Woody Allen’s latest to open Cannes

Posted by · 7:41 am · February 2nd, 2011

The ever-informed insider Cédric Succivalli broke the news this morning that May’s Cannes Film Festival will kick off with Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” — an ensemble romantic comedy starring, among others, Marion Cotillard, Carla Bruni, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen and Léa Seydoux.

It’s hardly a surprising choice. Cannes has been good to Allen over the years: recently, “Match Point,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and last year’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” all premiered on the Croisette, while “Hollywood Ending” also served as the festival’s curtain-raiser in 2002.

Moreover, the strong French flavor of his new project all but assured it a Cannes berth, while all that star power — plus the possibility of a certain Mr. Carla Bruni tagging along — guarantees maximum media coverage on opening night.

Of course, the honor of opening Cannes has been a bit of a poisoned chalice of late, with only Pixar’s “Up” breaking a streak of poorly received selections including “The Da Vinci Code,” “My Blueberry Nights,” “Blindness” and last year’s “Robin Hood.” And memories of “Hollywood Ending” (Allen’s single worst film, for my money) christening the red carpet nine years ago are, by and large, not treasured ones.

So here’s hoping for an improvement on both scores. I will once more be in attendance to deliver an early verdict. Roll on spring.

[Photo: Sony Pictures Classics]

→ 29 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

29 responses so far

  • 1 2-02-2011 at 7:44 am

    Tye-Grr said...

    I really want this to turn out well. It’s an interesting cast for sure, but then again so was ‘Stranger’, and I didn’t much care for that. I enjoyed ‘VCB’ and I really liked ‘Match Point’, but that’s about it in recent years. ‘Whatever Works’ was OK.

  • 2 2-02-2011 at 7:47 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Honestly? I’m not optimistic.

    But that’s a good place to be.

  • 3 2-02-2011 at 7:48 am

    Billyboy said...

    Obvious choice, indeed.

    Let’s hope Paris has inspired Woody on a sublime level and we have a late-career masterpiece here.

    It’s also his largest budget ever at around $30 million: This is supposed to cover multiple periods: late 1800’s, early 20’s and the present.

    Fingers crossed.

  • 4 2-02-2011 at 7:51 am

    Sertan said...

    Everytime I get excited about a new Woody Allen movie. But then some of them just fall flat! I hope this will work.

    Since it has Marion Cotillard in it, I will see this movie anyway, regardless of Woody:)
    and Kathy Bates will be icing on the cake…

  • 5 2-02-2011 at 7:52 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    I still need to see Tall Dark Stranger…

  • 6 2-02-2011 at 8:06 am

    James D. said...

    Hollywood Ending, the worst? It is certainly down there, but I think Anything Else is unwatchable.

  • 7 2-02-2011 at 8:13 am

    RichardA said...

    I love You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. It’s the usual mid-level light Woody Allen script.

    Gemma Jones did an amazing job. I was hoping she could pull off a Supporting Actress this year.

  • 8 2-02-2011 at 8:26 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I keep hearing this about Gemma Jones’ performance, and I don’t see it. I thought Lucy Punch was the best thing in the film by some distance.

  • 9 2-02-2011 at 8:39 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    James D beat me to it. I haven’t seen Hollywood Ending, but it would have to be REALLY bad to “top” Anything Else.

  • 10 2-02-2011 at 8:52 am

    Maxim said...

    Cannot wait! Absolutely cannot wait.

    By the way, the movie was VERY QUICKLY sntacthed up by Sony Pictures Classics. I think we are in for something truly great.

  • 11 2-02-2011 at 8:58 am

    Estefan said...

    It’s Woody Allen, so I will definitely see it (though, I didn’t care for Tall Dark Stranger).

    While we’re naming our least favourite Allens, Celebrity is the one I dislike the most.

  • 12 2-02-2011 at 9:36 am

    Patryk said...

    Worst Allen ever? “Curse of the Jade Scorpion.”

  • 13 2-02-2011 at 9:41 am

    Daniel said...

    Am I the only one who liked My Blueberry Nights? I mean, it’s not WKW’s best, but it’s still a stirring and emotionally touching exercise.

  • 14 2-02-2011 at 10:00 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    I anticipated this movie since I heard Kathy Bates was cast. In 2006 she did an interview where she implied having no interest in working with him again after 1992’s Shadows and Fog.

  • 15 2-02-2011 at 10:06 am

    red_wine said...

    One of my favorite director’s latest misfire? I am game : )

    And Carla Bruni on the Cannes Red Carpet? There are gonna be shenanigans! I bet the press conference will be exclusively about her and Allen, in that order.

  • 16 2-02-2011 at 10:08 am

    SC said...

    Good cast, but then, every Allen film has a good cast. Hoping for the best.

  • 17 2-02-2011 at 10:20 am

    carrie said...

    finally ,”transformer 3″ wasn’t a bad idea ato open Cannes

  • 18 2-02-2011 at 10:35 am

    Rashad said...

    robin hood was great

  • 19 2-02-2011 at 10:42 am

    cineJAB said...

    If Marion Cotillard is in it, at least there will be one great performance.

  • 20 2-02-2011 at 11:58 am

    Frank Lee said...

    The “Tall Dark Stranger” DVD comes out in two weeks. Can’t wait. And I, for one, hold “Anything Else” in very high regard.

  • 21 2-02-2011 at 12:30 pm

    Aaron said...

    Anything Else was terrible, I agree, but I felt intellectually insulted after watching The Curse of the Jade Scorpion…seriously, dreadful movie.

    I can’t wait for Midnight in Paris…hope it’s on level with Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point…

    …oh, and I also quite liked My Blueberry Nights…I thought it was unfairly maligned…at the same time, I am eternally grateful that Norah Jones has never stepped in front of a film camera again.

  • 22 2-02-2011 at 12:31 pm

    Squasher88 said...

    You had me at Marion Cotillard.

    btw, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger was terrible.

  • 23 2-02-2011 at 2:37 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I am eternally grateful that Norah Jones has never stepped in front of a film camera again.

    Actually, she has a small part in the thoroughly charming Wah Do Dem.

  • 24 2-02-2011 at 4:59 pm

    par3182 said...

    Let me guess – all the the women in Woody’s new film will be various degrees of frosty except for one who is hilariously slutty (and probably stupid as well – you know how those two things go together).

  • 25 2-02-2011 at 11:21 pm

    Mike said...

    Seriously, Marion Cotillard needs another Oscar nomination. She quickly became one of my favourite actresses in the last 3 years, and I will be there opening night. For her and maybe Kathy Bates.

  • 26 2-03-2011 at 3:39 am

    Alex in Movieland said...

    Hollywood Ending is nowhere near as bad as Whatever Works.

  • 27 2-03-2011 at 4:36 am

    ivan said...

    Come on, people! Stop bashing Woody Allen!
    He is by far one of the best screenwriters – still!
    If there was another Woody working in the business…

  • 28 2-03-2011 at 4:23 pm

    Pablo (BOG) said...

    I love Allen’s movies. They are not amazing every single time but he happens to be a genius for directing and writing.

    I just love Match Point. Should have gotten so much more attention (like the due nom for Scarlett Johansson).

  • 29 2-04-2011 at 7:20 pm

    Pete said...

    Hollywood Ending is funny people. Some people just don’t get what Allen is doing in some of his works.