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Cannes Dispatch – That’s a Wrap

Cannes Dispatch – That’s a Wrap

The 75th Cannes Film Festival came to an end and after the Berlinale debacle under jury president M. Night Shyamalan, I’m happy to report that Vincent Lindon’s jury did good. Obviously I don’t agree 100% with their choices, but overall they delivered a solid list of winners, shining a light on some pretty damn fine films that the world needs to pay attention to....

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Oscar News

Oscar News

Nomadland | For Your Consideration

Nomadland | For Your Consideration

Chloé Zhao - Writer, Director, Editor There are only two filmmakers in history who were nominated for writing, directing and editing their feature films: David Lean and Chloé Zhao. There have been co-editors who were nominated for directing and writing. Even that is a short list: Michel Hazanavicious, the Coen Brothers and Alfonso Cuaron, who is the only director to win for editing and directing.  Chloé Zhao as the sole nominee for editing is quite an extraordinary thing,...

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Cannes Dispatch – Will Win / Should Win

It’s that time of year again. All 21 films in competition at the 75th Cannes Film Festival have screened and we’re ready to take a guess at who will win the favor of the jury chaired by French actor Vincent Lindon. Probably more than any other year that I’ve attended Cannes, there seems to be very little consensus on the ground as to who deserves to take home the Palme. The only thing people seem to agree on is that this has not been the best edition of the festival. Beyond that, everyone hates different things. For my money, the...

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Cannes Dispatch – Pacifiction / Broker / Close

See, I was hating so much of what I’ve been seeing at Cannes I was starting to wonder if it was ME. Luckily, all three competition films that premiered today proved otherwise. So here’s a lightening round of what beguiled, captivated and moved me to tears today (after that early morning ELVIS screening which already feels like years ago). First up is Spanish director Albert Serra’s PACIFICTION, a weird, mysterious, beautiful fever dream that surprised and entranced me like no other film in competition. Set on a French Polynesian island where a French government official (Benoît Magimel) spends his days...

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More Than a GoodFella: The Career of Ray Liotta

Almost any tribute to the career of Ray Liotta is going to begin with his role in Martin Scorsese's masterpiece on the life of gangster Henry Hill, and I won't be the outlier. You can make a fair argument that his performance in the central role of this drop-dead, no-argument classic is one of the greatest performances ever to not be nominated for an Oscar. Ray Liotta owned that part, and it's worth remembering who he was surrounded by—Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Lorraine Bracco—the latter two giving career-best performances. And while those three actors deserve all possible plaudits for...

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Tribeca Shorts: ‘Pragma’ Examines A Practical Hunt to Finding Love

You cannot manufacture intimacy and connection when it comes to love, but that doesn't mean the human race will ever stop trying. In Ellie Heydon's remarkably warm and relatable short film, Pragma, one woman decides to take control of her own romantic destiny. Will a little help go a long way, or will she learn to trust her own instincts? Willow is excited to attend her course at Pragma, a weeklong retreat that guarantees its participants a true, lasting match. In a room full of people this beautiful, sparks will inevitably fly, but does instant attraction mean true love? Is...

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Cannes Dispatch – Elvis

Will there ever be another Elvis Presley? Judging by Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s eye-popping biopic dedicated to the King of Rock & Roll, probably not. Anchored by an incendiary, soul-shaking lead performance, ELVIS is pure, glorious sensory overload that manages to capture the madness of superstardom. Premiering out of competition at Cannes, it’s possibly the best thing I’ve seen so far at the festival this year. Will keep this one brief because Cannes in its infinite wisdom programmed THREE competition titles to screen on the same day as ELVIS. People should know that structurally, the film doesn’t reinvent the wheel....

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Cannes Dispatch – Decision to Leave / Tori and Lokita

Korean director Park Chan Wook is one of those people who just can’t make a bad movie. The man has such intelligence, style and a unique sense of humor he can’t tell an uninteresting story even if he tried. Seven years after he dabbled in period erotica with THE HANDMAIDEN, he returns to Cannes competition with the mystery/romance DECISION TO LEAVE and it is, unsurprisingly, a treat. A businessman is found dead at the foot of a cliff after an apparent suicide. There’s a note, there are no signs of foul play, and yet something about the case still bothers...

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Tribeca Shorts: ‘Chicken’ Tenderly Dives Into Child Incarceration and Fatherhood

Imagine all of the milestones you hit when you were 16 years old. You are nearing the end of high school, and most people are excited to pass their driver's test. For the young men in Josh Leong's tender short film, Chicken, a prison sentence will determine the course of the rest of their lives, and it's up to them to find strength in their hearts to care for other living things. Jordan Biggs' Shrue is a young man preparing for a prison sentence a week before Father's Day. Even at the young age of 16, he is already experience...

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Cannes Dispatch – Holy Spider

Guys, this is why I go to all these film festivals. Yes, you do see a lot of filler and the occasional bombs even at the best of them. But when the real deal comes along, when you see a work of true brilliance shared with the world for the first time, that thrill just never gets old. Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi’s HOLY SPIDER is an instantly classic entry into the canon of serial killer crime dramas that premiered in competition at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. In terms of technical mastery and tonal control, it more than holds its...

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Cannes Dispatch -Three Thousand Years of Longing / Enys Men

When you head out for a 4-film day on a couple of hours’ of sleep, you probably don’t feel your best self. Then again, if a new George Miller is on the menu, you obviously pull yourself together and remember to check your privilege. Seven years after his genre-defining masterpiece MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Miller is back with a narrative feature. Premiering out of competition at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING is a mythical extravaganza that packs an unexpected humanistic punch. Fans of historical fantasy will have a field day and those of us who...

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Why Disney Should Bring Back Johnny Depp for Pirates 6

The Johnny Depp defamation case against Amber Heard, the latest chapter of an ongoing saga that began sometime in 2012 and might finally be nearing its end, has captivated the public. For many people, this and the Oscar slap are more dramatic and interesting than probably any film made this year. The climate of fear has essentially castrated storytellers. That has made for bland, safe, correct films and television shows, with very few exceptions. We know when a story is true it will be safe from the clutches of puritanical activists who seek to monitor art the same way the...

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Cannes Dispatch – Triangle of Sadness / R.M.N.

Ok Cannes, now we’re talking. As we near the halfway mark of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, it’s fair to say that the first stretch of the competition has been disappointing, to put it politely, featuring a number of duds and at least one THE LAST FACE-level fiasco (which we shall not name in the spirit of kindness). Which makes it all the more exciting that two bona fide Palme d’Or contenders from previous Cannes winners premiered back to back today, adding some much needed heat to the race. With TRIANGLE OF SADNESS, Swedish director Ruben Östlund delivers another social...

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‘Men:’ Alex Garland’s Spellbinding Chiller

Though he has only directed three feature films, Alex Garland has already had one hell of a career. Garland erupted onto the scene in 2015 with Ex Machina, an allegory on artificial intelligence. The film stars Alicia Vikander as a state-of-the-art, self-aware humanoid A.I. who seeks to evolve beyond her captivity. Garland expertly crafted a tale of false intimacy, leaving the viewer vulnerable to the madness that unfolds. While smart as a whip, Ex Machina is a well-polished film that audiences find engaging and comprehensible. His second film, Annihilation, stars Natalie Portman as Lena, a biologist who encounters a foreboding...

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ADTV

HBO Holds ‘Gilded Age’ Emmys FYC Event at Whitby Hotel

"I feel like Christine and Agnes are merging," said Julian Fellowes to the audience's delight about the similarities between Christina Baranski and her The Gilded Age character, Agnes van Rhijn. The mood was light and airy for HBO's FYC event this week in New York City's Whitby Hotel for the elegant and prestigious drama, The Gilded Age. The event welcomed stars Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Morgan Spector, Carrie Coon, Louisa Jacobson, and Denée Benton as well as creator and writer Julian Fellowes. The audience was eager to hear what the creative team had to say after viewing one of the...

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Mark Duplass On ‘The Morning Show’ Season 2, What’s in Store for Chip and Alex

Awards Daily talks to Mark Duplass of Apple TV+'s The Morning Show about Chip's toxic relationship with Alex (Jennifer Aniston) and how the Season 2 finale mirrors a bit of the start of his career. When we meet up with Mark Duplass's Chip Black in Season 2 of The Morning Show, he appears to be blissfully happy working at a local TV station and in a new relationship with girlfriend Madeleine (played by Duplass's real-life wife Katie Aselton). But something (re: Alex Levy) draws him back into the fold of network television, to a job that left him completely miserable...

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Russo-Young Explores LGBTQ Family Rights in ‘Nuclear Family’

HBO’s powerful 3-part documentary Nuclear Family exquisitely details a landmark case in LGBTQ family rights. Sandy Russo and Robin Young had the loving desire to start a family at a time when lesbians and gays didn’t do that in the late 70s/early 80s. Years later, that eventually devolved into a court battle, pitting the two women against one of the gay biological sperm donors. With Ry Russo-Young (one of two daughters born to Russo and Young) at the center of the storm, the trial culminated in a landmark decision that would have great significance for LGBTQ families. Forty years later, Russo-Young boldly...

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