a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Cannes’

“Amour” wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes!

Well, Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone certainly knows how to pick’em! In her historic podcast from a restaurant in Cannes, she mentioned Michael Haneke’s “Amour” second, after Marion Cotillard’s “Of Rust and Bone” as being her top two favorites. And despite it’s difficult subject matter, old age, senility and death, it has gotten widespread and almost unanimous love from the critics across the board.

The only nay-sayer was Jeffrey Wells, at that same luncheon, during that same podcast, which you can hear at http://www.awardsdaily.com in the Oscar poker section and also on Wells’ site http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com JW said he was going to skip it at the time the podcast was recorded and then later he does seem to have reluctantly dragged himself to it and lists it as “A respectful, but difficult sit.”

Will this lead to an Oscar somehow, somewhere? France is only allowed(and so is every other country in the world) one submission to the Oscars Best Foreign Film category. And since Michael Haneke, the director/writer is German, that could mean a more thoroughly French film, like “Of Rust and Bone” or even “The Intouchables” may be submitted by France.

If that does happen, an Oscar brouhaha would like  occur and the two distinguished lead actors, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva could get acting nominations, though I don’t think either would win.

It seemed like the beloved Marion Cotillard was going to walk away with it for “Of Rust and Bone” but she didn’t. Best Actress at Cannes went to two unknown Roumanian actresses in “Beyond the Hills” which Sasha also mentioned as among the best films she saw during her podcast.

Jeffrey Wells’ favorite film? Well, it seems to have been “On the Road” the Jack Kerouac book that established the Beat Generation. Yes, it’s finally made it to the big screen and Jeff loved it. But no one else seems to have.” Boring,” is the word most often used to describe this two and a half hour meticulously re-created road trip.

“On the Road” was described famously be Truman Capote as “That’s not writing. It’s typing.”

Well, we shall see. IFC has it. And Sony Pictures Classics has “Of Rust and Bone” and also “Amour” SPC is used to these races, as IFC is not. The Weinstein Co. has defined and redefined the Oscar race for the past quarter century. But none of its’ pictures at Cannes seems to have caught fire, unlike last year’s “The Artist.”

Anne Thompson, who kept getting disconnected from her own podcast this week, thought that “The Intouchables” had better Oscar prospects than any other of the TWC films at Cannes. Among them “Lawless” ANOTHER gangster film. When will THAT genre ever die???

But congratulations to Michael Haneke for winning ANOTHER Palm d’Or for “Amour”! He won recently, too, for “The White Band.”

Oscar’s Eyes glimmering and gleaming at Cannes at Corey Stall & Tilda Swinton!

The new Oscar season starts at Cannes. Yes. It does. It’s earlier every year, but this year Cannes seems particularly poised to kick off a few, or more than a few Oscar hopefuls, LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG race, or stroll, I guess at this distance, to the 2012 podium.

First off, I’m starting with the film that opened Cannes to such tumultuous acclaim, Woody Allen’s new film, yes, ANOTHER one, set and shot entirely in Paris, called, of course “Midnight in Paris.” And Woody, who avoids all such hype, usually, in the US, does turn up in personi and walks the red carpet in Cannes whenever he’s got a film in competition.

And the French are going crazy for “Midnight in Paris” picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics already and on its way to a theater NEAR YOU! Maybe as soon as next week in major cities.

Now I haven’t seen it yet, but people are acclaiming it as one of his best. Although some bloggers like David Poland of www.moviecitynews.com thought it was just “Okay.” Which is it?

Well, one thing is ALWAYS true of a Woody Allen film…it’s a VERY Oscar friendly cinematic situation, especially in the Supporting categories. And the ONE person coming out of Cannes with a bucketful of kudos is unknown Corey Stall, who plays Ernest Hemingway. EVERY review singled him out. And so did Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone, who, yes, is there in person, covering every thing on and off La Croisette in fine form at www.awardsdaily.com and also at Steve Pond’s www.thewrap.com

I’m not surprised because I know Corey from his days at NYU Grad Acting, where I saw him ace a WIDE variety of roles, including Big Daddy in a memorable “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. He must’ve been 24 or 25, and he’s not fat. Maybe he was in a fat suit, but he shaved his head and was virtually unrecognizable to me as one of Tennessee Williams most indelibe characters, and Corey made it HIS OWN.  He was transformative, mature-for-his-age and memorable. I can still see him to this day, grumbling out that key word to Big Daddy’s character “MENDACITY!” And you could swear that it was a man in his ’50s or ’60s doing it! And it was young Corey Stall! No wonder his Ernest Hemingway as a young man in “Midnight in Paris” is resonating so strongly with critics at Cannes. It sounds like a perfect meeting of actor and character to me.

C0rey may not win, but he is the one who is being singled out in a star-studded cast that includes Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates and Marion Cotillard, and that usually means OSCAR NOMINATION! I’m calling it now!

There may be many more nominations coming this scrumptious-sounding film’s way, and I’ll let you know when I see it ASAP.

And then there’s Tilda Swinton, evidently, by all reports, doing her career best in a film called “We’ve Got to Talk About Kevin.” Actually, we’ve got to talk about Tilda…Who just doesn’t stop topping herself. I can’t wait to see this film, too.

And coming up at Cannes, or winding up to the Big Finish,  the Grand Finale is Pedro Almodovar’s new film, “El Piel Que Habito” (The Skin I Live In) which is the Closing Night Film. His first film in ages without Penelope Cruz ,but WITH his first break-out International Star, Antonio Banderas.

Lots of Oscar potential here.

But will they go the distance or fade, unfortunately, as the year wears on, like Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” did last year and “Bright Star” did the year before?

But it seems like Woody and Tilda have started their Oscar ball rolling in fine French fettle. Let the games begin!

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