With the Cannes Film Festival only a few days away, get ready to hear about film packages that are up for grabs at the festival. Filmmakers come to the festival with some actors, a script and try and get money to make a movie. Many don’t happen, many do, and here’s an example of one that will likely see the light of day. It’s called Agent: Century 21 (yes, as in the real estate company) and will star Cameron Diaz as a divorced real estate agent who gets kidnapped and sent on a mission by a Mexican drug lord, played by Benicio Del Toro. It’ll be directed by first timer Adam Hashemi and was written by Greg Brooker (Stuart Little). Read more after the jump. Read More »

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‘On the Road’ Finally Gets U.S. Distribution

After some thirty-odd years in development, On the Road is finally nearing the end of its long, long journey to the big screen. A week before the film’s scheduled debut at the Cannes Film Festival, IFC Films and Sundance Selects (subsets of AMC Networks) have closed a seven-figure deal for the U.S. distribution rights to the Walter Salles-directed adaptation, which features a strong roster of both rising and established stars.

Among them are leads Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund, who play Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty (understood to be the fictional alter egos of author Jack Kerouac and his pal Neal Cassady), as well as Kristen Stewart, who plays Dean’s wife Mary Lou. Kirsten Dunst, Amy AdamsTom SturridgeDanny MorganAlice BragaElisabeth Moss, and Viggo Mortensen round out the supporting cast. More details after the jump.

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The primary lineup for the competition slate at the 2012 Cannes has been unveilend, and it is a very strong list of films. There are quite a few expected entries: David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, Lee DanielsThe Paperboy, John Hillcoat‘s Lawless (formerly The Wettest County), and Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly (formerly Cogan’s Trade), and we already knew that Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom would open the festival.

But the international lineup is even more exciting, with films such as Rust & Bone from Jacques Audiard, Amour from Micheal Haneke, The Hunt from Thomas Vinterberg, and Mekong Hotel from 2010 Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. As is occasionally the case with Cannes, this year’s lineup features many returning Cannes award winners; it’s a world-class program.

The downside to all of that is that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master and Terrence Malick‘s as-yet untitled romance starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem didn’t show up in the list. There is some time for them to be added to the festival lineup in some measure, but (as expected) we’ll likely have to wait until this fall for The Master. As for the Malick movie… well, it’s Malick, so who knows?

You’ll find the lineup as it has been announced so far after the break. Read More »

It may be a while before we see the triumphant return of Bob and Helen Parr and their superpowered brood, but if Joss Whedon is to be believed, a rematch between Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer may not be so far off. After the jump:

  • Joss Whedon will get started on Dr. Horrible 2 this summer
  • Catching Fire (a.k.a. Hunger Games 2) won’t be in 3D
  • Hey look, it’s another new Riddick image
  • Brad Bird might maybe do an Incredibles 2 someday, eventually
  • Madagascar 3 will debut at Cannes

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The Cannes jury, headed by Robert De Niro, has selected the winners of this year’s competition slate, and the results are slightly surprising. In the early days of the fest two films quickly emerged as seeming front-runners for the top prize, Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Michel Hazanavicius‘ silent black and white film The Artist, but the Palme d’Or went instead to Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life.

The slate of winners was surprisingly tipped towards American films and talent, or films that played very specifically towards American tendencies in a way that isn’t quite typical for a Cannes awards slate. The full list of winners is after the break. Read More »

The first Cannes screening of Drive, the new film from Nicolas Winding Refn that stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks, ended not long ago. Reviews aren’t up yet, but  a sampling of Twitter reactions suggests the movie has one of the most positive consensus opinions of the Cannes premieres so far — I think only We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Artist rival it for near-unanimity of positive opinion.

Check out a few reactions after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Another of our most-anticipated Cannes premieres was shown to press early today, Cannes time, and reviews are hitting the web. Pedro Almodovar‘s The Skin I Live In represents his first collaboration with actor Antonio Banderas in twenty years, and also marks a break in subject matter for the director.

Based on Thierry Jonquet‘s novel Tarantula (aka Mygale), the story follows an ambitious plastic surgeon (Banderas) whose wife was burned in an accident, leading him to attempt to synthesize a new, superior form of human skin. The picture seems like a weird medical horror/thriller story, and indeed, at the film’s press conference, the director said, “It’s a thriller indeed because it fits in with my life at present. Throughout my career as a director, I’ve worked in different genres—comedy, drama and now I’m in a thriller period. Through thrillers, you can touch on other types of genre. I don’t think it’s completely necessary to stick to the rules of a type of genre like people naively did in the ‘50s.”

Reviews so far praise elements (Banderas’ performance) while clucking a bit over the fact that the film isn’t supremely focused. That seems to be par for the course at Cannes this year, where there has been little overwhelming critical consensus about any film other than Lynne Ramsay’s widely-praised We Need to Talk About Kevin. We’ve got three clips and a small review sampling for The Skin I Live In, after the break. Read More »

Cannes Bans Lars Von Trier

Early this morning, the Cannes Film Festival declared Lars Von Trier “persona non grata, with effect immediately,” effectively expelling him from this year’s festival. This was in response to Von Trier’s remarks about Nazis, despite the fact that said remarks were made jokingly, specifically intended to provoke, and apologized for after the fact.

It is unclear if the ban will extend to future festivals, or if it will affect the prize-winning chances of Von Trier’s well-received festival film, Melancholia. According to the The New York Times, the film will still be in contention but if it wins any awards, von Trier will not be there to accept them.

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You can say this for Lars Von Trier: he doesn’t believe in treading lightly. If today wasn’t so busy I’d spend a few hours digging up the director’s old comments from Cannes press conferences and correlating their level of pseudo-outrage to the quality of the film he’s promoting. His latest movie, Melancholia, premiered at Cannes today and the reviews are (perhaps predictably) mixed, with some of the most telling comments coming in the form of negative reviews from normally sympathetic fans. (There are also some significant raves.)

‘Sympathetic’ is the byword for LVT today, as the press conference for Melancholia featured the director baiting the press with statements about feeling that he understands Hitler and being a Nazi. Depending on how you look at it, press-baiting may not even have been his goal — it is more like the Nazi comments grew out of an attempt at a joke that, like a poor SNL routine, went on too long and wound down into an awkward sort of ‘oops’ conclusion. (A conclusion that proved perhaps appropriately apocalyptic, given the context of promoting a film about the end of the world.) The discourse about him today is dominated this current provocation, but we’ve also got early reviews of Melancholia and a few more upcoming career details. Read More »