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Cannes Chatter: Brad Pitt Takes a Shotgun to U.S. Politics in 'Killing Them Softly'

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May 22, 2012 | 5:36am EDT

ALTThe 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival is officially in full swing, with nearly everyone in Hollywood transported to the prestigious French fest for a week and a half of wheeling and dealing. Catch up on all the goings-on with Cannes Chatter.

While reviews of Brad Pitt's latest film Killing Them Softly have honed in on the blunt violence common in modern gangster movies, the recall focus of the reactions and reviews has been the film's even-more-forceful political message. Multiple write ups from Cannes cite one specific line uttered by Pitt's character, Jackie Cogan: "America isn't a country — it's a business.” Based on the 1974 novel Cogan's Trade, writer/director Andrew Dominick's adaptation makes no reservations in its attack on American Capitalism. Reuters describes it as such: "The political message of the film is unavoidable. News channels play in the background in bars and on the radio in cars, and the topic of debate is invariably the financial crisis, political failure, greed and shattered dreams." At a press conference after the film's screening, Pitt explained that the movie wasn't an attack on Obama or his Presidency, but that ""We are playing people with very specific opinions. We are clearly living in our country at a time of great divide and so I'm interested in those other arguments that are ... certainly not mine." Killing Them Softly arrives in theaters September 21. [Reuters] The first poster for the film was release yesterday:

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Gerard Butler is slowly climbing his way to the top of the Hollywood A list, thanks in no small part to his dashing good looks. But not everyone's convinced he's the catch of a lifetime. At the Carnival in Cannes Gala for Haitian Relief, Butler was recruited by writer/director Paul Haggis for inclusion in an auction prize package. Coupled with a weekend pass to the 2013 Golden Globe awards, a tea date with Butler was won by an unknowing bidder, for the price of $125,000. Sadly for Butler, when the bidder realized his money also bought him a few hours with the actor, he respectfully turned it down. Reacting, Butler said, "I think most of my most humiliating experiences in my whole career have been caused by Paul Haggis. He pimps me out. I put up with it because it is for a good cause." On a positive note, the auction raised $2 million for Haitian charities. [HindustanTimes]

Behind-the-scenes footage on from the set of a movie can be hit or miss, depending on who's in front of the camera and how interesting the said set actually is. Turns out, when it's Bill Murray, sufficiently soused on spiced rum, leading us around the fantastical house at the center of Wes Anderson's Cannes-opener Moonrise Kingdom, it's a pretty big hit. Watch and learn:

Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches

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[Photo Credits: The Weinstein Company]

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