Entertainment behind the scenes
I, along with just about every other reporter and critic in Cannes for the film festival this year, was a little nervous about Woody Allen being chosen to open the event with his romantic comedy “Midnight In Paris”. Many cinephiles feel the 75-year-old Oscar winner has failed to live up to his famously high standards in recent outings. In Britain, at least, “Match Point” was not much loved while “Cassandra’s Dream” was broadly unpopular.
But Midnight In Paris quickly won over the notoriously picky Cannes crowd at a press screening today, with laughter (in all the right places) and warm applause as the credits rolled on what he has described as his “love letter to Paris”. The surreal tale follows Hollywood scriptwriter Gil, played by Owen Wilson, who is in Paris and travels back in time each night to the 1920s, where he meets his heroes including Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. As he grows closer to Picasso’s lover Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard, he moves ever further from his present-day fiancee, played by Rachel McAdams.
There are plenty of in-jokes for the culture vultures — it helps, for example, to know the paintings of Salvador Dali or the films of Luis Bunuel or the novels of Hemingway. But it’s not a must and the humour tends to work well, not least when Michael Sheen delivers the pretentious lines of odious intellectual snob Paul, an expert in everything and anything.
Wilson shares some of the classic Allen-as-actor mannerisms — the lost look and the uncertainty — but the differences are more striking. ”He’s the opposite of me,” Allen said of his central hero. “I’m very nervous and New York, he’s very West Coast, very blond, very ‘on the beach’, very athletic. He speaks nothing like me. If I got someone more like me we would have lost a dimension. He brought a dimension that was very different from what I imagined when I wrote it.”
Writer-director Woody Allen doesn’t mince words when expressing the anxiety he feels about aging and death.
In a typically blunt, near-two minute tirade, seventy-four-year-old Allen, said he sees no advantage to the golden years at all.
Woody Allen is a one-man creative factory. But the 73-year-old acclaimed director who made the 1977 classic “Annie Hall”cannot please the critics with every new film. Now, reviewers are accusing him of an artistic breakdown over his newest movie ”Whatever Works,” a comedy opening in limited U.S. release on Friday.
It is Allen’s first movie set in his native New York since the 2005 “Melinda and Melinda,” and it tells of a misanthropic man, portrayed by Larry David, who marries a younger woman.
At a trial starting in New York on Monday, Woody Allen is suing American Apparel, which is known for its controversial ads, for displaying on giant billboards an image of him taken from his film “Annie Hall,” in which Allen is dressed as a rabbi. The image appears in the ad next a Yiddish caption that translated as “the holy rebbe.”
Spoiler alert: We give away one detail of Woody Allen’s new movie, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” so if you don’t want to know, don’t read on. But it’s too irresistible to keep hidden, and soon somebody will spill it.
For months, ”Vicky Cristina Barcelona” has been shrouded in mystery. What it is about? Woody, shooting in Spain and not New York? Were co-stars Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz romantically involved during the shoot? Are they still?