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Cannes Report, Day 7: Festival Battles High Heel Red Carpet Revolt, Critics Weigh In On ‘Sicario’

Fest director denies banning flats for women, Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro drug drama depresses some, bores others

We’ve heard of a strict dress code, but is the Cannes Film Festival enforcing high glamour with an iron fist?

At Sunday night’s screening of festival sensation “Carol,” some women were turned away for wearing flats on the red carpet, setting off a Twitter revolt from women half-outraged, half-amused, and director Asif Kapadia of the Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy” confirmed it happened to his wife too on the way in to his premiere:

“In a bad PR move for the push for gender equality, a handful of women in their 50’s were turned away from the screening of Todd Haynes’ competition entry ‘Carol’ … on Sunday night after being told the height of their smart footwear didn’t pass muster,” noted a report in Screen International magazine.

The report went on to allege that elderly guests with medical conditions were also turned away.  Festival director Thierry Fremaux (and its subsequent darling) denied this report on Twitter, a highly embarrassing subject to be battling at a festival where he just handed out awards to women in a move to encourage gender equality. “Not at all. And the rumor that the Festival requires high heels for women on the steps is unfounded,” he wrote.  

Fallout from the article even had stars like Emily Blunt weighing in at a press conference for her new Denis Villeneuve drama “Sicario.”

“I think everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels anymore,” Blunt told reporters.

The affair got hashtags from #heelgate to #flatgate and bloggers, including Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek, naturally had a field day:




Additional Day 7 action from TheWrap:

“Sicario” Scores Big on Visuals, Mixed on Content  

After a brief intermission for the animated fun of “Inside Out,” Cannes pivoted right back into harrowing drama mode, as Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin presented Denis Villeneuve’s drug drama.

Blunt plays an FBI agent recruited by Brolin (who’s aided by a shadowy del Toro) into a task force designed to battle the Mexican drug cartels. She goes in unsure of their agenda, and the more she learns the more unsavory it all becomes.

“With a worldview as dark as night and a moodiness brilliantly captured by the great cinematographer Roger Deakins, Villeneuve’s film is state-of-art blackness, though it’s also brutal enough to have caused walkouts,” wrote TheWrap’s Steve Pond following the film’s premiere on Tuesday evening.

“I just didn’t care. Benicio is good in it. Blunt is dour. It’s all a little familiar,” wrote Vulture critic Kyle Buchanan.

“Despite portentous air, ultimately more silly thriller than mythic statement on dark times. But Blunt, Del Toro, Brolin all [terrific],” said Buzzfeed’s Alison Willmore.

There seems to be universal praise for the aforementioned Deakins, who previously worked with Villeneuve on “Prisoners.”

“Cinematographer Roger Deakins (next to Josh Brolin) gets the biggest applause in the ‘Sicario’ intros,” one Twitter user wrote.

A Seller’s Market 

Stuart Ford, CEO of IM Global and a leading international financier and producer, spoke with TheWrap Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman about the aggressive seller’s market Cannes 2015 has emerged as.

“Weinstein is aggressively buying and so is Focus,” he said. “It’s becoming much more of a seller’s market than it was 18 months ago. It’s great for the financing community, since US deals are still the cornerstone of the industry and they drive international sales activities.

Read the full conversation here.

Notable Deals 

Entertainment One has scooped up U.S. distribution rights for “The Wannabe,” Patricia Arquette’s first film since winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Boyhood” in February, TheWrap has learned.

Co-starring “Boardwalk Empire”‘s Vincent Piazza and “The Sopranos” alum Michael Imperioli, director Nick Sandow’s drama follows a duo obsessed with American mafia culture. Martin Scorsese served as an executive producer, with lead producers in Piazza, Lizzie Nastro and Michael Gasparro.

Dean Devlin and Traction Media are also billed as EPs, with Electric Entertainment fully financing the project. Devlin’s Electric sales outfit continues to shop international rights at the Cannes Film Market.

Magnolia Pictures has acquired all U.S. rights to Arnaud Desplechin’s “My Golden Days” (“Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse”), a drama screening in the Directors Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival.

Mathieu Amalric stars in the film as an anthropologist looking back on his life and on a long-lost love. The film, which makes use of abundant flashbacks, largely won acclaim for Desplechin, whose previous Cannes entry was the controversial “Jimmy P. – The Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian.”

The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by Dori Begley and John Von Thaden, and for Wild Bunch by Carole Baraton.

See exclusive stories and pictorials from TheWrap Magazine: Cannes Edition:

Isabelle Huppert (Sandro Baebler)

Sandro Baebler