French actress Catherine Deneuve has been presented with an honorary award at
the Cannes Film Festival, in recognition of her life's work and "legendary"
The prestigious festival's president Gilles Jacob singled out "the French
Katharine Hepburn" for the special prize, because he was baffled the silver
screen superstar had never picked up an award at the South of France film
So he decided to hand her a one-off statuette to compensate for the
"short-sighted" juries of the past- and celebrate her career achievements.
He said, "I give you the Palme that some short-sighted jury wasted elsewhere.
Not only are you beautiful - you inspire so many film directors - but also you
are an excellent actress. Not all legendary actresses are American."
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Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is a very bad American girl who does very bad things. She steals diamonds from an actress at the Cannes Film Festival cheats her partners in crime wears a lot of very suggestive underwear and has lots and lots of manipulative sex with women and with men. Set mainly in Belleville France and spanning seven years--twice--Femme Fatale asks whether or not leopards can change their spots and if they can what does it take? Meeting a nice girl who just lost her husband and child--and who happens to look just like you--sure can help although if you choose to steal her passport and identity after you watch her blow her brains out odds are your leopard-skin lingerie is there to stay. Of course all any proper bad girl really needs to turn her black heart to gold is the love of a good man so when Nicholas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) ex-paparazzo enters the picture we know it's only a matter of time before Laure comes to her senses.
Stamos (Rollerball) is a bad bad girl in Femme Fatale and she's got a bit of a reputation as a bad bad actress in real life which is largely the reason for the poor pre-release press this film has received much to director Brian De Palma's (Mission to Mars) chagrin. But believe it or not she's not completely horrible in the film which required her to speak French (she did passably well) strip to her skivvies (she did remarkably well--more than once) and play multiple characters. The scenes between Stamos and the slickly charming brooding Banderas (Original Sin) are the highlights of the film but sometimes Banderas is so campy that it throws the whole thing off kilter. Why in the heck is Banderas prancing around and lisping pretending to be gay and eliciting chuckles and sometimes even outright laughter from the audience? I mean he's funny and he makes the scene funny and hey I laughed. But this is supposed to be noir. You're not supposed to laugh.
Banderas' schizophrenic performance is merely a symptom of Femme Fatale's fatal flaw: it's a derivative film that just can't decide what it wants to be. It tries to be a sexy tale of the twisted woman à la Basic Instinct but Stamos just doesn't have enough mystique about her to pull that off (shedding her clothes at every possible moment doesn't help). It strives to be an edge-of-your-seat thriller but unlike The Sixth Sense a film whose surprise ending left audiences wanting to see the movie again to check for clues the revelation at the end of Femme Fatale leaves you feeling like an idiot because you should have seen it coming. After the twist the film tells the same story a second time with the heroine making a different choice and thereby changing the life we thought she had lived (Sliding Doors anyone?). It's interesting to analyze Femme Fatale as a pastiche of modern filmmaking but taken as a whole the movie's got a lot less going for it than any of the films it tries to emulate.
The Associated Press reported that as director Woody Allen made his way up the famed red-carpeted steps at the Cannes International Film Festival in France on Wednesday for the very first time in his career, he expressed how he felt:
"I'm suppressing panic…[but] I've already rented the tuxedo, so there's no backing out."
Even though Allen may have been displaying his well-known neurosis, people in the crowd at the opening of the world's biggest film festival were more than elated to be welcoming a director they admire so very much.
Allen has long been considered one of the greatest directors of all time in Europe and especially France, but the usually reclusive director has never attended the famed festival, despite being asked several times.
This year, he decided it was time.
"The French have been so supportive and so affectionate to me," Allen told reporters. "I felt that, after so many years, I wanted to give some gratitude to the French people. I wanted to say yes--once."
"I'm in the clouds," Gilles Jacob, the festival president, told AP. He confessed he'd been asking Allen to come for 25 years.
Allen's newest comedy, Hollywood Ending, will be shown out of competition and seems fitting for the director's grand appearance because the film jokes about how Allen is better received in France than in the United States.
His attendance at Cannes comes on the heels of his other rare appearance at the Academy Awards show this past March. But don't think this is a new and improved Allen who has finally come out of his self-imposed isolation.
"I know it looks like I've had some kind of religious conversion, but I'll be back in the house in a few hours," he joked.
Those who enjoyed "Apocalypse Now" will be glad to know that director Francis Ford Coppola plans to screen his landmark film this May at the Cannes Film Festival. The film promises to be bigger, better and more disturbing than ever.
Coppola has added nearly an hour of footage to the new version of the 1979 war epic. In a statement Coppola said that the new version is three hours and seventeen minutes long, and does not re-use scenes left out of the 1979 release. Instead it was re-edited using original material.
Coppola calls the new version of the film "a more disturbing, sometimes funnier and more romantic film, whose historical perspective has become more forceful." It's also 53 minutes longer than the original.
Inspired by the Joseph Conrad's ``Heart of Darkness,'' the film stars Martin Sheen as a special agent sent into the Cambodian jungle on a mission to kill a renegade officer, played by Marlon Brando.
Joining Coppola in re-cutting the film was Walter Murch, one of the original editors who shared an Oscar for best sound on the movie. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who won an Oscar for his photography, oversaw the reprinting of the film.
The soundtrack has also been restored, converted to digital format and updated to incorporate additional footage.
This year's Cannes Film Festival runs from May 9 to May 20. The festival's president, Gilles Jacob, said Coppola would attend the screening, but that an official date has not yet been set.
How can the festivities get any hotter than they already are? The weekend has arrived which means there are even more parties and more outfits. And oh, yes, there are now even more hordes of Cannes fans. They start camping out (some of them fully equipped with collapsible benches and gourmet picnics) in front of the red carpeted Palais as the sun comes up and wait more than 12 hours to catch a glimpse of the stars and the auteurs and their muses (if they can get them in.) It's all about access. Not a single ticket is for sale.
While veterans like two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine have parties thrown for him (on Friday night his new movie, "The Shiner," was the subject of a fete at the Riviera Hotel), others have to wrangle tickets. This weekend, movie producers, buyers and hangers-on were vying for Saturday night's coveted MTV party invitation (which has a well-earned reputation for always being one of the best of the fest) at the Carlton Beach with De la Soul.
In other Cannes bits:
"Mission to Mars" -- On a somewhat down to Earth note ("out of Earth," might be more accurate) the been-there, seen-that "Mission to Mars" never really got off the ground here. Brian De Palma arrived alone, sans stars Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins. Complaints have been growing that the Cannes' longtime king, Gilles Jacob, chooses the films arbitrarily and sometimes smaller films lose out big time. But, c'est la vie, isn't that the prerogative of any festival director?
Renee Zellweger -- Renee Zellweger is sparkling both in person and in the title role of Neil LaBute's unpredictable third movie, "Nurse Betty." Chris Rock is wonderful in his dramatic role, as is Morgan Freeman (you might have heard of him? He's a three-time Oscar nominee?) Greg Kinnear was terrific as the anti-romantic (you gotta see it) lead and it's nice to see Renee's back on track after some fine performances in forgettable films (does that sound like a familiar phenomenon?) because we'll see her next in "Bridget Jones' Diary."
Jodie Foster has had to relinquish her position as the Cannes Int'l Film Festival jury president because she feels the need to go make a few dollars, $12 million to be exact.
In the wake of the Screen Actors Guild pre-strike production frenzy, Foster has stepped in to replace Nicole Kidman in Columbia's "The Panic Room," directed by David Fincher. Kidman had to bow out because of an knee injury. Columbia actually wanted Angelina Jolie as the replacement, but Jolie decided to star in New Regency's "Life, or Something Like It" instead.
However, Foster's decision to exit as jury president has left Cannes president Gilles Jacob and his team in a bind, to say the least, as they now will have to scramble to find a replacement to run the 12-member jury. Still, the festival is handling the news gracefully.
In a statement to Variety, Jacob said: "The embarrassment and regret [Ms. Foster] expressed are equaled by our disappointment, but anyone can understand that for an actress, her profession comes first."
As for Foster, she said to Variety: "I hope with all my heart that it is only a postponement and that, if the Festival honors me with another request, I will one day become president of a Festival to which I owe so much, and this time for good."
The fact that Foster was picked for the prestigious position is a milestone in itself. The Int'l Festival has had a tenous relationship with the U.S. market in the past, and choosing Foster was perceived as an act of good faith by Hollywood heavyweights.
Now, unfortunately, the Festival has been set back considerably since finding a new president will undoubtedly cause more headaches. Foster was very easygoing about the other jury member selections, and the new president may be more particular.
Foster will next be seen in "The Dangerous Life of Altar Boys" directed by Peter Care, produced by her company, Egg Pictures.
Looks like Jodie Foster is going to put her French to good use.
The two-time Oscar-winning actress and sometime director has been tapped by the 54th Cannes International Film Festival to serve as the head of the event's jury this year, Daily Variety says.
"[Foster] is a very intelligent woman, and we are confident she will handle the rest of the jury in a diplomatic way," festival head honcho Gilles Jacob told Variety.
Foster is no stranger to Cannes and the French culture. The actress first set foot on festival ground back in 1976 for the screening of "Taxi Driver," which won the Palme d'Or that year, and Foster's mother is French. Foster speaks the language fluently.
The Cannes Film Festival kicks off May 9 and runs through May 20.