International News Roundup: Pattinson And Kanye Rock Cannes; Twitter's Olympic Boycott
At this year's Cannes International Film Festival, Robert Pattinson, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt rocked the Croisette; Alex Baldwin trashed-talked Harvey Weinstein and the wet weather didn't put a damper on business. Here's The Hollywood Reporter's look back at the biggest scandals, deals and, yes, films, at this year's Cannes as well as the other media stories making headlines across the world this week.
PATTINSON TALKS UP 'COSMOPOLIS'
Competing with Kanye and Kardashian on the hype stakes was Robert Pattinson, who took a major step away from the Twilight franchise that made him a global star with the starring role in David Cronenberg's Cannes Competition film Cosmopolis. The British actor said he before the Cosmopolis shoot, he spent two weeks in his hotel room, "worrying and confusing myself" about whether he was up to role, in which he plays a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager who embarks on his limousine on an odyssey through Manhattan. According to our reviewer, he missed the mark. THR's Todd McCarthy believes Cosmopolis "will attract some Robert Pattinson fans but will be widely met with audience indifference."
KANYE AND KARDASHIAN ROCK CANNES
Kanye West further extended the term muli-talent with the seven-screen Cannes premiere of his short film Cruel Summer. The 30-minute drama about a car thief and a beautiful, blind Arabic woman used multiple cameras to provide different angles on each scene. West's new girlfriend Kim Kardashian attended the premiere, along with West's Watch the Throne collaborator Jay-Z.
BALDWIN TRASH-TALKS HARVEY
The war of words between industry heavyweights Alec Baldwin and Harvey Weinstein briefly became the talk of Cannes after renowned hothead Baldwin lashed out at the Oscar-winning producer, calling him a "douche bag" and worse.
Baldwin was peeved that Weinstein opted out of participating in Seduced and Abandoned, the documentary he was shooting in Cannes with director James Toback.
But a week is a long time in Cannes and by the end of the fest, the 30 Rock star and the Django Unchained producer had buried the hatchet with Baldwin formally apologizing to Weinstein at Cannes' affAR fund raiser.
SEAN PENN TRASH-TALKS THE MEDIA
Sean Pean, however, did not hold back. At a press conference in Cannes to publicize fundraising for Haitian charities, including his own, the actor and activist blasted the media and his fellow celebrities for forgetting about the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Penn also called on President Obama to meet with Haiti's newly-elected president.
BRAD PITT SAYS NEW FILM DOES NOT TRASH OBAMA
Brad Pitt, in contrast, went on the defensive, fielding questions at the Cannes press conference that his new gangster film Killing Them Softly, was a veiled attack on the policies of President Obama.
Andrew Dominik's movie about small-time gangsters is set during the 2008 financial crisis and specifically references Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. But Pitt said it should not be read as a negative ad against the President.
THR's reviewer praised the film as "tight, absorbing and entertainingly performed" but though Dominik overreaches with his political message.
CRITICS TALK UP CANNES OSCAR BUZZ
Before Cannes even wrapped up, the bloggerati was looking beyond the Palm d'Or to the Oscar chances for this year's festival entries.
Michael Haneke’s Amour looks strong in the best foreign language film category, Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard's affecting work in Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone could nab her a second Academy statuette and many are buzzing about the performance of her Rust & Bone co-star Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts.
CANNES CASTING CALLS
The unseasonably wet weather at Cannes this year did not dampen business at the Marche du Film, Cannes' film market, which was marked by an explosion of new projects and deals.
Some of the bigger and more interesting projects announced during Cannes included: Gerard Butler joining action pic White House Taken, the first film to fall under a newly announced $100 million co-financing and co-production deal struck between Millennium Films and West Coast Film Partners; Icon U.K. Group joining Lee Daniels' The Butler starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, about the life of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served eight American presidents; Rupert Everett taking on Oscar Wilde in his directorial debut, The Happy Prince, a comedic biopic on Wilde's final days which will star Everett as the legendary Irish writer and playwright and Colin Firth as his friend and confidant Reginald "Reggie" Turner; and Natalie Portman joining the Lynne Ramsay-directed Western Jane Got A Gun as star and producer.