    BulgingThrobbingShroom said...

    Another title I am looking forward to that is set to premiere at Cannes is “Midnight in Paris”. Also, in all likelihood I will have to wait till next year to see “Somewhere”.

  • 11 12-08-2010 at 10:33 pm

    James D. said...

    The Tree of Life trailer is a thing of beauty. I wish I could go to Cannes.

  • 12 12-08-2010 at 10:57 pm

    rosengje said...

    If the movie gods really wanted to make me happy, this tweet would include a reference to MARGARET.

  • 13 12-09-2010 at 1:42 am

    Fitz said...

    Some of us would just like to be able to see the trailer, but can’t because Black Swan isn’t in our area.

  • 14 12-09-2010 at 3:38 am

    Andrew M said...

    @Fitz I saw a very rough bootleg of the trailer online, but I’m sure it doesn’t really do it justice. I still loved it though. If you search “tree of life trailer” it’s one of the first things to pop up if your interested.

  • 15 12-09-2010 at 6:04 am

    Michael said...

    Next year’s Cannes has the potential to really be a standout year – I cannot wait for all of these films when they finally come out (and I look forward to Guy’s coverage too!)

    Tree of Life trailer was exquisite, and another reason to make my trip to DC to see Black Swan last weekend worth it, but I have had brief moments of panic that it will be like a Benjamin Button type experience where the first trailer presents such mystical imagery and then the film itself is a completely different tone. Something in the fact that nothing was really shown about Sean Penn’s performance had me worried – it could either be a completely awesome surprise or something that drags the film down (and that is why they didn’t show any of it.) I am probably worried for nothing, but I guess we will all know soon enough.

  • 16 12-09-2010 at 7:19 am

    James D. said...

    Yeah, that is where I saw it too, Fitz. Obviously, it can’t capture the magic of seeing it in a theater, but I was still impressed.

  • 17 12-09-2010 at 7:35 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I still have yet to see Ratcatcher, but I really did NOT like Morvern Callar (despite the awesome soundtrack). Of course, it’s been at least 4 or 5 years, so maybe I should give it another go.

  • 18 12-09-2010 at 7:41 am

    Keil Shults said...

    However, I am extremely anxious to see Tree of Life, though I was very upset when its trailer did not play before my screening of Black Swan at the Angelika Theater in Plano. Put me in a very pissy mood before the film started.

    I’ll also second the comments by the person who is hoping to hear mention of a release date for Kennth Lonergan’s Margaret. I’d also say that I’d like to see the new Alexander Payne film at Cannes (The Descendants), but given that it stars George Clooney, they may not feel the need to take it to such an arty festival.

  • 19 12-09-2010 at 7:44 am

    Alex said...

    I can’t wait for We Need to Talk About Kevin! I absolutely loved Morvern Callar and I adore Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly.

    It should be interesting to see how Ramsay’s chosen to adapt it, because the novel (which I also happen to love) doesn’t exactly read like it would make for a very powerful movie watching experience.

    Unless of course we’re talking about the woman who adapted Morvern Callar, which we are, and which I also read too.

  • 20 12-09-2010 at 8:12 am

    Frank Lee said...

    As some of the other responders have noted, the fall movies have not “petered out” for most of us, since we don’t attend the major film festivals. I’m still looking forward to “Black Swan,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter,” and “Rabbit Hole.” And I’m impatiently awaiting the DVD release of “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” which never came within 120 miles of my hometown.

  • 21 12-09-2010 at 8:25 am

    Loyal said...

    I’m with Guy ONLY if The Social Network sweeps the LAFCA and NYFCC. If that happens, the Oscar race is over and done with and I’d rather focus on 2011.

  • 22 12-09-2010 at 8:56 am

    Keil Shults said...

    The Oscar race is NEVER over until all the ballots have been submitted. Ridiculous as it seems, the Academy may choose to go out of its way to differentiate its victors from those of the various critics groups. Goodfellas/Dances With Wolves would be a prime example.

  • 23 12-09-2010 at 9:26 am

    Loyal said...

    I think the Goodfellas/Dances with Wolves situation is somewhat different as Dances went into Oscar night with 12 nominations and nearly 200 million dollars at the box office. It single handedly revived the Western genre.

    If Social Network were to win both major critic awards and remain a far frontrunner for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, the writing on the wall becomes clear for Oscar night. Anything CAN happen but it certainly doesn’t mean it’s likely.

  • 24 12-09-2010 at 9:59 am

    Angry Shark said...

    huh, for some reason I just checked my DVD collection and noticed I somehow own Morvern Callar, but haven’t seen it yet. Bargain bins contain the most random stuff, I swear.

  • 25 12-09-2010 at 10:29 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    2011 hopefully is the beginning of a great decade for movies. 2010 represents holdovers, and stylistically a mode that fits with the previous decade. Just like many films from 2000 feel like the late 90s and films from 1990 feel like the late 80s and films from 1980 feel like the late 70s – etc.

  • 26 12-09-2010 at 10:38 am

    Fitz said...

    Thanks for the recommendation James/Andrew, but I would rather see it unfold in a theatre.

  • 27 12-09-2010 at 11:44 am

    Keil Shults said...

    @Frank Lee: I envy those who still impatiently await a new Woody Allen film. I was a major Allen obsessive for many years, but I haven’t found myself eagerly anticipating anything he’s done for many, many years. I really wish he’d take a couple of years off and come up with something really strong and memorable.

    @Loyal: Well if The Social Network ends up with a ton of Oscar nominations, as well as the majority of critics awards, it will indeed appear to be the surefire winner. But I meant that Goodfellas was winning a lot of critics awards prior to the announcement of the Oscar nominations. Anyway, it was just an example. My point remains that nothing is a done deal until the final ballot is submitted.

  • 28 12-09-2010 at 1:30 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Keil: Loyal is right — the Oscar was a done deal for Dances With Wolves, and GoodFellas never stood a chance. Critics’ awards don’t always hold much sway in the race. (Textbook example: LA Confidential vs. Titanic, which was never going to go down any other way.)

  • 29 12-09-2010 at 3:38 pm

    et in arcadia ego said...

    Cédric Succivalli’s reputation is not always deserved.. I have feeled I was better informed on some movies than him..
    For example, on The Tree of Life, he made a big mistake by according credit at the end of october to an announcement of a February release that was made by EuropaCorp some hours before the Fox Searchlight acquisition in september and was obviously cancelled by the Fox SearchLight announcement ..

    For the Cannes premiere, I am almost certain of it since October 22, some hours (again) before the May 27 announcement: on this date EuropaCorp officially scheduled the film in some box office databases on 2011-05-00, that is the trick used by distributors when exceptionnally they are intending a release in France on the same evening than the presentation in Cannes (instead of releasing it on Wednesdays)

    Probably Succivalli has just noticed the same schedule than me … nothing more..

  • 30 12-09-2010 at 4:16 pm

    Kokolo said...

    As excited as I am for the Tree of Life, my most anticipated is Melancholia.

  • 31 12-09-2010 at 4:22 pm

    Ivan said...

    Top contenders for Oscar
    Best Director 2011

    A: Pitt, Penn, Chastain
    A: Gosling, Clooney, Tomei, Rachel Wood, Seymour Hoffman, Giamatti.
    A: Winslet, Foster, Waltz, C. Reilly
    A: Mortensen, Knightley, Fassbender
    A: Wasikowska, Fassbender, Bell, Poots

    A: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily watson.
    A: Michelle Williams, Rogen, Silverman
    A: Law, Winslet, Cotillard, Damon, Fishburne, Paltrow
    A: Theron, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser
    A: Streep, Broadbent, Colman
    A: Clooney, Greer, Ontkean
    A: Hedlund, Stewart, Dunst, Riley
    A: Watts, Craig, Weisz, Marton Csokas
    A: Bana, Blanchett, Ronan
    A: Banderas, Eduard Fernandez

  • 32 12-09-2010 at 5:03 pm

    Brad said...

    Why you delete the last comment Guy?
    I can´t finish reading the list of the top contenders for best director 2011.

  • 33 12-10-2010 at 11:17 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Why you delete the last comment Guy?”


    I didn’t delete anything.