The film I was most interested in at the Cannes Film Festival this year was Todd Hayne's Carol. It's early buzz was great, and Haynes doesn't do a project but one every few years. After his success on television with Mildred Pierce, I was wondering how his jump back to the big screen would turn out. It turns out that Carol, as I hoped it would be, is the film that all of us thought it could be, and is probably our first real Oscar contender to premiere at the festival (hopefully Mad Max will also figure in). The early reviews are raves to say the least, and a lot of attention is not just being heaped on Haynes, but on the cast itself. Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson are apparently great, but it is Mara and Blanchett that are getting the most praise. If I were Weinstein, I would campaign one as lead and one as supporting to make sure that both get in. I'm sure they are already plotting their strategy going forward. This is Weinstein. It only takes about one good review and they will run with it. These kind of raves I'm sure have emboldened their future Oscar plans for the film.
The other major premiere is a film I don't think will play into the Oscar race, but one that I am looking forward to is the new Amy Winehouse documentary, which did not have the support of the family going into Cannes. The reviews are strong for the film, which makes it a shame that it will most likely be ignored by the Academy's documentary branch. I can also kind of understand why the family is against it, because apparently it is pretty brutally honest. Obviously Amy had a dark side, it is that dark side which ended her life too soon. The film explores both her light and her dark, and is one that I think will be a fascinating view. And early reviews confirm that it is one to watch.
Stay tuned for more mini-Cannes updates!