As charming as it may be, “Midnight in Paris” is not among Allen’s best. Even though it has most of the director’s trademarks (a neurotic, insecure main character; existential angst; infidelity and a touch of magic), it lacks the moral fiber and deep philosophical questioning of his better works.
Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a successful Hollywood screenwriter is visiting Paris with his fiancée Inez (an effectively insufferable Rachel McAdams) and her wealthy—and equally insufferable—right wing parents. Gil regrets not staying in Paris when he had a chance earlier in his life and sees the trip as an opportunity to start his career as a novelist. However, Inez and her parents’ plans are not conducive to inspiration: all they want to do is shop, eat at fancy restaurants and see the occasional tourist attraction.
In spite of the French cinema vs. Hollywood cinema perception, the truth is that nobody loves American films as much as the French, especially when they come from auteurs—a concept they invented—who moved to Paris at the height of their careers, as Terrence Malick did.
This year’s Palme d’Or, Cannes’ top prize, went to Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life”. He had won one prior, in 1979, for the convoluted “Days of Heaven”. The film spent two years in post-production, during which Malick and his crew experimented with unconventional editing and voice-over techniques. “Days of Heaven” won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, but was a monumental flop that almost ruined his career, as well as the studio that produced it, Paramount. Continue reading
Palme d’Or (Golden Palm): ‘The Tree of Life” by Terrence Malick (United States)
Grand Prize: Shared between “The Kid with the Bike” by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium) and “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
Jury Prize: “Poliss” by Maiwenn (France)
Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for “Drive” (Denmark)
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” (France)
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia” (film from Denmark, actress from United States)
Best Screenplay: Joseph Cedar, “Footnote” (Israel)
Camera d’Or (first-time director): “Las Acacias” by Pablo Giorgelli (Argentina)
Best Short Film: “Country” by Maryna Vroda (Ukraine)
Un Certain Regard – Special Jury Prize : “Elena” by Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Melanie Laurent-Host Opening Night Ceremony
The 64th edition of the Cannes Film Festival is in full swing today. The opening ceremony took place last night (May 11) at the Grand Théâtre Lumière located in the legendary Avenue de la Croisette in the small French Riviera town. Hosted by the young and beautiful French actress Mélanie Laurent, (“Inglorious Basterds” “Beginners”), the main guest in the ceremony seemed to be the city of New York. As president of this year’s Jury Robert de Niro received a musical tribute to his hometown and that of the festival he founded, the Tribeca Film Festival. Young jazzman Jamie Cullum played a medley of Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York and Alicia Keys’ New York. There was also a montage of de Niro’s finest film located in the big apple: “Heat,” “The Godfather,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Raging Bull” and, of course “Taxi Driver.” The selection for the Opening Night film was “Midnight inParis” directed by the most new yorker of them all:WoodyAllen. Finally, when Italian filmmakerBernardoBertolucci received his honoraryPalme d’Or, he dedicated it toAllen and de Niro.
You can watch the entire opening ceremony at:
Robert de Niro-President of this years Cannes Film Festival
FEATURE FILMS JURY
Robert DE NIRO, President – Actor, Director / USA; Martina GUSMAN Actress and producer / Argentina; Nansun SHIProducer / Hong Kong – China; Uma THURMAN Actress, scriptwriter, producer / USA; Linn ULLMANN Writer, journalist, literary critic / Norway; Olivier ASSAYASDirector / France; Jude LAW Actor, producer / UK; Mahamat Saleh HAROUNDirector / Chad.
Members of the Jury BIOGRAPHIES Continue reading
The Short Films Competition
As with feature films, the prime distinction in the Short Film Competition is aPalmed’Or. This competition for new works of up to 15 minutes in length has launch the career of many filmmakers who found a place in the official selection a few years later. Among themJaneCampion,XavierGiannoliand Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Meeting with the directors in the competition offers all the short film professionals visiting Cannes opportunities for discussion that can open doors to different production modes and International funding.
Among the many special sections that the Short Films Competition provides, there is the Short Film Corner.