Cannes Film Festival 2016: The Big Talking Points

Hollywood stars and industry big-wigs are currently convening on the French Riviera for the annual Cannes Film Festival. The festival, now in its 70th year, plays host to the premieres of both blockbusters and indie art-house flicks alike, and each edition provides a glimpse at the next 12 months in the cinema. Here are some of the biggest talking points from this year’s event.

The BFG received rave reviews

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story, due July 1, premiered to a very positive response. Critics have lauded the performance of Wolf Hall’s Mark Rylance as the titular character and the film’s ground-breaking animation. The Guardian said, “The BFG is big friendly giant of a film from a director who knows how to make films on that note and on that scale,” and TIME added, “this ambitious blend of live action and computer animation runs the risk of being overwhelming and sterile, but it turns out to be a pleasing and sweet-natured adventure”.

Following the Box-Office success of The Jungle Book remake earlier this year, expect The BFG to meet a similar positive response when it hits cinemas worldwide.

Kristen Stewart’s Personal Shopper took a bit of beating

Psychological thriller Personal Shopper, which stars Kristen Stewart, met a stony response during a press screening. Following the conclusion of the Paris-based ghost story, a chorus of boos rang around the theatre, despite several critics coming out in defence of the film. They shouldn’t worry too much: Pulp Fiction was famously booed at the festival back in 1994 and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver was heavily criticised in 1976. Now we’re not saying this is in that league, but K-Stew probably shouldn’t take the jeers too seriously.

Woody Allen’s presence was problematic

The cult New York director was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, as the 1992 sexual abuse claims made by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow followed him to France. Susan Sarandon was particularly scathing, saying, “I have nothing good to say about Woody Allen, so I don’t think we should go there.” She then added: “I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don’t think that’s right… It’s gotten very quiet in here, but that’s true.” Kristen Stewart, who stars in Allen’s new film Cafe Society alongside Steve Carrell and Jesse Eisenberg, admitted that she had reservations about joining his film and Allen’s son Ronan Farrow criticised Miley Cyrus and other actors for continuing to work with the director in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman finally got the go-ahead

Over the weekend, Martin Scorsese bagged a huge international rights deal for his forthcoming film The Irishman. The film has been in works for several years with Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino all signed on to star in the mob thriller. Following talks at the festival, a financing deal was struck with STX Entertainment for $50million, allowing production to finally begin later this year.

Studio Ghibli made their return

Japanese anime wizards Studio Ghibili wowed fans with the new trailer for upcoming film The Red Turtle. The film is a co-production with French studio Wild Bunch and tells the story of a man who is trying to escape a desert island but must battle with a giant red turtle to do so. The Red Turtle will end a two-year absence for Studio Ghibili when it premieres at the festival later this week.

Carrie Fisher appeared to bad-mouth the Star Wars franchise

Star Wars’ Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) gave a revealing discussion during the premiere of Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a documentary about the famous mother-and-daughter pairing. In a Q&A following the film’s premiere Fisher talked about her dog Gary (a lot) as well as discussing Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ script – which she appeared to voice some displeasure at. Fisher said: “I thought J.J. did as good of a job as he could with the material he was given.” Is she insinuating that she wasn’t happy with the latest instalment in the franchise? Quite possibly, but she’s still set to star in Episode VIII which is out late next year.

Indie music stars had a great time too

A handful of musicians also joined in the festivities, despite appearing in none of the films. Charli XCX, Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr and one Liam Gallagher were all spotted at the festival’s various parties, with the latter allegedly being mistaken for Sacha Baron Cohen’s character from his latest film, Grimsby. Ouch.