2014 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP via BBC

OPENER
“Grace of Monaco” (Olivier Dahan)

COMPETITION
“Adieu au langage” (Jean-Luc Godard)
“The Captive” (Atom Egoyan)
“Clouds of Sils Maria” (Olivier Assayas)
“Foxcatcher” (Bennett Miller)
“The Homesman” (Tommy Lee Jones)
“Jimmy’s Hall” (Ken Loach)
“La Meraviglie” (Alice Rohrwacher)
“Leviathan” (Andrei Zvyagintsev)
“Maps to the Stars” (David Cronenberg)
“Mommy” (Xavier Dolan)
“Mr. Turner” (Mike Leigh)
“Saint Laurent” (Bertrand Bonello)
“The Search” (Michel Hazanavicius)
“Still the Water” (Naomi Kawase)
“Timbuktu” (Abderrahmane Sissako)
“Two Days, One Night” (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
“Wild Tales” (Damian Szifron)
“Winter Sleep” (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

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Recording this week’s Oscar Podcast, we touched briefly on Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes. We speculated about the jury that year, 2004. Craig Kennedy found the the jurors on a list online and named them: Quentin Tarantino, (President), Kathleen Turner, Tsui Hark, Peter Von Bagh, among others, and Tilda Swinton. This morning trying to decide how to approach Only Lovers Left Alive, I stumbled upon a treasure. I learned that Tilda Swinton delivered the State of Cinema address at the San Francisco Internatuonal Film Festival in 2006. Hoping to find it on youtube, I was only able to locate a 5-minute clip. But the transcript exists at several sites so I’d like to share it.

Tilda Swinton has two twin sons, now aged 16 — sons who would’ve been nearly 9 years old in 2006. Her address to the SFIFF takes the form of an imagined letter to Xavier, one of those sons.

A Letter to a Boy from his Mother
By Tilda Swinton

Boy, my darling,

You asked me the other day, just as you were dropping off, what people’s dreams were like before the cinema was invented. You who talk blabberish and chase rabbits in your sleep, hurrumphing like a dog… you who never watch television…

I’ve been thinking of your question ever since.

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W Mag has a profile of Gone Girl Rosamund Pike, detailing how she got the part, and how surprised she was when she got it:

Fincher suggested that they get to know each other via Skype, and Pike had to join a gym near Glasgow just to secure an Internet connection. She had not been given the script but had started reading the book, and she assumed that Fincher was talking to many actresses about the role. After several weeks of conversation, Fincher asked if Pike wanted to fly to St. Louis, where he was scouting locations. “I said, ‘I’ll swim to St. Louis,’ ” Pike recalled as she ate a french fry. “We met there for two days.” Other than Ben Affleck, who was up for the part of Nick Dunne, the boyish, smarter-than-he-looks husband, no other actor had been cast. Weeks after returning to Scotland, Pike received a text message from Fincher, saying, “You have the part,” which she accidentally erased. “The only evidence I have that I got the call to play Amy is a selfie of me jumping in the rain in the Highlands. I look both happy and thoroughly daunted—the whole ‘You got the best gig in years’ scenario gives me the creeps.” She paused. “But then again, I’m a very hard worker, and maybe people who have underestimated me or just thought I looked good will say they were wrong.”

by Jordan Ruimy

This is the third year I’ve been doing the Sumer Movie Preview for Awardsdaily and it seems like every year the quality only diminishes. Think about it, most of the big name blockbusters that will rake up all the money in the world this summer are either based on a TV show, a superhero movie or a sequel to a movie that never really needed a sequel. So yes, this list does have a few of those and I’m willing to believe they will be good films, but while researching this list I was really trying hard to find stuff that will come under the radar and really aim for more than just cheap thrills. I found nine movies that peaked my interest.

Transcendence (April 17th)

I’m really pushing it with this one since it really isn’t “officially” summer movie season on that date but still, this film looks genuinely thought provoking and it’s from Wally Pfister who’s been Christopher Nolan’s director of photography for god knows how any years. Suffice it to say the plot to this one is very Nolan-esque and it features a pretty great cast, especially Johnny Depp who could probably use a comeback vehicle after quite a few misses the last decade.

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Looks like Julianne Moore could be in line for a Best Actress nod here – that is, if voters can handle Mr. Cronenberg, which they usually can’t.

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You can probably guess where this is from:

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The Hollywood Reporter runs its second story on David Fincher, Sony and the supposed upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, wherein a source continues to huff and puff their side of the story all the while complaining about what a diva and tyrant Fincher is because of his “excessive” demands. Second story, same unnamed source, same one-sided lament. Let’s put this into the bigger picture. First, what do you do if you have a movie people only barely want to see that without Fincher’s name is even more of a DOA project? What do you do if you want the Fincher name but don’t want to wrestle from him the directorial control that would make the movie worthy of that name?

Put it this way: they need Fincher a lot more than Fincher needs them on this film. Yes, put Fincher and Aaron Sorkin together and you potentially have magic again, as you had with the Social Network. But you don’t hire a guy like Fincher in the first place if you want a director you can lead around by the balls. You say – we trust you because you’re one of the best directors working today, because you do not compromise your principles, nor do you invest time in something that will waste everyone else’s.

Conveniently missing from Masters’ story is Fincher’s side of things, the difficulties on his end on Dragon Tattoo and Social Network. But hey, why bother with those kinds of facts? Let’s get those clicks rolling to help this particular news outlet stay relevant. We live in an era where sexy headlines are the only ones that draw the kinds of traffic numbers websites need to stay afloat. Kim Masters is a reputable journalist with an ear towards scandal but there is something fishy about this story in that it’s entirely one-sided and no one seems to give a damn. I’m not a journalist but even I know that both sides are worth looking into. All we have here is gossip. Nasty gossip at that.
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GONE TRAILER
(We’ll keep trying to nail down an embeddable trailer that can stay alive on the site but for now 20th Fox keeps killing it. Eventually they’ll stop playing whack-a-mole. Until then you can find the trailer at iTunes).

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The interesting thing about 2004 is that two things happened that year. The first, the Academy had changed the date for the Oscars to being one month earlier. Ten years later we see that no film can really win Best Picture as a late game entry. The last one to do this was Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, trouncing the two frontrunners – The Aviator and Sideways, which were dominating. But Clint took the DGA and Million Dollar Baby took Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor.

The early awards were divided that year. The PGA went to the Aviator, the SAG went to Sideways and of course, the DGA went to Eastwood. Sideways had almost unanimous support from the critics. But it wasn’t “important” enough and didn’t have admirable enough characters to beat the one that really did strum the heartbeats of SAG members, not to mention having Eastwood and Freeman together again. Million Dollar Baby was the kind of film that people reacted to emotionally. The Aviator was deemed too complex and problematic. To that end, this year is a precursor to Slumdog Millionaire vs. Benjamin Button. High ambition without easy emotional payoff is a tough sell for Oscar voters. They far prefer the easy payoff.
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Written, directed by, and starring Tommy Lee Jones. The story here is Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank as prairie folk escorting three insane women across the frontier from Nebraska to Iowa. As disappointed as it may be to see that Meryl Streep is not one of the insane women, it’s still good to hear dialogue laced with the same wry laconic wit McCarthy and McMurtry might write.

(thanks, Mikhail!)