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Star-studded English-language dramas from Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Denis Villeneuve, Justin Kurzel, Paolo Sorrentino and Matteo Garrone will vie for the Palme d’Or alongside new films by Valerie Donzelli, Jacques Audiard, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Jia Zhangke at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup on Thursday.
While there are only two U.S. directors in competition — Haynes with “Carol,” a 1950s lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett, and Van Sant with his suicide drama “The Sea of Trees,” pairing Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe — this year’s Palme race looks to feature more high-profile Hollywood talent than any in recent memory. Canada’s Villeneuve (“Prisoners,” “Enemy”) will bring his Mexican drug-cartel drama “Sicario,” with Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, while Australia’s Kurzel (“The Snowtown Murders”) secured a Palme berth for “Macbeth,” his Shakespeare adaptation toplining Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Director: Alan Rickman; Screenwriter: Alan Rickman, Jeremy Brock, Alison Deegan; Starring: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Ehle, Matthias Schoenaerts, Helen McCrory; Running time: 117 mins; Certificate: 12A
The famous gardens at Versailles provide the backdrop for this dewy-eyed period romance with Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts, although they have to wade through a lot of mud before the flowers come into bloom. Alan Rickman directs in a laissez-faire style as well as playing a supporting role as the French 'Sun King' Louis Xiv who presides over their efforts to create horticultural perfection. It's the stuff of Sunday night TV drama, for winding down with tea and cake. Very civilised.
The problem is that Rickman had obviously hoped to get pulses racing with 17th-century mores creating a pressure cooker environment for landscape architect Sabine De Barra (Winslet) and the King's master landscaper Andre Le Notre (Schoenaerts) as they get to »
A new television promo for Far from the Madding Crowd has been unveiled.
Bathsheba's social status has attracted three suitors from various walks of life, despite the fact that she has no intention of marrying.
Michael Sheen portrays the aristocratic William Boldwood, while Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) is humble sheep farmer Gabriel Oak and Tom Sturridge (On the Road) is military sergeant Frank Troy.
Danish director Vinterberg is well known to international audiences as one of the developers of the naturalistic Dogme 95 filmmaking style.
Far from the Madding Crowd opens on May 1 in the Us and the UK. »
"Where does Den Of Geek come from as a title?", asked Alan Rickman as I settled into my seat to interview him for his second film as director, A Little Chaos. I don't usually write one of those setting the scene preambles for interviews, but there was something really quite special about hearing Alan Rickman's voice in person for the first time.
In truth, as I walked through the door, I had no idea what to expect. Would Rickman be curt? Frosty? Would he want to cut out my heart with a spoon?
None of the above. He was as you'd hope: both brilliant, and Alan Rickman. And here's how the interview went...
I've travelled down from the Midlands for this interview, and been walking through London this morning. And I've walked past lots »
With only a few days to go before the official launch of this year’s Cannes Film Festival selection for both the Competition and Un Certain Regard on Thursday (16 April) the rumour mill has been rife with potential titles to figure in artistic director Thierry Fremaux’s closely guarded secrets.
Educated guesses suggest that there are better than average chance of Woody Allen’s 45th film, Irrational Man, will be there. He has form – both Midnight In Paris and Match Point were included out of Competition. Apparently Allen turns darker in this one, which stars Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix.
Cannes regulars Terence Davies (Peter Mullan stars in his literary adaptation of Sunset Song) and French auteur Jacques Audiard who made A Prophet and Rust And Bone, and has been rushing to finish an emigré drama, Erran, both look likely.
- Richard Mowe
Carey Mulligan proves that she can carry a movie as the incandescent and powerful Bathsheba in "The Hunt" director Thomas Vinterberg's gorgeous realization of the Thomas Hardy classic "Far from the Madding Crowd." Julie Christie played the role at the height of her powers in John Schlesinger's stormy 1967 romance. Casting is everything in this movie. Rising Belgian star Matthias Schoenaerts ("Rust and Bone") shares real chemistry with Mulligan as the stalwart and loving salt of the earth once played by Alan Bates. We're rooting for him, while Michael Sheen ("Masters of Sex") is the more mature hapless gentleman neighbor who proposes marriage (Peter Finch). The weakest link is young Tom Sturridge ("On the Road") as the rakish sergeant (Terence Stamp) who sweeps Bathsheba off her feet, which is hard to believe. The movie already opened in Vinterberg's native Denmark and some other territories, hence the early trade reviews below. »
- Anne Thompson
When Thomas Hardy named his fourth novel “Far From the Madding Crowd” in 1874, he almost certainly meant the title ironically — a riposte to the notion that the rural folk of his beloved English countryside somehow led simpler lives, less tempest-tossed by desire, than their urban counterparts. But you could almost mistake Hardy for a literalist on the basis of Thomas Vinterberg’s calm, stately new film version — the fourth official filming of the novel (which first reached the screen as a 1915 silent), and a perfectly respectable, but never particularly stirring, night at the movies. Probably the Danish Vinterberg’s most accomplished foray into English-language filmmaking (after the gun-control allegory “Dear Wendy” and the futuristic Joaquin Phoenix-Claire Danes romance “It’s All About Love”), this pared-down if generally faithful adaptation benefits from a solid cast and impeccable production values, though the passions that drive Hardy’s characters remain more stated than truly felt. »
- Scott Foundas
A stylish, 70’s-period crime thriller inspired by true events, it tells the story of real-life Marseilles magistrate Pierre Michel (Jean Dujardin) and his relentless crusade to dismantle the most notorious drug smuggling operation in history: the French Connection.
In his crosshairs is charismatic and wealthy kingpin, Gatean “Tany” Zampa (Gilles Lellouche), who runs the largest underground heroin trade into the States. Though the fearless and tenacious Michel, aided by a task force of elite cops, will stop at nothing–including boldly orchestrated drug raids, devastating arrests, and exacting interrogations–to ensure the crime ring’s demise, Zampa’s “La French »
- Michelle McCue
After his Academy Award nominated film The Hunt (starring Mads Mikkelsen), Danish director Thomas Vinterberg adapted Thomas Hardy’s classic love story Far From The Madding Crowd for the big screen. Grammy award-winning composer Craig Armstrong was enlisted to compose the score for the film.
In this eagerly awaited drama, Vinterberg has brought together a first class cast, including Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go, An Education, Drive), Golden Globe nominee Michael Sheen (Kingdom of Heaven, Midnight in Paris, Frost/Nixon), Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone, Bullhead) and Tom Sturridge (On The Road).
The film will be in theaters on May 1, 2015.
Far From The Madding Crowd tells the story of independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, »
- Michelle McCue
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
When it comes to film festivals, there is arguably none more prestigious than the Cannes Film Festival. Each year, critics and the like descend on the south of France hoping to discover the classiest in cinema, which in turn can begin to fuel the impending Oscar speculation. 2015 likely will be no exception, as perhaps a few more Academy friendly projects than usual could wind up at Cannes. Sometime either this month or next, the fest will reveal the titles scheduled to play, so I wanted to get a head start and speculate a bit about what the festival could have in its lineup. Tribeca will be on my mind soon enough, but for now…Cannes gets my attention for the day. Here now are ten films that could very well play at the Cannes Film Festival, in just a simple alphabetical order: 1. Carol – One of the most anticipated Oscar hopefuls »
- Joey Magidson
It’s been a while since we did some female gazing, and I am inspired to get back into it by Belgian cutie Matthias Schoenaerts and his turn as a civilized Nazi in Suite Française (currently in U.K cinemas and coming to North America sometime this year, hopefully):
Schoenaerts has typically been playing tough guys — in flicks like Rust and Bone, Blood Ties, and The Drop — and he’s always really good. But tough guys aren’t really my thing, and it was only in A Little Chaos, in which he portrays a 17th-century garden designer at Versailles, when I took particular notice of him:
(I saw A Little Chaos at London Film Festival last autumn; it opens in the U.K. next month. No word yet on a U.S. release.)
(If you have a suggestion for someone we should female-gaze at, feel free to »
- MaryAnn Johanson
As an addendum to last week's details about Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, it's been revealed that Alexandre Desplat will be providing the score. John Williams will be busy with Episodes VII-ix, but he can't do everything. The French composer isn't a hugely leftfield choice, since he scored Edwards' Godzilla last year. He's also an avowed fan of Williams, citing him as a key influence on his career.He stepped into Williams' shoes once before, taking over the soundtrack duties for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. His prolific CV also includes The Imitation Game, Unbroken, Zero Dark Thirty, Rust And Bone, The Tree Of Life, the Twilight films, and three collaborations with Wes Anderson. He won an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Grammy this year for The Grand Budapest Hotel.Star Wars: Rogue One, which will presumably have much to do with X-Wing space acrobatics, »
The title is the most authentically French thing about “Suite francaise,” a fusty but enjoyably old-fashioned WWII soap that, notwithstanding its Gallic locale, is otherwise characterized by a distinctly British brand of plumminess. Based on the bestselling unfinished novel by Irene Nemirovsky, this lightly perfumed tale of the tentative romance between a married Frenchwoman and an urbane Nazi soldier during the 1940 German occupation covers no new ground historically or stylistically, and is hampered by gauche narration that undermines the expressive delicacy of Michelle Williams’s headlining performance. Still, attractive mounting and casting — with the inspired choice of Matthias Schoenaerts as Williams’s co-lead paying off handsomely — could see this Weinstein Co. property make moderately “Suite” music in limited release.
In Blighty, where Entertainment One releases the pic on March 13, “Suite francaise” is likely to entice the older audience that failed to turn out for the comparable but superior wartime weepie »
- Guy Lodge
Oscar heavyweight Fox Searchlight Pictures is having a good week. The company has just announced that it has acquired Us rights to "A Bigger Splash," the new film from "I Am Love" director Luca Guadagnino. The terrific international cast includes Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton -- whose "Grand Budapest Hotel" should net Searchlight big wins this weekend at the Oscars -- and Belgian heartthrob Matthias Schoenaerts (of "Rust and Bone") and "50 Shades" rising star Dakota Johnson, who has been courted by the bigwigs but here makes a turn toward a small indie. This love triangle mystery is based on Jacques Deray's steamy 1969 French film "La Piscine" (i.e. The Pool) starring Alain Delon and Romy Schneider. Written by David Kajganich, the scribe behind 2015 Sundance crime drama "True Story," and produced by Michael Costigan and Guadagnino, the film is slated for 2015 release. Here's the synopsis: In »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Paris — The Paris-Ile de France region is increasingly positioning itself as Europe’s premier film production hub, while simultaneously building synergies with its closest rival, London, and also with production centers in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In recent years there has been a sea change in the way the local industry works. Since the Nouvelle Vague, France has charted its own distinctive path in the film world, including a strong emphasis on auteur films. But this underlying commitment to the “Art et Essai” — broadly, arthouse — films is complemented by a new generation of directors interested in integrating VFX and animation work within their projects.
In the wake of the digital revolution, all areas of French film production have gone digital, including subtle use of “invisible” VFX on auteur films. Recent examples include VFX work by Mikros Image on Michael Haneke’s “Amour” and Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone” and Buf »
- Martin Dale
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and Edward Norton decided they wanted to make a miniseries about Lewis and Clark, and now they've gotten HBO to green-light it. Based on Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, the six-hour miniseries will star Casey Affleck as melancholic explorer Meriwether Lewis and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) as the rough-and-tumble soldier William Clark. No word yet on who's playing Sacagawea; fingers crossed it won't be Rooney Mara. »
- Nate Jones
HBO is moving ahead with another miniseries, this one produced by an all-star team of acting talent. Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton join producers Dede Gardner and Gary Goetzman as executive producers on "Lewis and Clark," HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo announced via press release on Friday. "In 'Lewis and Clark,' we can see American idealism and the breathtaking natural beauty of the continent, as well as the complexities and tragedies of what came to be known as America's 'manifest destiny'," Lombardo said. "We are tremendously excited to bring together this incredible group of talents to tell a seminal American story." Casey Affleck is set to star in the series as Meriwether Lewis, with Matthias Schoenaerts — best known for "Rust and Bone, last seen in "The Drop," and soon to be appearing in "The Loft" — playing his friend William Clark. John Curran ("The Painted Veil") will direct, »
- Ben Travers
Production will begin in the summer with Affleck in the role of Meriwether Lewis and Schoenaerts as William Clark, telling the story of America’s first contact with the land and native tribes of the country west of the Mississippi River.
Also Read: 10 ‘True Detective’ Acting Teams We Want to See Next (Photos)
- Linda Ge
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