POST-CANNES: “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (****)

Posted by · 5:28 pm · May 27th, 2011

[Apologies for leaving my Cannes coverage in limbo as I unwound in Paris before returning to London housekeeping. A handful of films from my festival viewing roster are still owed some discussion in grouped capsule form, and I’ll get to those this weekend — hey, the films aren’t going anywhere, so why stick to the […]

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Taking post-fest stock

Posted by · 9:37 am · May 23rd, 2011

Yesterday’s thoughts on Academy Award potential for “The Tree of Life” will serve as my post-Cannes Oscar column. Thanks to Guy for doing such a bang-up job covering the festival. For now, I’ve run a comb through the Contenders section and tiered things up a bit. No ranking and no predictions yet. Just defining the […]

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On the Oscar prospects of ‘The Tree of Life’

Posted by · 11:59 am · May 22nd, 2011

With “The Tree of Life” winning the Palme d’Or in Cannes today, Oscar talk has already swelled on Twitter (after whispered considerations in the wake of the premiere last week). I’ll be writing about the film again next weekend, when some of you will be able to take a look, but for now, I thought […]

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CANNES: ‘Tree of Life’ wins Palme d’Or, Dunst takes Best Actress

Posted by · 10:02 am · May 22nd, 2011

And so it came to pass that the pre-festival bookies’ odds were on the money. The most talked-about film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” was handed the Palme d’Or by Robert De Niro’s jury — a major vindication for a film that has been labelled both a masterpiece […]

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CANNES: What will win… and what should

Posted by · 7:14 pm · May 21st, 2011

It’s a funny thing. For 10 days at Cannes, the Croisette hums with stimulating discussion and debate about movies; for the final two, all that chatter dissolves into a single blunt question: “What will win the Palme d’Or?” It’s a little like the Oscars, except without the initial stage of stimulating discussion and debate about […]

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Kaurismäki, Sorrentino among early Cannes winners

Posted by · 2:59 pm · May 21st, 2011

The Cannes Film Festival closes up shop tomorrow with the announcement of the Competition awards — the final competing film, Radu Mihaileanu’s “The Source,” screened this morning to a tepid reception. Before we get to that, however, a wide array of smaller juries have their own trophies to dish out, and a number of them […]

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Shut up and ‘Drive’

Posted by · 9:41 am · May 21st, 2011

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know how I feel about wild-card Palme d’Or contender “Drive,” but I’ll have a review up a little later. For now, though, I can’t resist posting this shot of Ryan Gosling, his awesome royal-blue tux and director Nicolas Winding Refn at last night’s red carpet premiere […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Skin I Live In” (***)

Posted by · 8:24 am · May 21st, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Pedro Almodóvar’s new feature opens with a pause: a beautiful young woman holds a tricky yoga position, her already fine-lathed physique vacuumed into a nude body stocking, stretched across a couch like a pale side of meat hung out for curing. So so taut, so fragile, it seems a simple tap on […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 56 — Special Edition! — Cannes so far, ‘Tree of Life,’ Von Trier, taking the 2011 awards pulse

Posted by · 8:32 am · May 20th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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‘Take Shelter’ takes first award at Cannes

Posted by · 4:40 pm · May 19th, 2011

Nine days in, the Cannes Film Festival is winding down. Many of the US journos are flying home, and with Pedro Almodóvar’s “The Skin I Live In” having premiered this morning — review coming tomorrow — the superstar auteurs have all shown their hand. (That’s not to say Nuri Bilge Ceylan or Paolo Sorrentino can’t […]

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How do you solve a problem like Von Trier?

Posted by · 3:10 pm · May 19th, 2011

It couldn’t last. As the closing credits began rolling on Wednesday morning’s 8.30am Cannes press screening of “Melancholia,” Lars Von Trier’s elegant rumination on anxiety, the apocalypse and all those other swell things, I was stunned by how civil the atmosphere in the vast Lumiere theater was. Enthusiastic applause greeted the film — more surprisingly, […]

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Persona non whateva

Posted by · 9:32 am · May 19th, 2011

Guy is on his way to a screening of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” at Cannes right now, but he will eventually get around to addressing Lars Von Trier’s spanking by the festival, which now considers him persona non grata. In the meantime, however, I’ll align myself with this statement from David Poland’s assessment: Is von […]

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REVIEW: “Melancholia” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:32 am · May 19th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Lars von Trier feels fine. Well, not “fine,” exactly: he feels as despairing and sceptical and faithless as he usually does, but that’s clearly where he’s comfortable, and where his creative faculties thrive most actively. They’re certainly in rude health in […]

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CANNES: ‘The Kid With a Bike,’ ‘House of Tolerance,’ ‘Michael,’ ‘Footnote’

Posted by · 11:42 am · May 17th, 2011

Perhaps lulled by the twin effects of the Côte d’Azur sun and copious amounts of cheap rosé between screenings, I’ve fallen behind somewhat on the reviewing front — but lest you think I’ve only seen one film a day before heading back to the swimming pool at Villa Romance, it’s time for a bit of a Competition […]

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REVIEW: “The Tree of Life” (***)

Posted by · 4:51 am · May 16th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Landscape has always been character in the films of Terrence Malick. The even, rolling fields of “Days of Heaven,” the sweatily green hill ladders of “The Thin Red Line,” even the dry-toast mesa of “Badlands”: all expansive, overwhelming environments that dictate the behavior of the films’ human occupants through sheer force of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Artist” (***1/2)

Posted by · 8:00 am · May 15th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival “Please be silent behind the screen,” requests a sign in the cinema where silent movie star Georges Valentin’s latest work is screening, near the beginning of “The Artist,” Michel Hazanavicius’ semi-sweet paean to pre-talkie cinema. It’s a witty clue as to how Hazanavicius is going to run the ship in his own […]

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CANNES: ‘Polisse,’ ‘Habemus Papam’

Posted by · 9:10 am · May 14th, 2011

“Polisse” (***) That the title for “Polisse” reportedly derives from writer-director-star Maïwenn’s misspelling of the word “police” aptly summarises both the charms and weaknesses of her third feature, a garrulous, chaotic, intermittently hot-wired ensemble soap braiding the personal and professional lives of officers in the Paris police department’s Child Protection Unit.No doubt the product of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Restless” (*1/2)

Posted by · 6:53 pm · May 13th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard “What can you say about a 25 year-old girl who died?” Written by Erich Segal before being plaintively voiced by Ryan O’Neal, this presumably rhetorical question is the opening gambit of “Love Story,” the simple but phenomenally successful weeper in which a young couple’s relationship is prematurely halted when […]

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