More premieres and more acquisitions were the name of the game at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, with Amazon Studios and Paramount making big movie deals and Pedro Almodóvar‘s “Pain & Glory” showing to acclaim.
Plus, a surprise performance from Mariah Carey!
See below for the highlights of Cannes, day four:
Amazon Acquires ‘Les Miserables’ for $1.5 Million
Amazon Studios on Friday acquired U.S. rights to writer and director Ladj Ly’s French-language “Les Misérables,” following the film’s world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
“Les Misérables” is Ly’s first feature and the only debut in the competition section at the festival. The film premiered Wednesday evening to great fanfare. An individual with knowledge of the deal said it was likely around $1.5 million.
Inspired by the 2005 Paris riots, and Ly’s César-nominated short film of the same name, “Les Misérables” takes a provocative look into the tensions between neighborhood residents and police. It centers on Stéphane (Damien Bonnard), who has recently joined the anti-crime brigade in Montfermeil, the Paris suburb where Victor Hugo set his classic novel “Les Misérables.”
Alongside his new colleagues Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djibril Zonga) — both experienced members of the team — he quickly discovers tensions running high between local gangs. When the trio finds themselves overrun during the course of an arrest, a drone captures the encounter, threatening to expose the reality of everyday life.
Paramount Buys Chris Hemsworth, Tiffany Haddish Comedy ‘Down Under Cover’
Paramount Pictures bought the worldwide rights to the buddy cop comedy “Down Under Cover,” one of the hottest sales titles of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The Russo Brothers have teamed up again with their “Avengers” star Hemsworth to produce the film under their AGBO production banner.
According to the an individual with knowledge of the deal, Paramount committed to a budget of $40 million for the comedy, which will shoot later this year.
Peter Hoare wrote the screenplay for “Down Under Cover,” which stars Hemsworth as a detective who goes undercover to investigate a group of male, Australian erotic dancers who he suspects are involved in a series of casino heists. Haddish will play a lone wolf cop who Hemsworth reluctantly accepts as a partner.
Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” Debuts
Pedro Almodóvar’s Spanish drama “Pain and Glory,” starring Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz, premiered at the festival on Friday to generally good reviews.
It follows Banderas as a film director much like Almodéovar who reflects on the choices he’s made in his life as they come crashing down on him.
TheWrap’s Steve Pond wrote: “And ‘Pain and Glory’ is, clearly, a film of sighs. Just as the character seeks physical and mental healing, the film is one of the most meditative of Almodóvar’s career. He may have made his reputation with a string of transgressive, jarring and provocative films that helped upend Spanish cinema in the 1980s and ’90s, but with this film passion has given way to mature introspection. It makes for less energetic and, yes, less exciting filmmaking. But ‘Pain and Glory’ is a beautiful meditation on past and present, a memory piece that will nourish rather than provoke.”
Rosa Salazar’s “The Bang Bang Girls”
On Friday, it was announced that Rosa Salazar would star in and executive produce “The Bang Bang Girls,” written and directed by Lauren Schacher. The dramedy follows a high school valedictorian and her two best friends who recruit their chemistry teacher to form a secret after school sex-ed club.
Paradigm is launching sales for the film at the festival. It is aiming for a fall production start.
“Little Joe” Premieres
Jessica Hausner’s “Little Joe” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday. The film stars Jessie Mae Alonzo, Emily Beecham and Leanne Best and follows Alice, a single mother, who is a dedicated plant breeder and engineers a very special crimson flower. Soon, though, she realizes her creation may not be as harmless as she thought.
TheWrap’s Ben Croll writes: “Hausner doesn’t go for scares, opting to mount this psychological horror film as procession of colors that grow more vivid as the flowers grow in influence. Shot with crystalline digital photography, the images have a hypnotic pull, with the flat clinical light of an industrial nursery gradually growing to almost violent levels of contrast.”
Mariah Carey Gives Surprise Performance
At the Chopard party on Friday night, music legend Mariah Carey gave a surprise 30-minute set, which she opened with her 1991 song “Emotions.” She also belted out hits like “Hero” and “Touch My Body.”
According to Entertainment Tonight, Carey even got a glam touch-up halfway through her performance.
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