The big-ticket movie on day four was John Hillcoat’s Lawless, which features Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy as Prohibition-era bootleggers and also stars Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain.
Lawless, both violent and sentimental, got mixed reviews with some all out raves and at least a few slams (Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it only two stars). But the film’s stars generated absolute hysteria on the Croisette. As Tom Hardy walked into the Martinez, hundreds of fans screamed with excitement.
A few days after the main competition section of the festival was announced, a row erupted over the overwhelmingly male selection — none of the 22 films in competition have a female director (a departure from last year, when there were four female directors in competition). The controversy started after leading French newspaper Le Monde published a letter written by a group of feminists and supported by a French actor and two female film directors, which accused the festival selectors of sexism.
But British director Andrea Arnold, who is currently serving on the Cannes festival jury, was dismissive of the charges. Speaking at a press conference, she said, “I would absolutely hate it if my film was selected because I was a woman. I would only want my film to be selected for the right reasons and not out of charity because I’m female.”
Incidentally, the nine member jury includes four women.
The Indian contingent at Cannes is now out in full strength. In the evening, NFDC threw a well-attended bash at the India Pavilion.
The space was overflowing with directors, producers, sales agents and journalists. Anurag Kashyap ,Vasan Bala and Ashim Ahulwalia were honored by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry secretary, Uday Kumar Varma. NFDC head Nina Lath Gupta also announced that Marten Rabarts, artistic director of the Binger Filmlab in the Netherlands, would be joining NFDC as the head of development. Four Indian films – two editions of Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, Miss Lovely and Peddlers – will premiere in this week.