CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
OFF THE RED CARPET
Cannes in a can
Tonight is a special Newsnight Review from the Cannes Film Festival.
Sofia Coppola arrives for the screening of Marie-Antoinette
The team has spent most days and nights holed up in dark screening rooms rather than swanning up and down the Croisette - I know.
I hope we can bring you a real flavour of the big hits and misses amongst a very strong group of films both in competition and out.
One of the big stories of the Festival is the movie that premieres in Europe tonight, but which is not in competition for the Palme d'Or. Paul Greengrass's United 93 is the first big cinematic response to September 11th.
The director, who also wrote and produced the film, said he wanted to find a plausible truth about what happened on board United Airlines flight 93. Shooting with actors and also professionals who were on the ground that day, it is improvised and shot in real time.
World Trade Centre
It will be followed into the cinemas by Oliver Stone's World Trade Centre starring Nicholas Cage and Michael Pena as the two Port Authority Police officers who were the last survivors to be pulled from the rubble.
We'll also be talking about Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette which had a rough ride from the critics here earlier in the week. Her father was on hand for moral support!
Volver and Babel
Pedro Almodovar's film Volver starring Penelope Cruz, and Babel, by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, starring Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt - will - I know - create some strong disagreement among Julie, Mark and John.
British films in Cannes
Ken Loach's Wind that Shakes the Barley is up for Palme d'Or
There are two British films in competition for the Palme d'Or. Andrea Arnold, who won an Oscar for her short film Wasp last year, has been selected for her first feature, Red Road about our surveillance society.
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
And Ken Loach's film also packs a political punch - albeit a historical one.
According to its screenwriter Paul Laverty, The Wind that Shakes the Barley sheds light on the underbelly of British colonial life. Set in 1920, it's a polemic about the Irish War of Independence when the young men - and women - who resisted the Black and Tans with guerrilla warfare were the founders of the IRA.
Off the red carpet
Laura Linney delivers a terrific performance in Jindabyne
Away from the red carpet, down in the bowels of the Palais on a distinctly grey carpet, hundreds of film makers and distributors slog away trying to sell their movies and our team have seen some of these - for me Jindabyne - by Ray Lawrence, the Australian director of the award winning Lantana - is a festival hit.
Using a Raymond Carver short story So Much Water Close To Home as its inspiration, this story about the bad things that befall us and the way out of them is set in the remote town of the title in the Snowy mountains in New South Wales.
It stars Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne who both deliver terrific performances.
Newsnight Review is broadcast after Newsnight every Friday at 11pm on BBC Two.
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