There’s simply one thing about Cannes.
No movie pageant can rival it for delivering old-school Hollywood glamour. And the 76th version hasn’t suffered from an absence of star energy throughout its first half, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman all shining on the pink carpet.
But Cannes isn’t simply a chance to see the most important actors on the planet on the most important stage in moviedom. It’s additionally an opportunity to take inventory of the trade and the challenges it faces. There’s no graver one, definitely, than the Writers Guild strike that’s put the TV and film enterprise in a holding sample, together with the likelihood that actors and administrators will be part of the picket traces when their contracts expire in June. So for all of the glitziness of the premieres, there’s additionally an underlying nervousness. Will the nice occasions final for much longer?
Johnny Depp Makes a Comeback (Kinda)
Having scored a significant victory after a Virginia court docket dominated in his favor in his defamation swimsuit towards ex-wife Amber Heard, Depp hoped to make use of Cannes and the premiere of “Jeanne du Barry” as a launching pad for a return. And the outcomes are … blended. The crowd on the pageant showered Depp with a seven-minute ovation on opening night time. But on the press convention the next day, his solutions to reporters asking in regards to the cloud that also hangs over him might’ve used some work. They had been weird and rambling. One U.S. distributor summed up the difficulties dealing with the actor when requested if their firm would purchase “Jeanne du Barry”: “I’m not touching anything with Johnny Depp in it.”
Auteur de Force
It’s laborious to foretell what’s going to pop at a movie pageant. This yr at Cannes, the overwhelming feeling on the bottom is the power of the lineup’s visionary administrators. After a 10-year hiatus, Jonathan Glazer got here storming again with “The Zone of Interest,” an unnerving have a look at the home lives of a Nazi household dwelling within the shadow of Auschwitz. And he had firm among the many auteur set. Todd Haynes introduced horny subversiveness with “May December,” whereas Martin Scorsese scored with “Killers of the Flower Moon.” This Cannes the brightest stars would be the ones behind the digicam.
Slow (or Silent?) Marché
Cannes isn’t only a place to premiere films; it’s additionally a terrific setting to promote them. Yet gross sales brokers warned Variety that the market can be quiet this yr. Announcing multimillion-dollar gross sales of completed movies and star packages can be disruptive and disrespectful of picketing writers. Indeed, motion round gross sales has been slower than a French waiter. Haynes’ “May December” scored an $11 million deal from Netflix, however that’s the uncommon success story. Elsewhere, tasks like Dave Bautista’s “Cooler,” Sylvester Stallone’s “Cliffhanger” reboot and Nicolas Cage’s “Lords of War” nonetheless want a house.
Indiana Jones Is Ready to Retire
Harrison Ford is bidding farewell to the globe-trotting archaeologist who made him a cinema icon. But primarily based on the tepid response to “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” he ought to have hung up the fedora way back. The evaluations had been lukewarm, and whereas the film obtained a standing ovation, it felt extra compulsory than enthusiastic.
Opulence is again…however maybe not for lengthy
Cannes is synonymous with magnificence, and that doesn’t come low-cost. Vanity Fair, Warner Bros. Discovery and amfAR all threw extravagant bashes on the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in close by Antibes. Studios shelled out to carry “Asteroid City” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” to France. That’s a number of hair and make-up, resort and transportation charges. All of those prices come as media conglomerates lay off tens of 1000’s of individuals, share costs get battered as Wall Street sours on streaming, and the WGA is holding out for higher phrases. Frugality might lower into the fromage subsequent yr.