As the most anticipated American film going into the festival, Bennett Miller’s blistering psychological crime saga did not disappoint. With career-best performances from Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as wrestler brothers and an unrecognizable Steve Carell as the sinister entrepreneur who becomes obsessed with them, Foxcatcher's drum is sure to beat loudly all the way to the Dolby Theatre on Oscar night.
Bella & Edward
When they weren’t actively avoiding each other on the Croisette, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were busy earning raves for their work in films that will further shatter their teen-idol personas. RPattz was revelatory in the double bill of David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars and David Michôd’s The Rover, while KStew was mesmerizing as the seductive personal assistant of a major star in Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria. Sorry, Twihards, but it looks like your favorite star-crossed lovers are all grown up.
Jury head Jane Campion called the 25-year-old Canadian wunderkind “a kind of genius” after his fifth feature film, Mommy, wowed critics and audiences alike. Vanity Fair named it “our favorite film at Cannes.” The bold and unpredictable story of a mother struggling to raise her problem child earned Dolan the jury prize and might finally introduce the prolific director to audiences outside of the art-house set.
Strong Female Characters
While there may not have been many films by women, there were plenty of films about women, which is a step in the right direction for an industry that has long suffered from gender imbalance. Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman is a return to form for Hilary Swank, while David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars is carried by two brave performances from Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska. Of course, Jessica Chastain brought her A game, too, as an embattled wife in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, a portrayal that is sure to garner her loads of buzz come awards season.
Grace of Monaco
Had this flaccid biopic premiered in the middle of the festival, perhaps the reception wouldn’t have been as harsh as it was, when Olivier Dahan’s story of the actress turned princess opened the festival to a chorus of boos. Even its star, Nicole Kidman, has since tried to distance herself from the movie, saying recently she had “no control” over the making of the film. Ouch.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, Ryan Reynolds was Hollywood’s newest golden boy. But, after a string of flops derailed his career, the Canadian actor came to Cannes looking for redemption. He didn’t get it. His overwrought kidnapping thriller, The Captive, was met with the loudest boos of the festival, and though it’s really very sad, it’s likely true, too: Reynolds’ career might be beyond saving.
Another Canadian heartthrob was the victim of the dreaded Cannes jeers, but this time they were for his work behind the camera instead of in front of it. Ryan Gosling’s eagerly awaited directorial debut, Lost River, was deemed nearly unwatchable by most of those who sat through the lumbering affair about a mother-son duo who become embroiled in a seedy underworld. Gosling was heavily criticized for borrowing too much from the directors he admired without adding anything to the conversation. While he may be secretly pleased with the outcry, Gosling will be hard-pressed to find funding for his next directorial effort, which bodes well for those of us who prefer him in front of the camera (i.e., everyone).