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The first clip for Denis Villeneuve's drug war thriller Sicario has arrived. The film stars Emily Blunt as an idealistic FBI agent enlisted by members of a government task force (Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro) to take out a Mexican cartel boss. Sicario reunites Villeneuve, one of the most promising young directors, with his Prisoners cinematographer, Roger Deakins, one of the greatest living directors of photography, making it one of my most anticipated films of the year. And having seen this clip, I'm even more thrilled by the idea of Villeneuve and Deakins teaming up for Blade Runner 2. As always, Deakins knows exactly what to bring to the table to fulfill the unique needs of each film. Sicario looks austere; a palette of taupe and desert sand with highlights of blue, and a huge contrast to the grey, green frostiness of Prisoners. I truly can't wait to see »
- Haleigh Foutch
Cannes — “The Embrace of the Serpent,” Colombian director Ciro Guerra’s visually rich, black-and-white adventure saga about the ravages of colonialism in the Amazon, won the top Art Cinema Award at the 47th Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes on Friday.
A follow-up to Guerra’s 2009 Un Certain Regard entry, “The Wind Journeys,” “Embrace of the Serpent” (which is being sold by Films Boutique) follows the parallel journeys of two different ethnologists, both searching for a rare flower deemed sacred by Colombia’s indigenous population. Along with Thursday’s honors for the Critics’ Week entries “Paulina” (from Argentina’s Santiago Mitre) and “Land and Shade” (from Colombia’s Cesar Acevedo), the victory for Guerra’s film suggests it’s been a particularly strong festival for Latin American cinema, despite initial concerns that the region might be underrepresented, at least in the official selection.
The Fortnight’s Sacd Prize, presented every year to »
- Justin Chang
Any animated feature screening in Cannes in the wake of Pixar’s universally adored “Inside Out” was bound to seem like an anticlimax. And when the movie in question happens to be an adaptation of one of the most beloved children’s novels of all time, the potential for disappointment looms especially large. But to the sure relief of armchair aviators everywhere, director Mark Osborne’s “The Little Prince” turns out to be a respectful, lovingly reimagined take on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic 1943 tale, which adds all manner of narrative bells and whistles to the author’s slender, lyrical story of friendship between a pilot and a mysterious extraterrestrial voyager, but stays true to its timeless depiction of childhood wonderment at odds with grown-up disillusionment. Independently made (on a reported $80 million budget) by French producer Dimitri Rassam, “The Little Prince” may lack the fast pace and high-concept storytelling of »
- Scott Foundas
Sicario: Bring Out the Popcorn
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Taylor Sheridan
Denis Villeneuve’s narco-thriller Sicario is likely the most broadly accessible film in this year’s competition, a very watchable, schematically Hollywoodian production more at home at the Oscars than at Cannes. It stars, tragically, Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer and, unsurprisingly, Benicio Del Toro as special drugs advisor Alejandro. Kate is recruited from her hostage crisis unit to a secretive anti-drugs mission at the margins of legality following a gruesome, finely crafted opening sequence in which she leads the bust of a safe house full of rows of executed hostages concealed into the walls. Gradually she clues in as to the nature of the mission – her role is merely procedural, as the presence of an FBI agent is apparently obligatory as a front for Alejandro and rogue operation head Matt (Josh Brolin »
While we know next to nothing about the plot for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, we do know that at the very least, it's going to look gorgeous, as renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins has joined the team. Come inside to learn more.
Blade Runner 2 is moving full steam ahead. Just a couple months ago it was announced Denis Villenueve had been hired on to direct the sequel, with Harrison Ford set to return, and it looks like they're starting to build up the rest of the necessary behind the scenes crew to get production moving. Announced at Cannes, Roger Deakins, the cinematographer behind Prisoners, Skyfall, Fargo, and Many others has been hired on as the Dop for the new movie. Deakins has worked with Villenueve on his last two movies, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
The original Blade Runner is still a visually striking movie, and »
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
Deakins will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22. Deakins teamed with Villeneuve on Alcon’s “Prisoners” and “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, which is in competition at Cannes.
Deakins received his latest Academy Award nomination this year for his work on Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken.” He was previously nominated for “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “No Country for Old Men,” “True Grit,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Kundun,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “The Reader,” “Prisoners” and “Skyfall.”
- Dave McNary
Sicario’s Emily Blunt [Kate Macer], Benicio del Toro [Alejandro], Josh Brolin [Matt Graver], and Director Denis Villeneuve, walked the Palais des Festivals Red Carpet tonight before the In Competition Screening of Sicario at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. In Mexico, Sicario means hitman. In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent [Emily Blunt] is enlisted by an elite government task force official [Josh Brolin] to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past [Benicio Del Toro], the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive. A Lionsgate presentation, a Black Label Media presentation, a Thunder Road production, a Denis Villeneuve film. Sicario opens in the Us in limited release on September 18, 2015, and opens wide on September 25, 2015. Photo courtesy Lionsgate, by Paul Le »
IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to WestEnd Films’ “A Perfect Day,” directed by Spanish filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa. The film, which premiered in Cannes, stars Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, Mélanie Thierry and Fedja Stukan. Set in the Balkans in the mid-’90s, the film follows a group of aid workers as they try to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone. León de Aranoa, who co-wrote the script with Diego Farias, also produced under his Reposado banner with Jaume Roures of MediaPro and executive producers Patricia de Muns and Javier Méndez. Also Read: Cannes Report, »
- Matt Donnelly
IFC negotiated the Us rights deal with WestEnd Films. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The Company of Wolves: Villeneuve’s Superb Packaging Enhances Customary Cartel Themes
There’s much to be excited about with Sicario, the latest film from Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve, a dark, brooding thriller at times drenched and dripping with intense dread. Applying a similar enhanced style to the pulpy origins of the child kidnapping film Prisoners in 2013, Villeneuve is extremely adept at morphing familiar tropes into fresh presentation. However, those hungering for more than a nicely dressed endeavor may be disappointed to find Taylor Sheridan’s screenplay to be lacking in certain regards, sacrificing character development at the cost of providing audiences with realizations on corruption they already know.
We’re informed up front Sicario is a word hailing from ancient Jerusalem, applied to those that hunted Romans, but today the word means hitman in Mexico. Enter FBI agent Kate Macy (Emily Blunt), head of a unit specializing in kidnapping, »
- Nicholas Bell
Read More: Cannes Review: Bosnian Aid Worker Comedy 'A Perfect Day' Starring Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins & Olga Kurylenko IFC Films has announced that the company is acquiring U.S. rights to Fernando León de Aranoa's "A Perfect Day" out of the Cannes Film Festival. The film, directed by León de Aranoa and written by him in collaboration with Diego Farias, stars Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, Mélanie Thierry and Fedja Stukan. The official synopsis reads: "A group of aid workers tries to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone: Sophie (Thierry) is a newcomer, she wants to help; Mambrú (Del Toro) has seen it all and wants to go home; Katya (Kurylenko) once wanted Mambrú; Damir (Stukan) wants the war to end, and B (Robbins) doesn't know what he wants. Humor, drama, emotion, routine, danger, hope: it all fits in a perfect day. »
- Casey Cipriani
After the Oscar-nominated Incendies and his habitual auteur films (Enemy, Prisoners), Denis Villeneuve forays into more mainstream cinema with the Michael Mann-esque Sicario, a thriller exploring the escalating war on drugs whose battleground is often the Tex-Mex border. Villeneuve seems relieved that the notorious Cannes critics liked the movie. “Cannes has the reputation of being difficult. We heard 15 minutes after the screening ended that the reactions were very positive.” Benicio Del Toro, winner of the best actor Palme in 2008 for Che, garnered the most applause as his name flashed in the closing credits. It is indeed he and Josh Brolin who carry the film. (One journalist at the press conference following the screening even mistook him for Brolin’s co-star in No Country For Old Men. “I wasn’t in that movie, but thank you, that’s a compliment,” was Del Toro’s response.) Sicario appears to be new territory for Villeneuve. »
- Talia Soghomonian
The movie, which premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight program at the Cannes Film Festival, follows a day in the life of a group of overseas aid workers with conflicting opinions about love and war. It was directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa (“Princesas”) from a script co-written by him and Diego Farias.
The trailer for “A Perfect Day” is below.
- Ramin Setoodeh and Leo Barraclough
Earlier today in Cannes, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and director Denis Villeneuve had vowed to wear high heels to the premiere of their new Mexican-drug-cartel movie, Sicario, in protest of an antiquated Cannes Film Festival dress code that requires women to wear high heels to all nighttime gala premieres. (The dress code has been all anyone can talk about here in Cannes, after several women in their 50s, including some with health problems with their legs, were denied entry to the Palais for wearing flats.) Did the men of Sicario follow through in their gesture of solidarity against oppressive footwear? Sadly, no. At the film's after-party, del Toro could be seen standing around in comfy black men's dress shoes while his co-star Emily Blunt, in high-heeled sandals, had to keep sitting on the backs of couches because her feet clearly hurt. As del Toro explained to Vulture, he really »
- Jada Yuan
Emily Blunt doesn’t talk to a single other woman on camera in Sicario, her new Cannes film about a female FBI agent who joins a CIA team using questionably legal — and questionably moral — tactics to battle Mexican drug cartels. But that wasn’t stopping the boy’s club of a cast, including Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, as well as director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy), from declaring their feminism loud and proud at today’s press conference in Cannes. Alerted to an incident last night where several women over 50 were denied access to the gala premiere of Carol for wearing fancy flats — with rhinestones, even! — instead of high heels, Villeneuve declared: “In a sign of protest, Benicio, Josh, and I will walk the stairs [of the Palais] in high heels tomorrow.”Oh, the irony of oppressive footwear being enforced for the premiere of a movie about a repressed »
- Jada Yuan
Emily Blunt may have traveled to the Cannes Film Festival without her better half, John Krasinski, but flying solo hasn't stopped her from having fun with other stars. She posed for photos in a gorgeous silver column gown at the red carpet premiere of her film Sicario on Tuesday and was all smiles while ascending the famous Cannes staircase. Earlier that day, when she wasn't attending the photocall for the film with costars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin - she gave an insightful interview at the movie's panel, even weighing in on the controversial "no flat shoes" rule that Cannes has reportedly instituted - Emily was partying it up with Sienna Miller, Rachel Weisz, and Jake Gyllenhaal at a Calvin Klein bash, clad in a slinky nude gown from the brand's designer, Francisco Costa, on Monday night. Keep reading for photos of Emily having a total blast in the South of France. »
In the beginning stages of his career (with the exception of Maelstrom showing in Berlin), Denis Villeneuve was an habitual of the Cannes Film Festival. His filmography has been embraced up and down the Croisette with short Cosmos (1996) and Polytechnique (2009) showing in the Directors’ Fortnight section, Un 32 août sur terre (1998) showing in the Un Certain Regard and his savoury short Next Floor (2008) landing at the Critics’ Week, but the Quebecois helmer was left scratching his head when Incendies (2010), Enemy (2013) and possibly Prisoners (2013) failed to receive the same approbation. Going in with zero expectations, especially with a cross-border thriller, his seventh film finally won him an In Comp berth. Considering the amount of Palme d’Or contenders receiving pans from the critic community, Sicario might actually not be so out of place as first conceived.
- Eric Lavallee
Denis Villeneuve crafts an intense Mexican border thriller that throws fish-out-of-water FBI agent Emily Blunt into a DEA/CIA task force run by two agents (Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro, who has trod this ground before) who are tired of playing by the rules. It would have been compelling to watch this story unfold from the woman's point-of-view — there was some talk of rewriting her as a man — but inevitably the movie defers to the male-driven action, which is non-stop. At the Cannes press conference, Villeneuve denied that he is selling an "end justifies the means" solution to the out-of-control Mexican cartels. He's just asking questions. While tight and well-made, the movie doesn't offer a fresh perspective on this familiar scenario. Reviews have been up and down. Lionsgate has set a September 18 release for this film directed by Villeneuve, written by Taylor Sheridan and shot by the great Roger Deakins. »
- Anne Thompson
Cannes — In 2001 Benicio Del Toro won an Oscar for his portrayal of a Mexican police officer attempting to take down the drug cartels in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.” Fourteen years later he’s starring in another film about North America’s “drug war,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” and the picture makes the disheartening argument that things may have actually gotten worse. The film begins during an FBI operation in Phoenix, Arizona where veteran agent Kate Macy (a superb Emily Blunt) is leading a Swat team to take down a hostage situation. They soon discover a home with no hostages to be found but over 20 dead bodies hidden within its walls, all victims of a Mexican drug cartel. Kate is shaken by the murders enough that she reluctantly signs on to be the FBI liaison for what she’s told is a DEA and Dept. of Justice task force. This group »
- Gregory Ellwood
Since jumping into the English language from his native Frenchtwo years ago, Denis Villeneuve has proven himself more than capable of tackling proven narratives from a unique and purposeful perspective. Prisoners was a kidnapped daughter thriller that leaned heavily on the familial effect and Enemy went further than any doppelgänger movie before it in exploring fractured psyches. Now with Sicario he turns his eye to border disputes and drug cartels, honing in ultimately on a sense of futility. It’s a film that’s at once tense and enlightening, without going preachy or losing sight of entertainment.
Emily Blunt takes over from Jake Gyllenhaal (who will have to be impartial about the work of his two-time collaborator as a member of the Cannes Jury) as Villeneuve’s protagonist, playing a FBI drug officer who becomes a part of a major operation sanctioned by the Us Government (led by »
- Alex Leadbeater
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