2015+ Projects include “Trumbo” for director Jay Roach; “Holland, Michigan” for Errol Morris; and “Home Again” as writer-director — and just possibly, star.
It's a wrap on the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival as the jury awarded the Palme d'Or to Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Winter Sleep." Variety's chief film critics also weighed in on the five pictures that left the strongest impressions.
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Post-screening conversations will focus on the exceedingly strange reality rupture that occurs at the midway point, but Pascale Ferran's beguiling two-hander is far more than the sum of its peculiarities. Wry, observant and endlessly empathetic, this wondrous film effortlessly locates the magical in the mundane.
It takes only a split second to reveal the ugly truth, but a near-eternity to grapple with the implications in Ruben Ostlund's scalding study of a family on the ski vacation from hell. A ruthless, confrontational and delectably entertaining dissection of the modern male ego.
— Justin Chang
The avalanche certainly gets your attention, but it's the resulting fissures in a catalog-perfect Swedish couple's relationship that stick with you in Ruben Ostlund's precisely orchestrated psycho-drama. Challenge me to predict one film from an unspectacular lineup that we'll still be talking about in 10 years, and this would be it.
After "Capote" and "Moneyball," Bennett Miller hits it out of the park for the third time in a row with this taut, trenchant and brilliantly acted psychological thriller — another ripped-from-the-headlines parable of American ambition, this time taken to its darkest possible extremes.
— Justin Chang
An ostensible true-crime procedural, Bennett Miller's impeccably acted and directed three-hander gradually evolves into a major study of American power, privilege and masculine identity, cut from the same unsparing cloth as "Greed," "Citizen Kane" and "There Will Be Blood."
In what sometimes felt more like the Canine Film Festival, no dog movie proved more thrilling or audacious than Kornel Mundruczo's return-of-the-repressed fable in which man's best friend suddenly becomes his worst enemy. Politically charged and technically astounding, it's a Disney live-action special with the bracingly dark soul of an exploitation cheapie.
Earning every millisecond of its 196-minute running time, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winner finds the Turkish master at his most Bergman-esque, turning his actors' faces into landscapes no less magnificent or expressive than the wild Anatolian terrain.
— Justin Chang
Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan surpassed himself with a deserving Palme d'Or winner that was anything but a snooze. Drawing on a dense inventory of literary and cinematic reference points, "Winter Sleep" crafts a sprawling multi-character tragedy that feels at once modern and timeless.
The great Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil co-wrote and stars as a dispossessed tribal man in this haunting drama from director Rolf de Heer. Though there is a story, the movie draws much of its power from poetic closeups of its star's magnificently weathered face, as expressive as that of the great silent screen stars.
A typically dense, boldly experimental collage film (of sounds, images and ideas) from Jean-Luc Godard, "Goodbye" felt at once like a farewell and a renewal, and (per jury president Jane Campion) the freest film in Cannes. The only film of the festival I made a point to see twice.
Filming on the ground in the thick of the recent Ukrainian Revolution, director Sergei Loznitsa eschewed the usual handheld aesthetics of such documentaries in favor of breathtakingly composed master shots. The results achieve a unique contrapuntal tension between the rigid borders of the frame and the frequent chaos erupting within them.
— Scott Foundas
It was another banner year for female performances following 2013's “Blue Is the Warmest Color” win, with stellar roles for Hilary Swank, Julianne Moore, Marion Cotillard and the entire “Girlhood” gang. But it was the original “Blue” star, Juliette Binoche, who really heated things up with co-star Kristen Stewart in Olivier Assayas' brave study of actorly insecurity.
If I wanted to look clever, I'd tell you my favorite movie at Cannes was a turgid 3½-hour Turkish drama, but the truth is, I dozed through much of “Winter's Sleep.” Honestly, the film that thrilled me most was a Hollywood cartoon — as deserving a sequel as “Toy Story 2.”
At Sundance, the movies tend to run about 90 minutes. In Cannes, audiences buckle up for longer, denser cinematic experiences, the heftiest of which was Russian helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev's look at all that's wrong with Russia through the prism of an unlucky family man. (“Foxcatcher” subjected America to similar scrutiny.)
Hands down, the best film in Cannes this year was “Pulp Fiction,” which celebrated its 20th anniversary with a beachside screening. Had Tarantino been president of the jury, surely he would've awarded the Palme to Damian Szifron's cracked debut, featuring six slick, darkly comic riffs on his favorite subject: revenge.
This year's Cannes Film Festival awarded the Palme d'Or to Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Winter Sleep," while acting prizes went to Timothy Spall for "Mr. Turner" and Julianne Moore for "Maps to the Stars." But there were other winners (and some losers) on the Croisette, too. Sony Pictures Classics, the Weinstein Co. and A24 all came away with a haul of pics, but Weinstein exec David Glasser downplayed the numbers. "It's not a matter of the quality of films this year, it's about quality," he said. Steve Carell delivered the breakout performance of the fest in "Foxcatcher," an unaccustomed dramatic turn for the comic actor. "It was scary, because it's like nothing I've ever done before," he told reporters.
Co-president Michael Barker called it his best Cannes ever. The studio inked several acquisitions ("Wild Tales," "Saint Laurent," "Jimmy's Hall") and landed kudos for Timothy Spall in "Mr. Turner." But all eyes were on director winner "Foxcatcher," which kicked off next year's awards race with a stunning performance from Steve Carell.
Even though he cut public appearances short, skipping the "Grace of Monaco" premiere," Weinstein was a force, closing deals for worldwide rights to "Lion" ($12 million); U.S. distribution of "The Coup" ($5 million); Russell Crowe's "The Water Diviner" (a reported $4 million); and John Carney's "Sing Street" ($3 million).
The distrib followed its Sundance buying spree, taking "Son of a Gun," Atom Egoyan's "The Captive" and Brie Larson-starrer "Room," which starts filming soon. The fest largely lacked star-driven packages, although Par shelled out $20 million for North America and China rights to Denis Villeneuve's "Story of Your Life" with Amy Adams.
His directing debut, "Lost River," was panned by critics, suggesting he may not be the next Clint Eastwood. But the Cannes crowd still showed him love, giving him a lengthy standing ovation at the May 20 premiere.
For months, director Olivier Dahan was locked in a battle with Weinstein because he didn't want to tweak his Grace Kelly biopic. It turns out, Dahan was wrong — the opening night movie starring Nicole Kidman was trashed by the press.
Indian director Rupesh Paul came to Cannes with a 90-second trailer for a $3.5 million drama about the vanished airline. But most commenters agree — it's just a bit too soon for a fictionalized account of the tragedy.
Starring in no movies at the fest, she and her entourage were escorted off the Participant Media yacht after trying to crash the party; and Julianne Moore's perf as a washed-up diva in "Maps to the Stars" seemed to channel her.