Back to IndieWire

Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Everything You'd Ever Want to Know About the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

The 2012 Cannes Film Festival ended Sunday with Michael Haneke winning his second Palme d’Or for his acclaimed drama “Amour.” Indiewire was on the scene for the 65th edition to report on the latest acquisitions, review the anticipated titles, and interview many of the artists. Below find all of Indiewire’s coverage.


Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ Wins Palme D’Or at 2012 Cannes Film Festival
Michael Haneke has won his second Palme d’Or in just four years as his new film “Amour” led the winners of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

‘Despues de Lucia’ Leads Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Winners
Michel Franco’s “Despues de Lucia” led the winners of the Un Certain Regard section of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, taking its top prize.

Gael Garcia Bernal’s ‘No’ and ‘El taaib’ Are Among Directors’ Fortnight Films Honorees
Though the Cannes Film Festival does not give awards to its Directors’ Fortnight films, several organizations annually honor films of note. This year, Pablo Larrain’s Gael Carcia Bernal film “No” and “Merzak Allouache’s “El taaib” led the honorees.

Dardenne-led Cinéfondation Jury Awards Three Short Films
The Cannes Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury announced its winners. Jean-Pierre Dardenne led the jury of Arsinée Khanjian, Karim Aïnouz, Emmanuel Carrère and Yu Lik-Wai.

‘Aqui y Alla’ Leads Critics’ Week Winners
“Aqui y Alla” — the debut film from Spanish director Antonio Mendez Esparza — has received the Nespresso Grand Prize from the 51st Critics’ Week.


Leos Carax’s ‘Holy Motors’ Finds a U.S. Home With Indomina
The Indomina Group has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Leos Carax’s acclaimed Cannes title “Holy Motors” on the final day of the festival, the company has announced.

Sundance Selects Takes U.S. Rights To Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Like Someone In Love’
On the final day of the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Selects has picked up all U.S. rights to Abbas Kiarostami’s competition title “Like Someone In Love.”

Oscilloscope Takes Cannes’ ‘Reality’
Oscilloscope has acquired US rights to Matteo Garrone’s “Reality,” which screened in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

IFC Midnight Buys Im Sang-Soo’s Sexy Cannes Competition Title ‘The Taste of Money’
IFC Midnight is buying North American rights to Im Sang-Soo’s provocative Cannes Film Festival competition title “The Taste of Money.”

Sundance Selects Nabs US Rights to Ken Loach’s ‘The Angel’s Share’
Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights to Ken Loach’s “The Angels’ Share,” which screened at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week.

Kino Lorber Goes ‘In Another Country’ With Isabelle Huppert 
Kino Lorber has acquired U.S. rights to the Cannes competition entry “In Another Country,” the latest film by South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (“Night and Day”), that stars Isabelle Huppert.

Ben Wheatley’s Hot Directors’ Fortnight Title ‘Sightseers’ Goes to IFC Films 
IFC Films has bought North American rights to the dark comedy “Sightseers,” directed by Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”).

Buyers React to Sneak Screening of Lee Daniels’ Pulpy ‘The Paperboy’ 
One of the Cannes competition’s most high-profile titles, Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy,” got some early exposure Tuesday morning when the film’s sales agents let a tight group of potential buyers and select critics into the Cinema Olympia on Rue Antibes.

Entertainment One Buys North American Rights to Norwegian Actioner ‘Escape’
Entertainment One has acquired North American rights to “Escape,” the Norwegian action-adventure directed by Roar Uthaug.

Sony Classics Buys ‘No’
Sony Pictures Classics has finally gotten into the game at Cannes with its acquisition of North American rights to Pablo Larrain’s “No.” The Directors’ Fortnight drama starring Gael García Bernal has drawn much praise since its premiere late last week.

Strand Releasing Nabs US Rights to ‘Garbage in the Garden’ and ‘Mekong Hotel’
Strand Releasing has picked up U.S. distribution on two official selections of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Fatih Akin’s documentary “Garbage in the Garden of Eden” and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Mekong Hotel.”

Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires U.S. Rights to Gilles Bourdos’ Un Certain Regard Drama ‘Renoir’
Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired U.S. rights to Gilles Bourdos’ biopic “Renoir,” which will receive a spring 2013 theatrical release. The fact-based drama will have its world premiere May 25, as the closing-night film of the Un Certain Regard program at the Cannes Film Festival.

BBC Films to Produce Simon Curtis Drama ‘The Golden Lady,’ New Saoirse Ronan Film ‘Testament of Youth’
BBC Films is adding new projects with “My Week With Marilyn” director Simon Curtis and “Hanna” star Saoirse Ronan to its slate, the company announced in Cannes Sunday.

Millennium Films and West Coast Film Partners Launch $100 Million Collaboration With ‘White House Taken’
Millennium Films decided to dress up its Saturday-night Croisette party on Baoli Beach with $100 million worth of decoration.

Cohen Media Group Acquires Francois Ozon’s ‘In the House,’ With Kristin Scott Thomas and Emmanuelle Seigner
Cohen Media Group has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Francois Ozon thriller “In the House.” Discussions with the French filmmaker’s Wild Bunch sales reps begun weeks ago were finalized this week in Cannes, though the film is not yet finished.

Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three Drama ‘Devil’s Knot’ Gets Financed, via Worldview Entertainment
Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three project “Devil’s Knot” will be financed and produced by Worldview Entertainment. Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth star in the film, which begins shooting next month in Georgia.

Go to Page 2 for REVIEWS, Page 3 for INTERVIEWS and Page 4 for FEATURES…


The younger Cronenberg has made a derivative exercise in body horror that plays as little more than low rent Cronenberg pastiche.

“Amour” is an incredibly focused and emotionally charged look at an elderly woman’s gradual demise and her husband’s attempts to cope with it. Although not exactly heartwarming, “Amour” has a more contained vision of human relationships than Michael Haneke’s previous films without sacrificing its bleak foundation.

‘After the Battle
Now that a number of documentaries have dealt with the 2011 Egyptian uprising at Cairo’s Tahrir Square, it comes as no surprise that the events have been applied to a fictional scenario, and by no less than a prominent Egyptian filmmaker, Yousry Nasrallah (“Gate of Sun”). Ably using the turmoil at Tahrir as his backdrop, Nasrallah’s “After the Battle” follows a burgeoning, ill-fated romance between two characters uniquely impacted by social upheaval.

‘Aqui y Alla’
The plot of “Aqui y Alla” is so slight it barely exists. But the first feature from director Antonio Mendez Esparza balances out that limitation with a richly layered mood that steadily accumulates emotion from one scene to the next.

‘Beyond the Hills
Romanian director Cristian Mungiu seemingly came out of nowhere in 2007 to snatch the Palme d’Or for his last feature, the tightly constructed abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days,” a distinctly powerful work. While technically impressive and occasionally quite provocative, Mungiu’s latest feature-length effort, “Beyond the Hills,” is at once more ambitious and flawed — in other words, only 50 percent post-Palme slump.

“My prostate is asymmetrical,” says Robert Pattinson in one scene of David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis.” As the affluent executive Eric Packer riding a limo around New York City in nearly every scene, Pattinson boldly submerges his stardom in the director’s twisted anti-establishment tendencies.

‘Holy Motors’
“Holy Motors” is balls-to-the-wall crazy, beautiful and unbelievably strange. This is a movie about movies, life, death, the human condition, monkeys, music, chaos, suicide, whatever.

‘Killing Them Softly’
There are no good guys in Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly,” only people caught on two sides of a rough deal. The director’s gritty, violent and heavily stylized adaptation of George V. Higgins’ 1974 crime novel updates the story to recession-era 2008 and overstates it to the extreme, but Dominik brings a sleek pulp sensibility to the material and melds its topicality to a strange form of scathingly anti-capitalist entertainment.

John Hillcoat’s “Lawless” lacks the same darkly energizing spirit that made “The Proposition” such a revelation: It has plenty of gunplay, scowling showdowns and dust-caked setpieces, but little in the way of dynamic filmmaking to imbue those elements with life.

‘Like Someone in Love’
There’s a lot of driving and talking in “Like Someone in Love,” Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s latest production made outside of his native country, but beyond that is anyone’s guess.

‘Mekong Hotel
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s new hourlong experimental feature “Mekong Hotel,” cobbled together from ideas for another unrealized project, reaffirms the filmmaker’s appeal by simply arranging the same core elements into a distinctly odd collage.

‘Moonrise Kingdom
There are diehard Wes Anderson fans and then there’s everyone else. “Moonrise Kingdom,” the idiosyncratic auteur’s seventh feature, eagerly pitches itself toward that first group of audiences and ignores the rest. But if those open to Anderson quirks will find a rewarding experience littered with warmth and playful humor.

For his third and most accomplished work, “No,” Pablo Larraín has traded the allegorical track for the real thing, delivering a lively, mesmerizing drama about a national call to action during the 1988 referendum on Pinochet’s presidency. With a full-bodied turn by Gael Garcia Bernal as its anchor, “No” broadens Larraín’s range by replicating historical events in engrossing detail.

‘On the Road’
Red flags go up when a filmmaker embarks on adapting a beloved classic. Walter Salles’ long-gestating big screen treatment of “On the Road” spent years in development and the nearly-two-and-a-half hour treatment of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel of the Beat Generation invited immediate skepticism.

“Reality” makes the case that society renders everyone impossibly small. The first and last shots of Matteo Garrone’s drama take place from extreme heights that make their focal point blend with their surroundings. Everything in frame takes on the dimensions of a dollhouse, as if the Italian filmmaker has assumed a godlike awareness. The compositions suggest that people are inherently trapped by their surroundings and never fully capable of realizing it.

‘Rust and Bone
Satisfying for what it is, the movie merely confirms Jacques Audiard’s skill with engaging actors in the potent theme of retribution.

‘The Paperboy’
Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy” is a rare case of serious commitment to outright silliness. The director’s follow-up to “Precious” fries its dramatic content with a blazingly absurd grindhouse style as extreme as the humidity bearing down on his characters.

‘Post Tenebras Lux’
A key distinction between Mexican director Carlos Reygadas’ completely baffling “Post Tenebras Lux” and his previous feature “Silent Light” comes from comparing their opening sequences.

‘The Sapphires
Marred by excessive sentiment, “The Sapphires” has a buoyancy and a hook that makes it stand out — but they’re elements that would help it kill on Broadway (as it already has on the Australian stage) a lot better than it does onscreen.

‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
The most prominent member of the French New Wave’s Left Bank filmmakers, the 90-year-old Alain Resnais has never really slowed down, but “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!” is hardly the poetic crowdpleaser of his last outing, 2009’s “Wild Grass.”

Go to Page 3 for INTERVIEWS and Page 4 for FEATURES…


Jeff Nichols, ‘Mud’
At 33, “Mud” writer/director Jeff Nichols is the youngest filmmaker in competition for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Lee Daniels, ‘The Paperboy’
After seeing his sophomore feature “Precious” premiere in Sundance’s US Dramatic Competition and go on to become a Academy Award-winning phenomenon, Lee Daniels is set to unveil his third directorial effort “The Paperboy” in Competition at Cannes on Thursday.

Andrew Dominik, ‘Killing Them Softly’
Twelve years ago, New Zealand-born music-video director Andrew Dominik exploded onto the international scene with his feature debut “Chopper,” a stylish, bloody portrait of a brutish outlaw.

Philip Kaufman, ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’
It’s been almost five decades since Philip Kaufman first came to Cannes with his 1964 debut “Goldstein,” an indie comedy co-directed by Benjamin Manaster.

Jennifer Lynch, ‘A Fall From Grace’
Jennifer Lynch’s laugh sounds just like you’d expect it to: full of mischievous fun, raspy and more than a little dirty.

John Hillcoat, ‘Lawless’
Australian director John Hillcoat may not seem the most obvious choice to direct “Lawless,” a Prohibition-era thriller set in the American South based on Matt Bondurant’s 2008 novel “The Wettest County in the World.”

Xavier Dolan, ‘Laurence, Anyways’
It’s been four years since Xavier Dolan first came to the Cannes Film Festival. Only 19 at the time, he quickly gained international admiration after his film, “I Killed My Mother,” swept the awards of the festival’s Director’s Fortnight section.

Michel Gondry, ‘The We & the I’
Michel Gondry isn’t known for taking on obvious, familiar material. But even by those standards, his latest movie, “The We & the I,” sounds like something entirely different: a freely improvised story about a group of public school students shot over the course of one day on a school bus.

Edouard Waintrop, Directors Fortnight Artistic Director
Many things at Cannes don’t change, but leadership at Directors Fortnight is a different story. This year, there’s a new team in town, led by artistic director Edouard Waintrop.

Go to Page 4 for FEATURES…


The Top 5 Contenders for the Palme d’Or
The Palme d’Or is unquestionably one of the most prestigious awards a filmmaker can win, but unlike the Oscars, it’s nearly impossible to predict. The decision comes down to a jury comprised of eight artists from around the world.

A First Look at Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’
“The Master” isn’t based on L. Rob Hubbard, or Scientology? That’s patent nonsense after seeing the Cannes promo footage from Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, which promises to annoy the hell out of those nice people in the big blue building between Sunset and Fountain.

10 Actors to Watch at Cannes
One of the single greatest opportunities for an actor to break out on the world cinema stage, the Cannes Film Festival, has helped launch countless careers.

Does the Palme d’Or Ever Equal Box Office Receipts?
Whatever wins the Palme d’Or this weekend at the Cannes Film Festival, statistics say that the prize offers no assurance of box office success.

The Five Most Interesting New Companies With Money at the Cannes Market, and How They Want to Spend It
For Cannes, it’s as predictable as topless sunbathers: Every year, new financing and production companies pop up in the months and weeks before the festival, ready to dive into the 12-day global market.

Mid-Festival Dispatch
Last week at Cannes I encountered a familiar problem: standing in line for a crowded screening and getting turned away at the door. Within hours, I heard that a consensus had been reached: The new Michel Gondry film was terrible.

With ‘The Oath of Tobruk’ Pick-Up Is Harvey Weinstein Creating His Own Ad Campaign for Obama’s Re-Election?
Always one to wrestle his films into the popular conversation, Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein has been indulging his activist streak at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox