Top Five Cannes-Focused Thoughts Today
01. The forceful reaction to Cronenberg's A History of Violence which Manohla Dargis calls "awesome", which A.O. Scott seems confused about, which Mike D'Angelo scores tipping positive but with a question mark attached and calls "strange", and which prompted * Roger Ebert * to propose that Viggo Mortenson might snag an acting honor from Cannes on Saturday --suddenly making my way out on a limb Oscar prediction for the best actor lineup not so strange after all.
02. The return of the Woody Allen people actually admire with Matchpoint. Given that people seem very impressed with this film's actual PLOT, might this be accessible enough for Oscar to embrace? (If you don't know that Oscar, and American audiences in general, get much more excited about good stories than good atmosphere, ideas, or cinematic invention, than you're not paying attention.) Woody's last true Oscar success was Bullets Over Broadway some 11 years back. That won an impressive 7 Oscar nominations...an indication that it probably just missed Best Picture nominee status. Could he actually return to the finals?
03. Natalie Portman's shaved head. But definitely not the Paris Hilton stories. Who cares? Seriously? I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom given the amount of press ripples caused by every tilt and swivel of her blond head. But for me she's not a good celebrity. Vacant and boring? yes. Endlessly fascinating? to whom exactly...
04. Following Mike D'Angelo's grades ---His top five so far? Down in the Valley (David Jacobson), The Wayward Cloud (Tsai Ming-liang)The Child (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne), Hidden (Michael Haneke)and Match Point(Woody Allen)
05. Speculating about who will win what... it's really just begun. The awards are handed out in less than a week but there are many films left to premiere.
* I would not suggest reading Ebert's coverage if you don't like spoilers because he gives too much plot away for more than one film. I was not able to completely read his article because I could tell he was divulging key plot elements and I just don't wanna know them.