Friday, May 14, 2010

Cannes Notes: ROBIN HOOD, no big whoop

SERIES: Major Film Festivals

Cannes has a multilingual Web site in eight languages. Take a look.

Also, have you been wondering who the person is in poster above? Keep reading . . . . .

A last minute addition to films in competition is Ken Loach's ROUTE IRISH, which brings the number to 19. Loach's film THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY won the Palme d'Or in 2006. The film tells the story of two Liverpudlian ex-soldiers who go to Iraq to work as private contractors, and will screen 20 May.

Julie Bertucelli's, THE TREE, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas and Aden Young, will be presented at the Festival's Closing Ceremony. Her first feature film SINCE OTAR LEFT won the Grand Jury Prize of the Critic's week at Cannes in 2003. She is the daughter of French director Jean-Louis Bertucelli.

ROBIN HOOD, the epic by British director Ridley Scott starring Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride and Cate Blanchett as Marion Loxley, screened out of competition on Opening Night of the 63rd Festival de Cannes, Wednesday, May 12th, 2010. It was the world premiere for the film, which was presented out of competition. It is in release in the U.S. now.

Other notables in the cast are Max Von Sydow, Lea Seydoux and William Hurt. In the movie, King Richard (Danny Huston) and his soldiers pause on their way home from Palestine to attack a French castle. I haven't seen it, but I have heard the French were routed. And, as it turns out, the response to the movie at Cannes was less than stellar. Hmmmm.

I came across three excellent reviews. The first is an audio review by National Public Radio's Kenneth Turan, and he is spot on when he says, sort of, that Scott's movie is about Robin before he was forced to take up residence in Sherwood Forest's hood with his merry men, but there is little that is merry about this movie. Listen.

A. O. Scott's review in The New York Times, 14 May, is more in-depth for those of you who wish to read deeper.

Owen Gleiberman in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly sums up Crowe's Robin Hood and the movie, "[Crowe's] so grimly possessed with purpose that he's a bore, and so is the movie."

The world premiere of Oliver Stone's WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS. was Friday, 14th, screening out of competition. It is a sequel of Stone's WALL STREET ( 1987), starring Michael Douglas, who is back as Gordon Gekko.

Appearing with Douglas is an a-list cast, including Josh Brolin, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Charlie Sheen, Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella. Compared to ROBIN HOOD's lukewarm reception, Stone's new movie can be labeled a critical success at Cannes.

Woody Allen's latest, YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, will screen out of competition next week. This Allen movie has a large and diverse cast, including Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin (he's been busy this year), Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto and Lucy Punch. It's U.S. release is scheduled for September.

As I reported in a previous post, there is only one U.S. film in competition, FAIR GAME, based on the true story of CIA agent Valerie Plame, starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts (another busy one), and directed by Doug Liman (THE BOURNE IDENTITY).

The person on the poster? It is a photograph of French actress Juliette Binoche (THREE COLORS: BLUE, WHITE, RED) by Brigitte Lacombe, graphic design by Annick Durban. To access the Cannes IFF Official Site click title of this post.

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