The idea of Michael Douglas playing Liberace might seem nearly as outrageous as Liberace himself.
Liberace, forever hailed as "Mr. Showmanship," was the excess-to-the-max pianist-personality whose onstage and offstage extravagance were legendary, and who wowed audiences in Las Vegas and worldwide to become the best-paid entertainer on the planet during his heyday from the 1950s to the 1970s.
He was the forerunner of flashy, gender-bender entertainers like Elton John, David Bowie, Madonna and Lady Gaga even as he kept a tight lid on his gay private life, which he feared could have ended his career had it come out. (His fans never seemed to get wise.)
The Cannes Film Festival is entering its final star-studded days. With the veritable who’s who of Hollywood and beyond invading the south of France for the eleven day festival, critics have been treated to a number of future awards contenders including Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur, The Bling Ring directed by Sofia Coppola, and Only God Forgives, the latest pairing of Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn.
A few actors are stepping behind the camera at Cannes including Keanu Reeves and James Franco. Reeves is in town to shop his directorial debut, the martial arts-based Man of Tai Chi. Compared to Reeves, Franco is a seasoned veteran when it comes to directing with a number of short films, documentaries and features under his belt. He’s in town for his latest attempt, As I Lay Dying, an adaptation of the William Faulker novel.
Get the latest from the Cannes Film Festival after the jump!
Joel and Ethan Coen had almost given up on casting the lead for their film Inside Llewyn Davis. The part, a folk musician in early 1960s Greenwich Village, demanded the elusive combination of someone who could both carry a movie and perform the songs central to the film.
Then they met Oscar Isaac.
"It just didn't happen until he walked in the room," says Joel Coen. "There was a point at which we wondered if we'd written something that was essentially impossible to cast."
The Coens have long been known for their casting acumen, but they may have outdone even themselves with Isaac, a 33-year-old, Juilliard-trained actor with a few notable credits to his name but nothing on par with a major Coen brothers release. The film was greeted ecstatically at the Cannes Film Festival at its Sunday premiere, with Isaac hailed as the festival's breakout star and a possible Oscar nominee.
Before Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan was glimpsed sporadically in supporting roles on TV shows like "The Wire" and "Friday Night Lights," and in films like Chronicle and Red Tails.
That changes emphatically with Fruitvale Station, a Sundance hit that premiered Thursday night at the Cannes Film Festival. In the film, he plays Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old victim of the infamous 2009 police shooting on the Oakland, California, transit system.
To humanize Grant, first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler fashioned the movie around his last day: Jordan hardly leaves the frame.
Hollywood has invaded France - no, not like that - and with A-listers making their way to La Croisette for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, there's been plenty of gossip and glamour, with Leo's The Great Gatsby providing the requisite glitter and Sofia Coppola's Emma Watson-led The Bling Ring shining bright like a diamond.
Many celebs are still commenting on the news of Angelina Jolie's preventative double mastectomy and Zach Braff's somewhat ill-received Kickstarter movie funding campaign with breakout stars and ones to watch starting to make themselves known as the fest gets underway.
Here now is a compilation of what's been Seen & Heard so far at the Cannes Film Festival.
It's the big Cannes question - what will catch Steven Spielberg's eye?
The king of Hollywood heads the jury that will decide who wins the Palme d'Or and other prizes at the French Riviera film fest, and artistic director Thierry Fremaux can't wait to find out what takes his fancy.
"We know (Spielberg) the director, but we don't know who he will be as a spectator," Fremaux said Tuesday.
"Take the two Japanese films" in competition. Will the director of Jaws, E.T. and Saving Private Ryan root for Takashi Miike's action-packed crime drama Shield of Straw or for Kore-Eda Hirokazu's intimate family story Like Father, Like Son.
After transporting Toronto International Film Festival audiences to Mumbai for last year's City to City programme, the fest has chosen its new destination for 2013 and viewers will be getting a taste of Greek cinema, according to an announcement made today.
Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director, and Dimitri Eipides, the fest's international programmer, shared the news via email press release, revealing that Athens will be the focus of the upcoming City to City programme, marking the film festival's fifth year spotlighting movies coming out of a specific region.
As for why Greece's capital, and largest, city was selected, Eipides pointed to their bourgeoning film industry on the cusp of discovery.
Helen Mirren was crowned queen of the London stage at the Olivier Awards Sunday, while compelling, canine-titled teen drama "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" emerged as best in show with seven trophies.
Mirren, 67, was a popular and expected best actress choice for her regal yet vulnerable Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audience," Peter Morgan's behind-palace-doors drama about the relationship between Britain's queen and its prime ministers.
The actress, who won an Academy Award in 2007 for playing Britain's monarch in The Queen, quipped that it was 87-year-old Elizabeth who deserved an award, "for the most consistent and committed performance of the 20th century, and probably the 21st century."
Head behind the cut to find out who else went home a winner last night and watch the trailer for "The Audience's" live broadcast!
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