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AT CANNES, CHE HAD HIS DAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



In a unanimous vote, The 2008 Cannes Film Festival jury, under the leadership of Sean Penn, named Benicio Del Toro Best Actor for his performance as Che Guevara in a double bill by Steven Soderbergh. For details on "Che," plus a sampling of other festival features, browse below; to read about more festival winners, click here and visit the official festival Web site.



IN COMPETITION

CHE: PART ONE (THE ARGENTINE): Benicio Del Toro; Franka Potente, Julia Ormond, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Demian Bichir (Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Written by Peter Buchman; Focus Features) In “The Motorcycle Diaries,” director Walter Salles focused on the youthful Ernesto "Che" Guevara (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) as the budding revolutionary biked his way through South America and witnessed acts of injustice he would never forget. If you loved Salles’ 2004 hit movie, the odds are that you will be similarly moved by this follow-up film from director Steven Soderbergh. In place of the beautiful, magnetic Bernal, we now have the less beautiful but equally magnetic and talented Benicio Del Toro as the mature Argentine doctor who leaves his country and his profession and becomes known as Che, the idealistic but tough disciple of Cuban crusader Fidel Castro. The first of two new Soderbergh takes on Che, "The Argentine" will be followed by "Guerrilla."


CHE: PART TWO (GUERRILLA): Benicio Del Toro, Lou Diamond Phillips, Franka Potente, Julia Ormond, Oscar Iaac, Meg Gibson, Alex Manette, Paul Vasquez, Rob Macie (Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Written by Peter Buchman; Focus Features) This sequel to Soderbergh's "The Argentine" deals with the post-Cuban Revolution adventures of Che Guevara, once again played by Benicio Del Toro. Demian Bichir is also back as Fidel Castro. Click here to read A. O. Scott's New York Times review of the Guevara double bill.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHANGELING: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Geoff Pierson, Denis O'Hare, Frank Wood, Peter Gerety, Reed Birney, Gattlin Griffiith, Devon Conti, Eddie Alderson (Directed by Clint Eastwood; Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Universal) In real life, Angelina Jolie is Supermom--strong, fearless, protective, possessive, an unsinkable force of nature. But in this gritty drama, set in 1920s Los Angeles, Angelina is more victim than victor. At least, that’s what she is when we first meet her, around the time the single parent's 10-year-old son goes missing. But, thanks to the loosely law-abiding LAPD, she is soon reunited with her son. Or is she? Angelina’s initial joy quickly turns to doubt and then rage. No way is this kid the lad to whom she gave birth. Don’t be surprised if Angelina triumphs in the end and--given the fact that her director is the man who worked wonders for Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby”--eventually cradles an Oscar for her performnce in this complex, blood-drenched tale based on Riverside County, California's grisly "Wineville Chicken Murders." Click here for Todd McCarthy's Variety review. Opens in theaters on 10/24/08


UN CERTAIN REGARD


O'HORTEN: Bard Owe, Espen Skjonberg, Ghita Norby, Bjorn Floberg, Henry Moan Bjarte (Written and directed by Bent Hamer) This comedy-drama about an elderly, about-to-retire train driver who fears he is being derailed in more ways than one was voted best picture of 2007 by the Norwegian Film Critics Association. Judging by previous films from Norway’s Bent Hamer--such as “Kitchen Stories,” “Eggs” and the remarkable “Factotum,” starring Matt Dillon as the drinking, gambling, womanizing, heroically wasted writer in an adaptation of the Charles Bukowski novel--we can expect something dark, quirky and beautiful.

 

OUT OF COMPETITION

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent (Directed by Steven Spielberg; Written by David Koepp and Jeff Nathanson; Paramount) Starting with “Sugarland Express” in 1974 and surging through “Jaws” (1975) and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), Steven Spielberg established himself as the fastest-rising director of the late seventies. Then, in 1979, a loser of a war-comedy called “1941” ripped a hole in Spielberg’s rep as an auteur, threatening to dump him into oblivion. The rude shock of that dud did eventually fade and, two years later, mega-blockbuster “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” starring Harrison Ford as two-fisted, whip-snapping archeologist Henry “Indiana” Jones, turned Spielberg into the Comeback Kid. And he’s been back ever since--think “E.T.,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “A.I.,” “Minority Report,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “Munich” (but do not think “The Color Purple,” “Always,” “Hook,” “Jurassic Park,” “Amistad” and “Terminal”). Now, demonstrating loyalty to the bigger-than-life character who put his career back on track, Spielberg spins a fourth chapter in the saga of Indiana Jones. And Harrison Ford will of course be the guy who wields a whip, cracks skulls and takes hissingly villainous Cate Blanchett down a peg or two. Now playing in theaters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
: Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, Chris Messina (Written and directed by Woody Allen; The Weinstein Company) There was a time when Diane Keaton was gloriously front and center in nearly every Woody Allen comedy or drama. A bit later, the same was true of Mia Farrow. Now the working-with-Woody thing is getting to be a habit with Scarlett Johansson, whose star turns in his British-lensed “Match Point” and “Scoop” will be followed by this maybe comedy/maybe drama. It was shot in Barcelona and Asturias and deals with the amorous adventures of a local lothario and two alluring American tourists. Happily, Woody had the good sense to team Scarlett with a pair of Pedro Almodovar’s finest players--Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz as a lusty painter and his hot-tempered ex-wife. Click here for Todd McCarthy's review of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" in Variety. Opens in theaters on 9/5/08