A Prophet (Un Prophete)

After making his name on crime dramas set in his native Boston, Dennis Lehane is getting his next bit of inspiration from outside the country. The Shutter Island author has been tapped to write Sony’s English-language remake of A Prophet (a.k.a. Un prophète), Jacques Audiard‘s acclaimed French crime drama. More details on the upcoming film after the jump.

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Three years after the excellent prison thriller A Prophet, director Jacques Audiard is back with the romantic drama Rust and Bone. Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts plays a young father named Ali who meets a beautiful orca whale trainer, Stephanie (Marion Cotillard). As tragedy (or ludicrous plot twists, if you’re feeling less generous) strikes for both of them, the two imperfect beings fall in love. Watch the first UK trailer 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 »

The best news today, as far as I’m concerned, is probably this, one of the first deals announced out of the marketplace at the Toronto International Film Festival. (The fest begins in earnest tomorrow.) Marion Cotillard has been cast in the lead in a film called Rust and Bone, which will be A Prophet director Jacques Audiard‘s follow-up to his incredible 2009 film. Read More »

Sexy Beast Writer Pens The Princess’ Gangster

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Louis Mellis, one half of the writing team behind Sexy Beast and 44 Inch Chest (currently in limited release in the US) has been tapped to write The Princess’ Gangster, about the reported affair between Princess Margaret, younger sister of England’s Queen Elizabeth II,  and charismatic actor/tough guy John Bindon. It was tabloid stuff decades ago when Bindon claimed to have slept with the Princess, who had already been linked to a couple of other affairs. So Mellis would be working with a story of royalty, gangsters, tabloid fame and the movie business? Sounds like a perfect fit. Read More »

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If a male filmmaker desires to throw up grim truth and reality before the eyes of moviegoers and also swoon critics, many of whom subsist on darker themes, he will at some point consider making a film about war or prison. There are no greater immediate settings for tapping perennial sentiments of a mad world, or for demystifying masculinity by scraping it and reducing it to a primal essence. Unlike the ambitious gangster or mob film, reputable prison dramas tend to feature a protagonist that is closer to us, a person thrown to hell rather than embodying it, nakedly amidst wolves as opposed to running with them. (Ironic, given these characters’ punishments at the hands of society and/or government.)

Engrossing and well-crafted but formulaic and borderline genre-fare, A Prophet is the latest prison film to follow this mold and punch its way creatively outward. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, A Prophet has landed on a number of top 10 lists for 2009; with a domestic release forthcoming, we’ll likely see its inclusion on many of this year’s as well.

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Opening a trailer with a quote comparing the advertised film to The Godfather could be considered the greatest act of hubris in the movie advertising world. Perhaps it’s OK when the film in question is Jacques Audiard‘s A Prophet (Un Prophete), which won the Grand Prix at Cannes this past May, and has been called the favorite film of that festival (not just by the quote shown in the trailer) despite Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon taking the top prize. Since then A Prophet has been frequently heralded as one of the best films of the year.

Sony Pictures Classics picked up the movie for US distribution, and the company has released quite a nice little trailer, which you can see after the break. Read More »

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