Monday, September 05, 2011

Coppola, 'The Help' Cast, Deauville Festival & Family History

Coppola Honored
Day two of the Labor Day Weekend, and the Deauville American Film Festival in Deauville, France (2-11 September) opened. It is called the Deauville American Film Festival because it is the only European film festival solely dedicated to showing American films, underscoring America's close ties with France.

The renowned director Francis Ford Coppola is the Guest of Honor at this year’s fest, and he declared this year's 37th annual event open Friday night. Renault, is the Official Partner of the 37th Deauville American Film Festival.

Deauville is located on the coast of Normandy, France. The exclusive coastal resort has been the playground of the rich and famous since it was founded by a cousin of Napoleon III in 1861. That was about 100 years after 1/2 of my French family migrated to the British colony now known as Canada. Their longest stop along the way was in Toronto, then they moved on to Detroit.

By the mid 1700s they were in a little French settlement called Vincenes, which would become Vincenes, Indiana. They were neither rich, nor famous, but they were not poor. I think the other French half may have entered through Louisiana, but there are some gaps. I like following the film festivals in Deauville  and in Toronto, because I relate to those places.
I digressed. The Deauville opened with the most popular American movie at the moment, grossing over $100 million, The Help, with the cast offering some Red Carpet pzazz. Surely, you know all about the movie based on the novel by  Katheryn Stockett by now, so I shall not go into detail here. If you don't, here's the Official Website, and you can order the book below.

From all reports, after the screening on the opening night of the festival, The Help received a rousing approval with many in the audience on their feet as they applauded. When asked about the difference between the reception in Hollywood and the reception at Deauville, actress Viola Davis said that it was different from the premiere in Los Angeles. She said people in Hollywood clapped, but not with as much enthusiasm or joy. She described the reception in Deauville as enormous with uninhibited joy.

To read about the films being screened and, who is attending, click the title of this post.
The 36th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, opens this week (8-18 September), one of my favorites for the reasons mentioned above, and because when I am trying to pick a Best Feature Motion Picture Oscar winner, I pay close attention to the TIFF. In 2008, I was touting Slumdog Millionaire when most of the American movie goers had never heard of it. It won in Toronto, and went on to win the Oscar for Best Feature Motion Picture of 2009.

The cast members of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, headed by Brad Pitt, are unpacking their bags, and not in Toronto. There was some talk that the movie would open Toronto. However, the information was false.

The Tree of Life is not even screening at Toronto. Davis Guggenheim's, From the Sky Down, will have it's USA World Premiere on opening Night. Twenty years after the release of U2’s Achtung Baby (1991), Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth, It Might Get Loud) charts this groundbreaking album with new interviews, stories and music.
More on Toronto later, but here is the list of films from indieWire:
Close Proves Her Acting Chops
Some reviews are in from Telluride. One being the movie Albert Nobbs, a tale of a woman in the 19th Century passing herself off as a man in late Victorian–era Dublin, is praised for actress Glenn Close's performance. She co-wrote the script, helped produce it, and worked on the getting it made for about 20 years. Actress Janet McTeer also received some good press, but director Rodrigo Garcia came in for a couple of swipes, because the film reveals a plot part too early in the movie, and for some other things, but I don't want to be a spoiler.

George Cukor for his consistent skill in eliciting superb performances from females.  Cukor was one of Katherine Hepburn's favorite directors. One of my favorite films of Cukor's is the made-for-TV movie, The Corn is Green, starring Hepburn.

Nobbs on 19th century short story by Irish writer George Moore called The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. It became a stage play, and Close starred in a 1982 New York production.  McCarthy writes that the film ". . . cries out for a deeper exploration of this pinched, unrealized human being" who disguised herself as a man in order to support herself. Other critics have noted different flaws in the movie but, as before, I don't want to be a spoiler.

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