JAMES CAAN GOES BACK TO THE 70S
They don’t make movies like they used to — which is why James Caan was happy to go back to the 1970s in Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties.”
An icon of ’70s cinema through his role as Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather,” Caan plays the patriarch of a divided family in the Brooklyn-set drama. His younger son, played by Billy Crudup, is a cop; the elder, played by Clive Owen, is an ex-con trying halfheartedly to go straight.
“I’ve become very negative about the films of today, and that’s why (I leapt at) the chance to do a film of the ‘70s with talent like this,” 73-year-old Caan told reporters at a Cannes press conference Monday.
“I was very fortunate in the ’70s to work with the best actors, the best directors, the best cinematographers. And (the films) had a beginning, a middle and an end, which was something very odd.”
Today, he said, “it seems like most of the films they’re doing, in Hollywood anyway, are these franchise films.”
Canet is a French screen heartthrob-turned-director who made a splash with his taut 2006 movie “Tell No One.” He said he was inspired by the ’70s American cinema renaissance — films like Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” and Jerry Schatzberg’s “The Panic In Needle Park” — to revisit the gritty, litter-strewn streets of the era.
A remake of the 2008 French film “Les Liens Du Sang” (Blood Ties), which starred Canet as the policeman’s brother in his English-language debut, is playing out of competition in Cannes.
Canet assembled an international cast including Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana, Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts and French star Marion Cotillard, who is also the director’s romantic partner.
Cotillard plays the Owen character’s Italian-born ex, adopting a New York-Italian accent — an experience she admitted was “very, very stressful.”
When an Italian reporter complimented her accent, she emitted a loud sigh of relief.
“I’m going to kiss you!” she said. “You can’t imagine how much pleasure you’ve given me.”
AHNA O’REILLY FETED AS SHE CELEBRATES TWO CANNES FILMS
Along the water on the yachts where many of the Cannes Film Festival’s uber-exclusive parties are thrown, guests are required to take off their shoes before stepping on the boat. And for that “Fruitvale Station” actress Ahna O’Reilly is grateful.
“I can’t be in heels for that long — I’m so uncomfortable!” the smiling actress said Sunday evening aboard the posh Jettee Albert Edouard. “But it’s amazing, I love seeing people all dolled up.”
This is O’Reilly’s first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, and she has two films on display. The actress, who was also in “The Help,” is starring in “Fruitvale” with good friend Octavia Spencer and also in “As I Lay Dying,” in which she was directed by another friend, James Franco, who also stars in the film. Both were in attendance as she was the guest of honor at the event, hosted by the charity Art of Elysium.
“I’m just pinching myself, I can’t believe it, and I’m here with some of my best friends in the world representing projects that I’m deeply passionate about, and also here tonight representing the Art of Elysium, an organization I care a lot about,” she said. “So it’s just all of these people that I love in the most beautiful setting, where everybody is celebrating their love of cinema, so it’s a total dream.”
The Art of Elysium has thrown events at Cannes for the past five years. The charity brings artists into hospitals to entertain children afflicted with life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Founder Jennifer Howell said it was natural to have the event at a film festival: “We’re so artist-centric that we want to be tied into what artists actually do as fundraisers.”
O’Reilly hasn’t had much down time to explore the Cannes area but had one to-do on her wish list:
“I’m dying to go to the Hotel du Cap,” she said of the ritzy hotel outside of Cannes where some of the festival’s top events are held. “Everyone says it’s the most beautiful location.”
‘INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS’ AFTER-PARTY
What was inside the “Inside Llewyn Davis” after-party? Plenty of bold-faced names and of course, more folk music.
The movie, which got a rapturous reception when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, is about the folk-music scene in 1960s New York. The Coen brothers film stars Oscar Isaac and features Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Garrett Hedlund.
Timberlake was on hand with wife Jessica Biel, while Hedlund cozied with his girlfriend, Kirsten Dunst. Others at the party included Frances McDormand, Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett, CBS head Les Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen.
A DJ played music from the film, which is in competition at the festival.
LARS ULRICH WORKING HARDER THAN EXPECTED IN CANNES
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich is used to fast-paced action, but even he was a bit taken aback by the pace at the Cannes Film Festival.
“Most people have a romantic notion of Cannes,” said Ulrich, who was promoting the band’s upcoming film “Metallica Through the Never.”
“(But) there is a lot of work that goes on here. And I was a little bit unprepared for. basically the whole infrastructure of worldwide cinema and the movie business is here,” he said in an interview.
“People have a tendency to think that is just red carpet and movie stars and sipping champagne but people come here to work. People come here to sell their films, people come here to finance their films, people come here to create hype.”
“Metallica Through the Never” marries the concert film format with a dramatic narrative. Directed by Nimrod Antal and released by Picturehouse, the film stars young “Chronicle” actor Dane DeHaan as a member of Metallica’s concert tour crew who’s sent on a special mission by the band. The movie blends concert footage with a plot that includes computer-generated effects.