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Cannes Film Festival update: ‘Behind the Candelabra’ and ‘The Great Beauty’

Cannes Film Festival update: ‘Behind the Candelabra’ and ‘The Great Beauty’

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The films continue at Cannes, with Behind the Candelabra and The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellazza) giving critics and fans a reason to rejoice.

damon-douglasThe Liberace bio-pic Behind the Candelabra was warmly embraced by critics. The film, starring Michael Douglass and Matt Damon, is directed by Stephen Soderberg. Douglass is getting raves as Liberace. The film is unique in that it is debuting at Cannes, but will play in the United States on HBO. Word is that the studios felt the film wasn’t commercial enough because of the ‘gay’ subject matter. Many feel Behind the Candelabra is one of the best films of the festival.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellazza), by Paolo Sorrentino, made its world premiere to excellent reviews. Critics call the film ‘intoxicating’, ‘sophisticated’ and ‘gorgeous’. The film consciously evokes Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Roma in location and themes. Expect The Great Beauty to be one of the top contenders for the Palme d’Or.

Japanese director Takashi Miike new cop thriller, Shield of Straw, has been universally panned.

A Castle in Italy (Un Chateau en Italie) by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi was not particularly well received by critics. The film is about a rich family that may have to sell he castle they own in Italy. Most critics felt the film’s wealthy, absorbed characters lacked sympathy.

James Franco’s adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying, is drawing mixed reviews. Franco wrote, directed and starred in the movie, which follows a poor Mississippi family as they take the body of their mother on a long journey to be buried. Critics seem to be giving Franco points for trying, but ultimately, the final result isn’t satisfying.

Keanu Reeves was in Cannes to show off Man of Tai Chi, a contemporary kung fu film that he directed.

Finally, French police say they are searching for three suspects with regard to the theft of more than $1 million last week.