May 26, 2013 |
CANNES, France - The hometown favorite won big time at the Festival de Cannes on Sunday night as France's "Blue Is the Warmest Color" walked off with the Palme d'Or. In a highly unusual step, jury president Steven Spielberg announced that the prize was given not only to director Abdellatif Kechiche ("The Secret of the Grain"), as is traditional, but to co-stars Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux as well. Both actresses were in tears by the time they reached the stage. The sexually explicit story of a young woman discovering desire and herself, "Blue" was the great favorite of French critics but divided English speakers, who called it everything from voyeuristic to the gold standard for lesbian romances to a three-hour Sundance movie in French.
October 4, 1996 |
Today, right now, is Mike Leigh's moment, and "Secrets & Lies" is the reason why. Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes as well as the best actress award for star Brenda Blethyn, "Secrets & Lies" has created torrents of media attention (major articles in Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, the New York Times and this newspaper) because it both sums up a career and takes it further.
May 24, 2010 |
It was a great night for a guy named Joe, as Apichatpong Weerasethakul's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," a film as wonderfully eccentric as it sounds, won the Palme d'Or at the 63rd Festival des Cannes. Thai director Weerasethakul, who tells people to call him Joe because of the difficulty Westerners have pronouncing his name, has made a one-of-a-kind dreamy ghost story about a man who is on speaking terms with all manner of supernatural beings. "This is like another world for me. This is surreal," the director said on accepting the prize at the Palais des Festivals on Sunday night.
September 27, 2011 |
The new theater owners had high-minded ambitions when they upgraded a rundown multiplex in the resort town of Palm Desert into a seven-screen theater with a French cafe and named it the Palme d'Or, after the top award at the Cannes Film Festival: to create "the desert's premiere address for cinephiles," with a wide selection of top art house, specialty and foreign films that often played only in far-off Los Angeles. And the owners themselves had impressive show business credentials.
November 21, 2013 |
Writer-director Eric England's "Contracted" can best be described as "Contagion" meets "Blue Is the Warmest Color," without all those explicit sex scenes. After falling out with her girlfriend, the distraught Samantha (Najarra Townsend of "Me and You and Everyone We Know") spirals into self-destruction, albeit somewhat unintentionally. She goes to a party and very hesitantly gets wasted. Much like the heroine in that NC-17-rated French lesbian sex spectacle, Samantha switches teams and takes up with a stranger to alleviate her domestic ennui.
August 25, 2012 |
It's hard to imagine now, but the Palme d'Or awarded at Cannes to the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for their 1999 movie "Rosetta" stirred considerable controversy. Bewildered that the festival's top prize could go to a rough-hewn indie about the mundane struggles of a sullen trailer-park teenager, some pundits faulted the jury, led by David Cronenberg, for willful obscurantism. In a matter of years, the "Rosetta" win would seem so obvious as to be a no-brainer. The Dardennes have become Cannes fixtures: they took home a second Palme d'Or for 2005's "L'Enfant" and received a runner-up prize last year for "The Kid With a Bike.