Late Thursday afternoon elite press and international distributors viewed the Weinstein Co. preview reel that unspools at the Cannes Film Festival every year. During pre-screening remarks honcho Harvey Weinstein indicated that Todd Haynes‘ Carol, the allegedly Brokeback Mountain-like, early-50s-era lesbian heartbreaker starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, may be the company’s hottest Oscar pony. Maybe. He also made a bold declaration about Southpaw star Jake Gyllenhaal being in line for a vigorous Best Actor campaign while lamenting that Jake should have been nominated last January for Nightcrawler. (Which is true — Jake totally deserved a nomination and had generated lots of heat but was edged out all the same.)
(l. to r.) Cannes Film Festival juror Jake Gyllenhaal, star of forthcoming Weinstein Co. release Southpaw; fellow juror Sienna Miller, costar of Weinstein Co’s Adam Jones; and Alicia Vikander, star of Weinstein Co’s Tulip Fever.
Weinstein stated that Southpaw had been selected for screening at Cannes, but it had to be withdrawn from competition after Gyllenhaal was announced as a jury member. Harvey also mentioned that a Southpaw screening will happen soon in Cannes but for buyers and not journalists
After the clip reel Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Alicia Vikander came on stage and delivered some of the old soft sell. Miller is a costar of John Wells‘ Adam Jones (Weinstein Co., 10.2.15). Vikander is, of course, “Ava” in Ex Machina and the star of Justin Chadwick and Tom Stoppard‘s forthcoming Tulip Fever, which the Weinstein Co. has not decided when to release just yet.
Carol looks like a quality package, all right. This may sound weird coming from me but I admired the dated grainy look of it, due to Ed Lachman‘s having shot it in Super 16mm. Old-fashioned film grain is different than digital grainstorms, which are more specific and emphatic.
The Hateful Eight reel tried to suggest that a significant portion of Quentin Tarantino‘s western takes place in wintry, snow-covered mountains (it was shot near Telluride, Colorado), but the film mostly happens inside a single indoor establishment called Minnie’s Haberdashery in the Old West town of Red Rock, Wyoming. A haberdashery is a men’s clothing shop, which would most likely be a modest-sized place in a small town, but the haberdashery in the footage looked like a large Elk’s Club lounge with a good acre or so of floor space. We’re talking about a place that looks as big as a small gymnasium with old hardwood floors and big easy chairs and a big-ass fireplace. And I didn’t see any racks of clothing either.
Adam Jones is a drama about a high-strung perfectionist chef (Bradley Cooper) looking to open a new haute cuisine restaurant. A lot of exquisite looking dishes, a lot of shouting and broken plates. Costarring Cooper’s American Sniper costar Sienna Miller + Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson.
Lion is some kind of heavyweight relationship drama costarring a long-haired Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. The Southpaw footage was more or less the same that everyone’s seen in the online trailer. Ditto No Escape, the Owen Wilson-Pierce Brosnan action drama about civil unrest on Asia. As I hate animation I paid zero attention to the Little Prince footage. Tulip Fever looks interesting, possibly stirring — Vikander and Dane DeHaan involved in a secretive affair, possibly behind the back of Christoph Waltz. Hands of Stone is the just-acquired boxing movie about the rise of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and his relationship with his wizened old trainer (Robert DeNiro).