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.
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WINNER: Sony Pictures Classics
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.
WINNER: Harvey Weinstein
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).
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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.
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LOSER: “Grace of Monaco”
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.
LOSER: Malaysian Airlines project
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.
LOSER: Lindsay Lohan
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.