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Cannes Diary – Because the Night

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Six years I’ve been coming to the Cannes Film Fest but I’ve never attended the Cinema de la Plage, their drive-in on the beach. Quentin Tarantino was here this week with his tribute to Sergio Leone, truly one of the best directors of the western and one to whom Tarantino himself owes a great debt. But many directors have stolen from Leone, not just Tarantino. Tonight’s event featured The Good,…


Finding Oscar Contenders in Cannes

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While Oscar season is a long way off, and the long march to the end of the year often discards films whose buzz can’t be sustained, a good movie is a good movie is a good movie. But we don’t always measure Oscar contenders that way. We measure them, usually, by who made them, how important they are in the business, what their career arc is. For instance, Julianne Moore…


The Homesman – Haunted by How the West was Won

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The Homesman works as both an entertaining western as well as a subtle commentary on a dark moment in our American history, specifically how the West was won, when settlers stole the land outright from Native Americans and justified their cruelty with Christianity. We took what we wanted with little regard for what was there before. The immoral behavior of a supposedly moral people is a shameful part of our…


Cannes Diary: All Lost on the Croissette

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“They call me classless, I heard that. I second and third that.” Eminem The thing I love most about Cannes is not the way the sun cascades down the sides of Monet-colored buildings in the afternoon. It isn’t the way the streets smell like wine somehow, or the way old Hollywood glamor has carved its thumbprint over the whole festival. Remnants of classic Hollywood chic have mostly faded (even in…


The State of the Race: What We Can Learn from Cannes So Far

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It’s best not to think about the Oscar race when in Cannes. Why would you? The two competitions are worlds away from one another and vive la difference. Yesterday’s press luncheon for the Weinstein Co. brought the topic of Oscars to the forefront, however, and it’s never too early to take a look at the way things might be changing at this stage of the game, for better or worse….


A masterpiece of subtlety – Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner

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“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.” ― Claude Monet With Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, a perfect union of film biographer and subject has landed at Cannes. In his film about J.M.W. Turner, an English Romantic painter of landscapes who caught the subtle shimmer of light on water in ways the world had never seen, the director known for capturing the subtle grace of human behavior has delivered a…


Cannes Diary: Being There

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As journalists and bloggers descend upon the seaside town of Cannes in the south of France, the nagging question remains: Why would an Oscar analyst spend thousands of dollars to travel thousands of miles to attend a film festival that has limited influence on the Oscars? First, it’s because our love for movies is a stronger force in our lives than our interest in the Oscars. World cinema doesn’t rely…

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Top Twenty Cinema Mothers to Celebrate Mother’s Day

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How many great moms on film can you think of? They fall into categories. The first is the best kind, the mom who figures out motherhood along the way. There is the saintly mother – Grapes of Wrath, It’s a Wonderful Life. And the evil mother – Psycho, Mommy Dearest. They are all equally wonderful, wouldn’t you say? TIME Mag has a pretty good list. You aren’t born a parent,…


Maleficent to Test Angelina Jolie’s Box Office Clout, Women Overall

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Jennifer Lawrence is a tried and true box office star. She draws both men and women, has won an Oscar and seems to have everything a star needs now, male or female, to bring in ticket buyers. The last one like her was Julia Roberts but she never had to endure what every actor/actress has to now: how to shimmy up the pole of the fanboy demographic. Lawrence has done…


Vocativ Hands out Awards for Film Critics, Uses Faulty System

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Someone was bound to, sooner or later, come down on the critics for one thing or another. So these two writers, Adam K Raymond and Matan Gilat, decided to gather up all of the Metacritic scores and rank the critics from most agreeable to least. I wouldn’t ordinarily mind this particular method of ranking critics if it weren’t based on the premise: who most agrees or disagrees with the fully…