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Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:22 am
by flipp525
Precious Doll wrote:I've just seen Beasts of the Southern Wild and Quvenzhané Wallis will not receive a nomination. A large part of her performance is silent with her voice over (touches of Malick there). The only nominations Beasts may score are Picture, Screenplay Adaptation & Music and I'd say they are long shots.

Now weeks into its release, Wallis is still one of the only actresses being consistently raved about and cited for awards recognition. I'm invoking The Original BJ's "bird in the hand" theory here and keeping her my top five, at least for the moment. Helen Hunt seems like she'll be in the "comeback kid" spot for Six Sessions.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:10 am
by Precious Doll
I've just seen Beasts of the Southern Wild and Quvenzhané Wallis will not receive a nomination. A large part of her performance is silent with her voice over (touches of Malick there). The only nominations Beasts may score are Picture, Screenplay Adaptation & Music and I'd say they are long shots.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:11 pm
by bizarre
flipp525 wrote:I've already heard some talk about Quvenzhané Wallis being nominated in lead for Beast of the Southern Wild a la Keisha Castle-Hughes. Yes, she's six years old.

This prediction is all over the net. I don't get it - the film looks like David Gordon Green-style low-fi with a bit of Where the Wild Things Are thrown in. I'm eager to see it but this doesn't seem like the Academy's thing AT ALL.

Even if the film is a hit with them I'd say Wallis is on shaky ground being six - there's always a debate about how much 'acting' is going on in performances by kids this age. That the film won't make big BO will also work against her. The nomination predictions are sketchy enough but I've noticed quite a few people predicting her to win - won't happen.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:00 am
by flipp525
I've already heard some talk about Quvenzhané Wallis being nominated in lead for Beast of the Southern Wild a la Keisha Castle-Hughes. Yes, she's six years old.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:38 pm
by Sabin
May not be the place for it, but even though I'm not the biggest fan of it, the one film from Cannes that I am 90% certain will end up factoring into the Oscar race and likely with a Best Picture Moonrise Kingdom.

We're hearing some of the noise that Dreamgirls and Brokeback Mountain incurred, but Moonrise Kingdom just had a record-breaking weekend at the box office, and like Midnight in Paris I expect it to still be around this August. Boxofficemojo tells me that with ~$52 million The Royal Tenenbaums is Wes Anderson's highest grossing picture, and I don't see Moonrise Kingdom having much difficulty overtaking it. It's going to end up a Golden Globe nominee for Best Comedic or Musical Picture and if we're still at ~10 nominees, it's in.

(Pop quiz: in 2001, the year of The Royal Tenenbaum's release, what were the Golden Globe nominees for Best Comedic or Musical Picture?

Bridget Jones' Diaries, Gosford Park, Legally Blonde, Moulin Rouge!, and Shrek. #fail)

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 3:24 pm
by bizarre
This was a really embarrassing lineup judging from reactions - a whole bucketful of flaccid English-language offerings from directors with no prior ties to Cannes (Hillcoat, Daniels[!?!?!], even Dominik who I usually enjoy), minor pictures from increasingly irrelevant Cannes mainstays such as Loach and some roundly-panned political/regional tokenism (Nasrallah, Im). Well-received films like the Larraín and the Wakamatsu could have broken in here to make it both more interesting and, well, better - personally I'm hoping Cannes is embarrassed à la 2004 & 2005 when its major case of 'seen and rejected' went on to high praise at Venice. This year that would be Assayas' film 'Après mai' which looks like it could be a perfect synthesis between two story models that he does very well.

These are my very early predictions for the Venice lineup:

DRUG WAR - Johnnie To (Hong Kong)
FOXFIRE - Laurent Cantet (France)
GEBO AND THE SHADOW - Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal)
GRAVITY - Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico)
HAND IN HAND - Valérie Donzelli (France)
IN THE HOUSE - François Ozon (France)
LIFE OF PI - Ang Lee (Taiwan)
ONLY GOD FORGIVES - Nicolas Winding Refn (Denmark)
PASSION - Brian de Palma (USA)
PIETA - Kim Ki-duk (South Korea)
SOMETHING IN THE AIR - Olivier Assayas (France)
STOKER - Park Chan-wook (South Korea)
THE ATTACK - Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon)
THE LAND OF HOPE - Sion Sono (Japan)
THE LOOKOUT - Michele Placido (Italy)
THE PATIENCE STONE - Atiq Rahimi (Afghanistan)
THE STORY OF MY DEATH - Albert Serra (Portugal)
TWICE BORN - Sergio Castellitto (Italy)
UNDER THE SKIN - Jonathan Glazer (UK)
WHEN DAY BREAKS - Goran Paskaljević (Serbia)

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:12 pm
by Sonic Youth
The list of winners reads like an exclusive old boys' club. Not because of their age (the youngest filmmakers are in their early 40s) but because all the prize winning films are by directors who've won prizes at Cannes before, and very recently too. And isn't the Jury Prize unofficially supposed to go to an up-and-coming filmmaker, someone other than Ken Loach?

Mister Tee likes to talk about "winners" after a festival. To me, the big winner other than "Amour" is "Holy Motors" because now the media has a new cause they can champion. This neglected step-child will be a hot ticket at TIFF.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 4:10 pm
by bizarre
I didn't predict anything correctly.

My predix were:
HOLY MOTORS (Director)
LOVE (Actor)

LOL, Moretti... of course Loach got a prize. Apparently he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of world film, but if he does, he is - with his own generic filmmaking and his prizegiving as a Jury head to such banal films as Monsoon Wedding and this Loach (which will, of course, be banal) - obviously choosing to have bad taste and should be kept away from such lofty positions in the future.

And Cannes continues the trend set by Berlin of completely shutting out its most critically lauded offering at the awards ceremony (Holy Motors, Tabu).

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 3:21 pm
by ksrymy
I'm really glad to see Mads Mikkelsen getting some recognition as I think of him as one of the more underrated international actors. I'm also really interested in seeing his film.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:29 pm
by Sabin
Well, I stiffed again.

In 2010, I got Uncle Boonmee for the Palme and that's it because I stupidly didn't know that Juliette Binoche had never won. And last year, I predicted The Tree of Life for the Palme, Footnote for Best Screenplay, and Refn for Best Director.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:22 pm
by Mister Tee
A hybrid of the two basic Cannes prize models: a bunch of WTF? lower category selections, some prizes to un-loved movies, and snubbing of films that caused sensations (i.e., Holy Motors)…but then, in the end, the most widely popular choice for the Palme.

I don’t know why anyone would even try to predict Cannes winners. They’re more capricious than the Emmys – even if they often get things right.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:25 pm
by dws1982

Palme D'Or: Amour (Michael Haneke)
Grand Prize: Reality (Matteo Garrone)
Best Actress: Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, Beyond the Hills
Best Actor: Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt
Director: Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux
Screenplay: Beyond the Hills
Jury Prize: The Angels' Share (Ken Loach)
Camera d'or: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:07 am
by Sonic Youth
It was too nice to update yesterday, so I went to the beach instead. :P Here's the last of the festival, which is going out with a whimper.

The Taste Of Money
26 May, 2012 | By Dan Fainaru

Dir/scr: Im Sang-soo. South Korea. 2012. 114mins

As deep and profound as a comic book printed on glossy paper, Im Sang-soo’s latest portrait of lust and corruption, power plays and violence at the highest echelons of Korea’s society has all the style and luster of his previous works, with brilliantly lighted spectacular sets, glorious photography, fast paced action and plenty of Korean star power. But there is no real story to tell here, just a bunch of old fashioned, tired clichés spiced with references to various sensational front-page scandals, all of it reprocessed to look like an original script.

Two years ago, Im Sang-soo made quite a splash in Cannes with his new, flashy, version of the Korean classic The Housemaid, a sexy and perverse allegory of decadence and deceit, taking place in a huge mansion which was said at the time to be the biggest set ever built in that country.

The Taste Of Money (Do-nui Mat), which quotes not only The Housemaid (2010) but also Kim Ki-young’s original 1960 version, most probably has even bigger and more sumptuous sets. The story, however, takes the allegory all the way into the realm of the absurd, a farfetched parody woven around the wealthiest family in Korea where every one of its members plotting against the others and every one of its servants lurking in the shadows to get a piece of the action.

The worst of the tribe is Mme Baek (Yoon Yeo-Jeong of The Housemaid fame, in a largely over-the-top performance). She is the desiccated elderly daughter of a decrepit old lecher who puts on occasional appearances in a wheelchair with a sturdy nurse next to him to feed him oxygen every time he gets too excited.

The entire film evolves around Mme Baek’s aging husband, Yoon (Baek Yun-shik), who falls for the Filipino maid Eva (Maui Taylor) and intends to start a new life with her. But his demonic wife immediately sets out to prevent his departure.

Presentable young hulk Young-jak (Kim Kang-woo) services Madame in times of distress and makes eyes at Madame’s divorced daughter and heir apparent, Nami (Kim Hyo-jin). Madame has also a son, Chul (On Ju-wan) who seems to be in constant trouble with the law and who plans to get away with a chunk of the family fortune to start a stash of his own. How all this is supposed to happen, is largely unclear.

In between the gaps of this skeletal plot, nude girls galore run around as they devotedly tend to their customers, every piece of scenery around them - interiors or exterior - seems ripped out of designers’ magazines, and every once in a while there is another blurt of intrigue that makes no sense, whether it is about opening accounts in once place, closing them in another; buying politicians at the drop of the hat or visiting warehouses filled with mountains of fresh banknotes.

By the end of the film there is no doubt that Im Sang-soo is a brilliant craftsman who knows his work inside out and also that he has little respect or admiration for the leaders of his country. But there is precious little here that hasn’t been said before. Size, noise and special effects are not enough, though it is true that ultimately, this kind of portrait could describe not only South Korea, but most other countries around the world.


The Taste of Money
By Maggie Lee

Even with such heady ingredients as sex, power and murder, there's little flavor to "The Taste of Money," a trite and tangled potboiler that, despite its polemical pretensions, is just a glorified Korean domestic drama with classier couture and shapelier champagne flutes. Im Sang-soo's dubious follow-up to "The Housemaid" escalates plot and perfs from baroque to rococo without eliciting either sympathy or indignation, instead merely reveling in the insight that rich people are bastards. Pic shot to the top of the B.O. in local release, but the absence of A-list topliners will impoverish its overseas prospects.

Like "The Housemaid," "The Taste of Money" views the corruption of a filthy rich family from the angle of an employee, who succumbs to the clan's material and sexual seductions. Instead of a good-natured maid, however, this time it's Young-jak (Kim Kang-woo), the handsome secretary to the chairman, Yoon (Baek Yoon-sik). Some convention-flouting sexual dynamics ensue (especially in age-conscious, hierarchy-minded Korea), as ambitious Young-jak becomes the boy-toy of Yoon's wife, Keu-mok (Youn Yuh-jung).

An early scene in which Keu-mok forcibly overcomes Young-jak promises more subversive developments than the film delivers, as its focus on the intriguing power balance between an older woman and her young male subordinate gradually shifts to the blander romance between Young-jak and Keu-mok's divorcee daughter, Nami (Kim Hyo-jin), who, according to the helmer, is the grown-up persona of the young miss in "The Housemaid." The eventual need to choose between the two women presents no conflict for Young-jak and zero tension for auds, and even Nami's discovery of her mother's affair fails to build to any turning point or transformation.

"The Housemaid's" story arc is more closely paralleled by a different strand, in which Yoon carries on an affair with Filipina domestic helper Eva (Maui Taylor) under the prying gaze of Keu-mok's hidden cameras. A social climber who married Keu-mok for her wealth, Yoon represents what Young-jak could become, and his relationship with the uncalculating Eva provides the only human touch in the film's cynical world. Yoon's decision to break with his family and the mercenary values it stands for catalyzes a chain of events that nearly turns the pic into a noir thriller, but its lurid and literally operatic resolution sends it sliding back into camp.

From the outset, Im goes beyond merely mocking the sensual decadence of the upper class. Intent on excoriating political cronyism and multinational wheeling-and-dealing, the helmer includes a subplot involving a dirty slush-fund deal initiated by Yoon's son and heir, Chul (On Ju-wan), who is in cahoots with an American businessman (Darcy Paquet) drawn in broad but humorless Gordon Gekko strokes.

Uneven pacing aside, the drama simply lacks strongly defined characters and engaging perfs. In the leading role, Young-jak is essentially a reactor to the intrigue around him, and undergoes various stages of exploitation and humiliation to no cathartic effect; wearing a dazed and miffed expression, Kim Kang-woo seems content to let his rippling naked torso do most of the acting. This leaves Youn to step up with an attention-grabbing but not overbearing presence that balances prima-donna tantrums with stony callousness.

Even more so than "The Housemaid," "The Taste of Money" is as infatuated with decorative surfaces as its protags. The exorbitant set, constructed with studied symmetry in interior design on a 15,000-square-feet lot, is a spectacular exhibit, and d.p. Kim Woo-hyung employs flamboyant camera movements like 360-degree swivel plans even for simple dinner-table conversations. Music and sound are also overdone; for all the technical excellence, one strains to find any organic integration with the narrative or its themes.

Two excerpts from Im's "The Housemaid" and the 1960 Kim Ki-young original which inspired these works come off as tacked-on and self-congratulatory.


The Taste of Money (Do-Nui Mat): Cannes Review
by Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter

The Taste of Money is a natural rhyme with a taste of honey and indeed, it’s cash and sex that dominate this icy, stylized tale of two employees of the filthy rich who totter dangerously on the brink of upper class rot. Korean writer-director Im Sang-soo, whose 2010 The Housemaid first brought him to competition in Cannes, revisits the themes of power and the powerless as though making a deliberate variation on the previous film, but it doesn’t seem like he has a whole lot more to say on the subject. Pretty to look at and dressed up with high fashion, amusing characters and stylish sex, the film holds its camp potential always a tempting hair’s-breadth away. When moralizing drama finally prevails, ennui resurfaces, leaving disappointment in its wake.

The uncertain groping for tone is fast becoming a trademark of Im’s style, keeping the audience guessing what strange turns the story may take and how events are to be interpreted. But in the end, nothing very surprising occurs, and the financial thriller promised in the opening scenes, when company president Joon (Baek Yoon-sik) swings open the steel door of the family bank vault before the dazzled eyes of his private secretary Young-jak (Kim Kang-woo), quickly dissolves into a family melodrama, Dynasty-style.

Pater familias Joon was seduced by the taste of money long ago, and has paid for it with a lifetime of emptiness at the side of his elegant but ruthless consort Keum-ok (a coolly villainous Youn Yuh-jung), who has taken the reigns from her ancient-looking father. The latter pops up at intervals in his wheelchair, attended by a burly Sphinx-like nurse, with fine comic timing.

Entrenched in palatial modern luxury in a sprawling home of glass, steel and stone, the family and its help close ranks in their claustrophobic gilded cage. The grown son Chul (On Ju-wan) is a churlish scion of wealth and power, too clumsy at passing out the moneybags to politicians and journalists to stay out of jail. He risks ruin in an obviously iffy deal with a free-wheeling American businessman who wisely trusts none of them.

The one honest member of the family is lovely divorcée Nami (Kim Hyo-jin), who looks perpetually surprised at the nefarious goings-on around her. Her attraction to the strapping “salary man” Young-jak is thwarted by the unwelcome attention he attracts of her mother. The slender, gray-coifed Keum-ok forces herself on him one night in an expertly-shot scene that reverses male-female roles while reinforcing power games.

Keum-ok is madly jealous of Eva, their Catholic Filippino maid with two young children who has won the heart of her husband Yoon. It’s not just a fling, as it was in The Housemaid (scenes of the old and new versions are glimpsed in the family home theater to underscore) but a serious love affair, and she calls in four men in black to prevent them from finding happiness together.

The silently bowing Young-jak makes a good center point, his muscular torso framed in the same meaty way as Eva’s naked breasts. Both are positive, believably acted characters poised between victimization and choice. Too bad the final scenes close proceedings with unsatisfying ease.

Playing a key role in establishing the gilded cage that imprisons everybody, villains included, is the cold luxury of Kim Young-hee and Kim June’s sets, caressed by Kim Sung-kyu’s sumptuous lensing in grays and blacks.

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:03 am
by Sabin
Palme d'Or - Holy Motors
...the problem with making predictions at the Cannes film festival is that they are the anti-Oscars: their winners rarely thrive on general approval and they DO legitimately spread the wealth. So if my prediction for the Palme is wrong, so is likely everything else. That means Lavant probably takes Actor and Carax takes Director.

But no matter, I'm predicting Holy Motors for the Palme. When Amour premiered, everyone was saying it was the film everybody liked and because there was nothing on the horizon by a filmmaker who hadn't just won it was the best bet. Well, here is Holy Motors. Past polarizing pictures that won? The Tree of Life, Uncle Boonmee, The White Ribbon. Past consensus favorites that lost? Le Havre, Another Year, Volver.

Grand Prix - Amour
...see above. If there's two, then Moonrise Kingdom will win also.

Jury Prize - Beyond the Hills
...I'm going back and forth between Beyond the Hills and In the Fog.

Best Actor - Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour
...I think this is going to be between Trintignant, Lavant, McConaughey, and Hedlund. I think they might want to give On the Road something and this is the only place I can see. McConaghey is in two features, and one of them isn't a stunning disaster. Denis Lavant is a different kind of icon than Trintignant. He's the radical muse back with the filmmaker who discovered him ages ago. But it seems like Trintignant is just stunning in Haneke's feature.

Best Actress - Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
...Riva could win this too, but Cotillard is a young hot French actress in what is apparently a respected if not beloved film by a French director with a strong track record here.

Best Director - Matteo Garrone, Reality
...this is for visionaries, and I'm predicting Carax's film for the Palme so he's not going to take this one. Garrone is Morretti's homeboy. He came to prominence when his short film won an award that Garrone founded for young talent. If not Garrone, then Kiarostami.

Best Screenplay - Alain Resnais, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
...well, they wanna give him something!

Re: 2012 Cannes Line-up

Posted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:21 pm
by Sonic Youth
In the Fog
By Leslie Felperin

Classical in a good way, "In the Fog" explores the moralities of wartime with restraint and exacting execution when fate throws three men into conflict with each other by fate in Belorussia during WWII. Belorussian-born helmer Sergei Loznitsa's sophomore feature is a more conventional work than his audacious debut, "My Joy," but no less accomplished in its craft, especially thanks to sterling work by ace Romanian lenser Oleg Mutu. Pic will need strong critical support west of the Danube to coax specialty auds, but may fare better in Eastern Europe by tapping race memories of the best Soviet war films.

Adapted by Loznitsa from a novel by Soviet writer Vasil Bykov, the action takes place in 1942, not long after the Germans invaded Belorussia, prompting a long and very bloody guerrilla war with the resistance. A bravura opening scene, consisting of one long, handheld take that harks back to similar shots in Loznitsa's previous work (especially "My Joy" and "Landscape"), follows three men as they are marched into the village square, where they will be hung for sabotaging a railroad track. Their execution occurs offscreen as the camera pans around the square, taking in the locals' stoic features as the police explain that this will be the consequence of anyone caught working for the partisans.

The stakes having been set, Loznitsa's script explores the trickle-down effect of such brutal rule. At a rural homestead, partisans Kolya Burov (Vlad Abashin, "Yuri's Day") and Voitik (Sergei Kolesov, "My Joy") arrive to collect railway worker Sushenya (impressive legit thesp Vladimir Svirski). Although the men collectively try to reassure Sushenya's hysterical wife, Anelya (Julia Peresild), that her husband will be back soon, they know that Burov and Voitik have come to kill Sushenya for supposedly collaborating with the Germans, a putative betrayal that led to the hanging just seen.

The three men venture deep into the virgin forest to find a spot for Sushenya to dig his own grave; Burov generously agrees to a higher, sandier spot than the swampy terrain first chosen. Sparse dialogue reveals that Sushenya didn't rat out his comrades to the Germans, but since everyone in town, including Anelya, thinks he did, his life is hardly worth living anymore.

When the moment comes to kill Sushenya, Burov -- who's known Sushenya since childhood -- hesitates just long enough to be interrupted by an ambush that seriously wounds him instead. Sushenya tries to save Burov's life by carrying him to the partisan camp on his back, accompanied by Voitik, who's only interested in saving his own skin.

Neatly placed flashbacks, using seasonal cues to locate them temporally, underscore that the three principals are effectively doomed either to repeat the similar mistakes or, in the case of Sushenya, to discover that honor and integrity are of little salvation in wartime. Altogether, the men make up a moral spectrum, with the practically saintly Sushenya at one end and the weaselly Voitik at the other. Yet in Loznitsa's cruel universe, congruent with Bykov's, everyone will end up, literally, in the same place by the end.

Offering some balm for this bleak, existential lesson, the widescreen celluloid lensing has transcendental grace to spare. Skillfully lighting scenes set both in umbral darkness and dappled day, Mutu's work fits hand-in-glove with Loznitsa's elegantly spare emotional palette.

The titular fog that creeps in might seem like a too-on-the-nose metaphor for the ambiguities of war for some, but it also brings with it a deep evocation of well-known Russian pics about WWII, from Elem Klimov's "Come and See," the greatest film on the subject of the war in Belorussia, to Alexei German's "The Last Train." "In the Fog's" emotional complexities also hark back to such masterpieces of Soviet WWII cinema as Chukhrai's "Ballad of a Soldier" and Kalatozov's "The Cranes Are Flying."

Nevertheless, despite its classicism, Loznitsa's helming still feels post-millennial in its austerity, particularly given the total absence of music and the slow-breath rhythms of its editing. The helmer doesn't necessarily break new ground here, but he replows the field with precision.