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Cannes 2017: Wonderstruck Makes a Strong Impression at Cannes

Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck showed for Cannes press this morning. The film, unconventional but moving, appears to be another strong offering from Haynes, whose career seems to know no bounds when it comes to subject matter. David Ehrlich’s review at Indiewire is a good one.Anne Thompson called it Cannes first Oscar contender. Backed by Amazon and Roadside (Manchester by the Sea) that’s probably a good call, though many said the same thing last year about Loving. It’s not an easy feat keeping a movie afloat for an entire year but from everything I’ve read so far, this is a keeper.

Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Kilday on Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck:

At first glance, Wonderstruck may not look like typical Academy fare. Its two biggest stars, Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams, play supporting roles, while the two leads on whose young shoulders the movie rests are 12-year-old Oakes Fegley, who’s previously starred in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, and 14-year-old Millicent Simmonds, a deaf girl making her screen debut.

But it also boasts impeccable work by such frequent Haynes collaborators as cinematographer Edward Lachman, film editor Affonso Goncalves, production designer Mark Friedberg, costume designer Sandy Powell and composer Carter Burwell, to whose work attention must always be paid. “It is a film that reallys draws attention to the language of film in almost every conceivable way,” Haynes said.

And when the two threads of its story finally intersect, it also glows with a well-earned emotional release.

Wonderstruck can be expected to get strong support from Amazon Studios, which is releasing the film along with Roadside Attractions in the fall and which proved its awards bona fides last season as it promoted Manchester by the Sea to six Oscar noms and two wins.

The film may not follow a conventional approach to its story-telling, but then, last year, neither did Moonlight, and it was eventually crowned best picture, suggesting that as the Academy has nurtured a more diverse and international membership, its taste is becoming more adventurous.

And while the 90th Academy Awards are more than nine months away, Haynes himself doesn’t shy away from the idea of the long promotional trek ahead. “I feel I learn a lot by promoting a film,” Haynes tells THR. “I accepted all the requests the Weinstein Co. asked of me on Carol. It wasn’t about the awards race. In this day and age where the theatrical venture is fading, it was about letting people know the film is out there, and it’s something worthy of seeing on the screen.”