Cannes goes ga-ga over “The Pledge”

Sean Penn‘s The Pledge,
starring Jack Nicholson, has received what Britain’s Guardian newspaper describes as “a rapturous reception” at the Cannes Film Festival. On hand for the screening, Penn acknowledged that he was seeking to revive interest in the $45-million film after it opened in the U.S. in January to mixed reviews and earned only $19.7 million at the box office. “We hope that it finds an audience that embraces it [in Europe],” the actor told a Cannes news conference. Penn also compared film making with politics, noting that “We have some good people in politics — it’s just that they don’t win. … In the same way, we have some good movies, but they don’t succeed in the U.S.” Ironically, when it opened last January, the New York Times reported that Warner Bros. had overruled the producers’ desire to show it in European festivals so that the studio could open it wide … and cash in as quickly as possible on the name value of its cast before word-of-mouth about its depressing subject matter could kill it.”