Most film festival attendees love to drone on and on about how whatever festival they just returned from was one of the worst in recorded history, with no break out films or performances and how there was nothing to buy. But even the most jaded fest-goer had to admit that this year’s Cannes Film Festival was one of the best in recent memory. Amazingly, Jane Campion’s festival jury seemed to get it right in their selections, such as bestowing the Palme D’Or on “Winter Sleep” The 3 hour 15 minute Turkish drama (yes, you read that right) from director Nuri Bilge Ceylan took home the prize and had distributors vying to acquire the film.
On the acting side, Timothy Spall won Best Actor and rightfully so, from what I’ve heard. His turn as troubled British painter J.M.W. Turner in “Mr. Turner” was nothing short of brilliant and it would be wonderful to have an actor who has basically spent his entire career in character roles finally get his due come Oscar nomination time. Sony Classics has US distribution rights
Julianne Moore took home Best Actress for her role in David Cronenberg’s Hollywood bash-fest, “Maps To The Stars”. eOne has domestic rights to the film.
Bennett Miller won Best Director for his fascinating drama “Foxcatcher” from Annapurna Pictures and Sony Classics. The film currently has a November 14 release date, just in time for Oscar season, for which Miller should be a going concern along with possible acting noms for Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.
In acquisition news from Cannes, Sony Classics (they were extremely busy at Le Croisette this year) bought the Russian drama “Leviathon” as well as Wim Wenders’ “Salt Of The Earth”, and Saban Films picked up the Tommy Lee Jones directed, “The Homesman”,
Other reactions of note from Cannes include a 10 minute standing ovation for Weinstein’s “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby”, with stunning performances by both Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, very positive reaction to Michel Hazanavicius’ follow-up to “The Artist”, “The Search”, a war-torn Chechnyan drama starring Berenice Bejo and Annette Bening, and a very polarizing screening of “Lost River”, the first directorial effort by Ryan Gosling.
And lastly back on these shores, the Los Angeles Film Festival runs June 11-19 and showcases titles such as “Snowpiercer” from director Joon-Ho Bong, Sony Classics’ “Land Ho”, Justin Cimien’s comedy, “Dear White People” and Relativity’s “Earth To Echo”