This movie, as it happens, smooths out quite a bit of material in order to make its story points and moods conform to that of…
CANNES, France--The so-far disappointing 2003 Cannes Film Festival stirred from its torpor over the weekend with sex, violence and dogma. This being Cannes, dogma got the most attention, as Lars Von Trier, a founder of the minimalist Dogma movement, unveiled his three-hour "Dogville." This is one of the most confounding and exasperating films of the festival, and maybe it is brilliant, but I will not be able to determine that until I have recovered from the ordeal of sitting through it.
CANNES, France--Derek Malcolm will take your bet. The distinguished film critic of the Guardian, Britain's venerable left-wing daily, sets the odds on the winner of the Cannes top prize, the Palme d'Or. He takes actual money. He pays off at the end of the festival. This is not a joke.
CANNES, France--Music from the films of Fellini floats over the Cannes Film Festival, from speakers along the beachfront. It is bittersweet and a little nostalgic, and that reflects the mood as the 56th edition of this festival opens. There are no doubt masterpieces concealed among the official entries, but excitement is muted, and the high point looks to be the world premiere of Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River" next Friday. It's rumored the Sean Penn performance is Oscar material.
Oscar turns 75 this year, old enough to write a second volume of its memoirs. The Academy Awards are always called Hollywood's Prom Night, and like all prom nights they inspires a lot of memories and photographs and scrapbooks, and sometimes you go rummaging through them.
Nothing that has happened since the Academy Awards nominations were announced has swayed me from my immediate conviction that "Chicago" will be the big winner on Oscar night. I know that "The Pianist" was named best film by the British Academy. I know "The Hours" was honored for its screenplay at the Writers Guild Awards. But, hey, I also know the Directors Guild honored Rob Marshall for "Chicago" over Martin Scorsese--and when a rookie can outpoll a living national treasure in a vote of directors, there's a bandwagon on the way."Chicago" is not the best of the nominated films. That would be "Gangs of New York." But you have to understand that the academy doesn't vote for the best film. It votes for the best headline. This year, it sees big type that shouts "The Musical Comes Back!" Having failed to honor "Moulin Rouge!" last year, the academy will vote this year the way it thinks it should have voted the year before. (Example: The 2001 Oscar for best actor went to Russell Crowe, who more reasonably should have won a year earlier for "The Insider.") Here are the major categories and my predictions:
"Chicago" waited 27 years to make the transition from stage to screen, but finished strong, winning 13 nominations Tuesday as the 75th annual Academy Awards nominations were revealed. After last year's best-picture nod for "Moulin Rouge," the movie's front-runner status signals a rebirth of the movie musical.
PARK CITY, Utah--Wrapping up the final films I saw at Sundance this year:
PARK CITY, Utah--Now the buzz has taken over, and I am seeing mostly good, sometimes great, films. You open the Sundance catalog on the first day of the festival and choose your films for the first weekend, and after that you go where the buzz sends you, because audiences are always honest.
PARK CITY, Utah--"Do you consider yourself a photographer?" asked Tom Bernard. He is the co-honcho of Sony Classics. I held up my camera and shrugged.
PARK CITY, Utah--The art of making a deal, Kevin Spacey explains, is not unlike the shell game.