Image of the Day: Director Jacques Audiard and the stars of his film Rust and Bone -- Marion Cotillard and -- arrive for the film's screening. Photo by: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/GettyImages.
Key Screening: The star-filled, red carpeted, fancy dress world premiere screenings happen at night, but the films themselves (without stars or paparazzi or tuxedos) screen for the press corps in the morning and afternoon. Thus, positive buzz about Rust and Bone, the new drama from director Jacques Audiard (The Beat That Skipped My Heart, A Prophet) flowed across the Internet on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of its glitzy nighttime debut.
Critical reaction has coalesced around the belief that Marion Cotillard is a strong contender for the festival’s Best Actress prize. She plays a theme park worker who loses her legs in an accident and then gets involved in a messy relationship with a bouncer who moonlights as a street fighter (Mathias Schoenaerts from Bullhead). As a whole, the film's quality appears to fall across a range of ‘good to very good to excellent.’ David Hudson at Keyframe Daily compiled excerpts from multiple reviews.
See also: Mr. Hudson’s Keyframe Daily roundup for Laurent Bouzereau’s Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, in which the legendary filmmaker talks extensively about his childhood, spent struggling to survive the Holocaust in Poland.
Deals: The first couple of days of the festival proper have been incredibly jammed with distribution deals and financing announcements, but three stand out.
Liam Neeson will star as private investigator (and recovering alcoholic) Matthew Scudder in A Walk Among Tombstones, to be directed by Scott Frank (Out of Sight). Frank has written the screenplay, an adaptation of the 10th book in Lawrence Block’s popular series; the character previously appeared in Hal Ashby’s Eight Million Ways to Die. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace star in Dead Man Down, which has been acquired for distribution by FilmDistrict; the company plans a fall release. Niels Arden Oplev, who guided Rapace through the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed the romantic thriller. [Deadline]
The Weinstein Co. has acquired distribution rights to The Oath of Tobruk, a documentary about the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya. Harvey Weinstein has indicated that the deal is, in part, motivated by a desire to highlight the accomplishments of President Obama’s administration. [The Hollywood Reporter]