Cannes at the half: Foreign filmmakers and a folk singer rule festival

Oscar Isaac (and cat) plays an unpleasant folk singer in 1961 in the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Credit: CBS Films
Oscar Isaac (and cat) plays an unpleasant folk singer in the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
Credit: CBS Films

The Cannes Film Festival ends this Sunday. So how is it looking at the halfway mark? That is, apart from the non-film stuff: the guy who fired a starter pistol, and not one but two jewelry robberies. (You might — might! — recall Brian De Palma’s “Femme Fatale” opened with a Cannes Film Festival jewel heist.) But let’s talk movies.

“The Bling Ring” is apparently very Sofia Coppola-y. No one makes movies like Sofia Coppola, which to some is a good thing because that means the world has less like them. Her latest again wallows among the pampered, wealthy and shallow, only this time the leads (led by Emma Watson) are those who steal from them. Reviews have been the usual for this polarizing filmmaker, with some finding the film as dumb as its heroes and others finding it an embodiment of materialism in the age of Twitter. Although Paris Hilton, who plays herself, loved it.

Everyone loves “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The Coen Brothers’ latest — about an unpleasant 1960s folk singer (Oscar Isaac), whose name we’ll one day not accidentally spell as “Llewellyn” — is being received as one of their scruffy triumphs. Comparisons to “The Big Lebowski” abound, and the up-and-comer Isaac — in a cast with Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman — is supposed to be made a star. And that’s great, as it won’t be released in America for another half a year.

But everyone REALLY loves ‘The Past.’ Asghar Farhadi scored an Oscar and a bona fide art-house hit with “A Separation” in 2011. His second film — also about a divorce, this one with an international cast that includes “The Artist”’s Berenice Bejo — is being heralded as about as absurdly strong, which should make Farhadi the biggest Iranian filmmaker since Abbas Kiarostami. Again, you’re probably going to have to wait till winter to see this.

Alejandro Jodorowsky is actually back. The Chilean-born crazy was once one of the original midnight movie kings, thanks to his 1970 gonzo acid western “El Topo.” His career since has been bumpy. But this year the 84-year-old rules Cannes. A documentary about his aborted film of “Dune” — which was to feature Orson Welles and Salvador Dali and a score by Pink Floyd — is there. Ditto an actual, new Jodorowsky film, his first since 1991’s (pretty terrible) “The Rainbow Thief.” “The Dance of Reality” is being called overlong, but also warm and, best of all, teeming with ideas and wild images.

Keanu Reeves and James Franco direct! Franco has been a rather prolific auteur of late, but his eighth film (!!) is for some reason an adaptation of William Faulkner’s unadaptable “As I Lay Dying.” Some are even being nice to it. Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves made a kung fu movie. It’s called “Man of Tai Chi” — insert “Matrix” joke here.

Still to debut (or at least to get reviews): Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives,” with The Gosling; Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive;” and James Gray’s “The Immigrant,” with Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.