As my alarm jolted me awake this morning, five thoughts went through my head in quick succession. One: Have they done studies on how little sleep can a person survive on? Two: Am I the case study?? Three: When I get back to LA, I’m so doing a juice cleanse. Four: Oh god, that sounded really LA. Five: I wonder how early the crepe place opens?
I’m so tired because I went to a late screening of ‘All Is Lost’, starring Robert Redford. And maybe also because I went to a party afterwards. ‘All Is Lost’ was just as amaaaazing as people had lead me to believe, though interestingly, it has almost zero dialogue. The only time you hear RR speak is through voiceover at the beginning, the rest is just watching him trying to survive at sea when his boat begins to sink in the middle of the ocean. Redford is incredible, because he doesn’t “act” at all. He just… is. His character is very calm throughout the whole film, despite the frightening situation. And I loved that ‘All Is Lost’ is never melodramatic – there are no screams to the sky or quick zooms out, we actually never even know anything about RR’s character, not his name or where he’s from or if he has family or anything. But somehow it keeps you on the edge of your seat, enthralled right to the end. I won’t be surprised if we hear about RR during award season. Apparently during the premiere he got quite emotional watching the film – and he’s told me before how he can’t stand to see himself on screen. The best part about last night’s screening for me was when I could hear music from a party nearby, and the song playing was that Duck Sauce dance song which keeps repeating “Barbra Streisand” over and over. The ghost of ‘The Way We Were’? Quite possibly.
It’s my last full day here in Cannes, and I eventually crawled out of bed to see James Gray’s ‘The Immigrant’ with Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Pheonix. It’s a slow period piece set in 1920’s New York with Cotillard as Polish immigrant Ewa who gets taken in by Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), an entertainer who forces her into prostitution. The performances are incredible, especially Joaquin. I don’t even know how he does what he does, but wow, he is always good. The production design and cinematography are lovely to look at; just the story is… a little dull. I almost took a one-way train to nap town, but somehow managed to keep myself in awakes-ville.
Joaquin Phoenix was sadly absent from the press conference for ‘The Immigrant’, and director James Gray explained, “Believe it or not he actually wanted to come, but he’s shooting a film with Paul Thomas Anderson and couldn’t make it.” Disappointing, but more PT/Phoenix action?? Sign me well up. Marion Cotillard was at the press conference, and when she spoke French I just melted. In my humble opinion she is the most beautiful actress. James Gray was entertaining, doing multiple voices to tell stories and impersonate people, and Jeremy Renner was also there, apparently … but hardly spoke.
After the press conference I had a wee lie down, a salad, lots of water… another freaking crepe (OK, OK, it’s my last, this time for sure), and did a quick shoot wrapping up my five favorite films I’ve seen at the Fest. Look out for that on this website probably tomorrow.
I missed out on a ticket for a fancy lunch for the media up at a castle (thanks to not really knowing about it until too late) and was sad to see that Spielberg was there. Not sad for him, or the others at the lunch, just sad for me. I mentioned earlier in the week about my friend Alex who had come on a spur of the moment trip to Cannes to try to deliver a letter to Spielberg. I won’t steal his thunder too much, but it’s a cool story. Two years ago he met Spielberg when he spoke at his college, and Alex was able to grab a minute of his time afterwards. Moved by what he had heard, he told Spielberg about his idea for a book of interviews he’d love to do. Spielberg thought the idea was fantastic, and said to him that if he managed to get all the names he wanted (Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Larry King etc) he would give Alex the final interview. Fast-forward to now and Alex has written the book, has interviewed everyone he mentioned (amazing) except for one last person. Spielberg. Alex has four months until the book is due to the publishers, and Spielberg is off on a world trip for three months after Cannes… so Alex wrote a heartfelt letter explaining the situation, jumped on a plane and flew to Cannes from the US to try and give it to him. I won’t say he’s been unsuccessful because there are one or two leads that may work out… but if I was at the lunch today I would have tried my best to get the letter to him or to his people. Sorry Alex, but good luck!
Later tonight I’ve got my second last film – Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, a vampire romance drama with Tilda Swinton. I’m guessing it will be nothing like ‘Twilight’. Then in the morning, it’s Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’ before I’m off on the shuttle, to the airport in Nice, then to NY, then two hours and then back to LA. And then… sleep for a week. (Not really, I’ll be flying to San Francisco a few days later for more interviews! Yep, my life rules.)