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winter sleep poster

The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up on Saturday with the announcement of this years Palme d’Or winner. The Turkish film WINTER SLEEP took home the festivals highest honor. The 3 hour and 16 minute film was directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Summary of plot from IMDB:

Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce. In winter as the snow begins to fall, the hotel turns into a shelter but also an inescapable place that fuels their animosities.

This years jury included Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe and Nicolas Winding Refn chose the winners from this years selection of 18 films.

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman announced the winner of the Palme d’Or.

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It’s doubtful that WINTER SLEEP will be a movie that Americans run out to see. Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter writes a mostly positive review, but also notes:

Here, things are different. The 3½ hour running time takes no prisoners even among art house audiences and demands a commitment to attentive viewing that, despite the film’s sometimes terrible longeurs, pays off in the end. But the challengingly long dialogue scenes, shot in brazenly elementary shot-countershot style, will further challenge audiences who lack excellent subtitle-reading skills.

Past Palme d’Or winners rarely make it to the Oscar race. Mostly because the Oscar world and the Cannes world look at films completely differently. Hollywood is about big stars and the almighty dollar. The “real” cinema world rewards the art. Although many would disagree, the Oscars are a part of Pop Culture. Something Cannes juries could care less about. Only 2 movies that have won the Palme d’Or went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Billy Wilder’s 1945 LOST WEEKEND and MARTY starring Ernest Borgnine in 1955. Plenty of Cannes winners have gone on to get Oscar nominations, including TAXI DRIVER, ALL THAT JAZZ, THE PIANO, PULP FICTION and M*A*S*H. Last years winner BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR turned out to not be eligible for an Oscar because of it’s late release. In 2012 Palme d’or winner AMOUR was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture. The year before, THE TREE OF LIFE was also a Best Picture nominee.

While WINTER SLEEP may not go to the Oscars, other festival winners like FOXCATCHER, MAPS OF THE STARS and MR. TURNER just might.

List of Cannes Film Festival winners:

Palme d’or
Winter sleep, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Director
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Grand Prix
Les Merveilles (Le Meraviglie) directed by Alice Rohrwacher

Jury Prize
Xavier Dolan for Mommy
Jean-Luc Godard for Goodbye to Language

Best Actress
Julianne Moore for Maps to the Stars

Best Actor
Timothy Spall for Mr Turner

Prix du scénario
Andrei Zviaguintsev et Oleg Negin for Leviathan

Camera d’or
Party Girl from Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis

Official Cannes 2014 Poster

The lineup for this years Cannes Film Festival was announced on Thursday. The Festival runs from May 14th to the 25th. 18 films will compete for the  Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award. Last years winner, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR ended up not qualifying for an Oscar. Cannes is not as influential as Toronto or Telluride in the Oscar race, but it does begin the conversation. After Cannes screenings people will jump on Twitter to announce that they have just seen this years best picture winner. That is usually the kiss of death for a movie this early in the year.

OPENER
Grace of Monaco

COMPETITION
Adieu au langage
The Captive
Clouds of Sils Maria
Foxcatcher
The Homesman
Jimmy’s Hall
La Meraviglie
Leviathan
Maps to the Stars
Mommy”
Mr. Turner
Saint Laurent
The Search
Still the Water
Timbuktu
Two Days, One Night
Wild Tales
Winter Sleep

 
OUT OF COMPETITION
Coming Home
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Les Gens du Monde

UN CERTAIN REGARD
Amour fou
Bird People
The Blue Room
Charlie’s Country
Dohee-ya
Eleanor Rigby
Fantasia” (Wang Chao)
Harcheck mi headro
Hermosa juventud
Incompresa
Jauja
Lost Rive
Party Gir
Run
The Salt of the Earth
Snow in Paradise
Titl
Touris

MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS
The Rove
The Salvation
The Targe

SPECIAL SCREENINGS
The Bridges of Sarajevo
Eau argentee
Maidan
Red Army
Caricaturistes – Fantassins de la democratie

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The Cannes Film Festival favors more of the international crowd than the US, but every year there are a few movies that leak out and make a run for an Oscar in America.  If you haven’t yet discovered foreign films, please give them a chance. You really do forget the subtitles after a few minutes. You could be missing out on some great films. Last year AMOUR came out of Cannes and went on to win a nomination for Best Picture and took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Palme d’Or (Best Picture at Cannes) this year went to BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR.  A 3 hour French film about a young lesbian couple’s coming of age story. Except for the graphic 10 minute lesbian sex scene, most Americans won’t be interested. It may compete for Best Foreign Language film, but I would even be surprised by that. A movie that played at Cannes that has a great chance at a foreign language nomination is THE PAST (Le Passe).  This is Director Asghar Farhadi first film since A SEPARATION.   It is about an Iranian man who deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife’s request for a divorce.  The wife is played by Bérénice Bejo (THE ARTIST) who also when Best Actress at Cannes.  The reviews for THE PAST were strong after a showing in Cannes.  If it is anywhere near as good as A SEPARATION, Americans will bite.

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Palme d’Or: “Blue is the Warmest Color,” Abdellatif Kechiche, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux

Grand Jury Prize: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Joel and Ethan Coen

Best Director: Amat Escalante, “Heli

Jury Prize: “Like Father, Like Son,” Hirokazu Kore-eda

Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke, “A Touch of Sin

Best Actress: Bérénice Bejo, “The Past

Best Actor: Bruce Dern, “Nebraska

Camera d’Or (Best Debut Feature): “Ilo Ilo,” Anthony Chen

Palme d’Or (Short Film): “Safe,” Moon Byoung-gon

UN CERTAIN REGARD AWARDS

Prix Un Certain Regard: “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh

Jury Prize: “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad

Best Director: Alain Guiraudie, “Stranger by the Lake

Talent Award: Ensemble cast of “La Jaula de Oro

Avenir Future Award: “Fruitvale Station,” Ryan Coogler

FIPRESCI AWARDS

Competition: “Blue is the Warmest Color,” Abdellatif Kechiche

Un Certain Regard: “Manuscripts Don’t Burn,” Mohammad Rasoulof

Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week: “Blue Ruin,” Jeremie Saulnier

ECUMENICAL JURY AWARDS

Ecumenical Jury Prize: “The Past,” Asghar Farhadi

Honorable Mentions: “Like Father, Like Son,” Hirokazu Kore-eda; “Miele,” Valeria Golino

DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT

Art Cinema Award: “Me, Myelf and Mum,” Guillaume Gallienne

SACD Award: “Me, Myelf and Mum,” Guillaume Gallienne

SACD Special Mention: “Tip Top,” Serge Bozon

European Cinemas Label Award (Best European Film): “The Selfish Giant,” Cio Barnard

CRITICS’ WEEK

Grand Prize: “Salvo,” Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza

Special Mention: “Los Duenos,” Agustin Toscano, Ezequiel Radusky

Visionary Award: “Salvo,” Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza

Best Screenplay: “Le Demantlement,” Sebastien Pilote

Queer Palme: “Stranger by the Lake,” Alain Guiraudie

It has become a Cannes tradition. The Weinstein Company previews their Fall releases and of course what Harvey deems Oscar worthy. Two years a ago he announced NINE and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. Last year the Weinsteins created a frenzy by showing 10 minutes of DJANGO UNCHAINED.. He also showed sneaks of Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER and David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (ugh).

This years announcements have all of the makings of an Oscar nomination:

GRACE

Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco

Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. Kelly’s crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and France’s Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s. A five minute teaser was shown and the reviews were mixed. Movie Critic Pete Howell says,

Kidman does a convincing Kelly, but she doesn’t exactly disappear into the role. It seems she’s striving for a convincing evocation of Kelly rather than a mirror image, much as Michelle Williams did for Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn.”

This will all be about Kidman’s performance much like MY WEEK WITH MARILYN or THE IRON LADY. Both not particualy great movies, but the the performances make the film.

AINT THEM BODIES SAINTS

Directed by David Lowery and Rooney Mara as Ruth Guthrie. The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met.

It was one of the best films to come from Sundance this year and received the   U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award. This might be more of an Indie Spirit Awards movie, but it is still on the Oscar radar.

FRUITVALE STATION

Written and Directed by Ryan Coogler.  The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. 

Originally titled FRUITVALE, it got a lot of attention at Sundance. I won the top audience award as well as some jury prizes.  and is shaping up to be this years PRECIOUS or BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. It is a small movie, but Weinstein the Oscar whisperer believes that it can win him some more awards.

If you are really bored and want to watch the 2 minute standing ovation it got at Cannes, here it is. (How did this camera get into the screening?)

You can read about the tragedy that inspired FUITVALE STATION HERE: https://www.ropeofsilicon.com/fruitvale-station-true-story-video/

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Directed by John Wells. With Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Abigail Breslin and Ewan McGregor. A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

People seem to be divided on how this movie will play. Early reviews have been mixed, but Streep could get her 18th Academy Award nomination.

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM 

Directed by Morgan Neville. This documentary that profiles backup singers who live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no idea these singers are or what lives they lead, until now. Look for TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM on the list of Best Documentary features.

MANDELA: A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM

downloadDirected by Justin Chadwick and 10 years in the making. 

A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

It has tested well so far in the US.

Some who have seen the trailer are concerned that it looks like a hip-hop action flick, not awards playing drama.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES

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Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn starring Ryan Gosling. Their first movie since DRIVE.

Set in Bangkok. Gosling plays a Yank who runs a boxing club as a front for the family narcotics business. His scary, vengeful mom is Kristin Scott Thomas, who pushes him to hunt down his brother’s killer.

A 3 minute was played for the Cannes crowd and was the only clip that garnered applause.  Here is the clip that they were shown:

Not all of these will win awards, but with Weinsteins record, many will.

Jill Lawless with the Associated Press is tweeting from Cannes.  Here is some speculation”

The French Riviera is a magnet for gamblers, so it’s no surprise that oddsmakers are speculating furiously about who will win prizes from the Cannes Film Festival jury headed by Steven Spielberg.
Journalist and Cannes betting expert Neil Young ranks “Grisgris,” by Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, the early favorite for the Palme d’Or prize at 5-1. That is followed by “The Past,” from Iran’s Asghar Farhadi — who won an Academy Award for “A Separation” — at 11-2 and U.S. director James Gray’s 1920s New York story “The Immigrant” at 13-2.
Other frontrunners are “Like Father, Like Son” from Korean director Kore-eda Hirokazu; Arnaud Desplechin’s “Jimmy P,” with Benicio del Toro as a traumatized Native American war veteran; and Alexander Payne’s road movie “Nebraska.”
But none of those films has even screened yet, and the odds are sure to change often before the prizes are handed out May 26.
—Jill Lawless, Twitter: https://Twitter.com/JillLawless