It wasn't until I saw the poster for The Tree Of Life at the theater near work that I realized I wanted one. It's a ridiculously cool-looking affair that I didn't really appreciate until I saw it in person; looking at it on a computer screen doesn't really do it justice. Of course, that opinion might change when I see the film, but it's apparently pretty good; it's currently rocking a ridiculous 93 ranking on Metacritic, and, if that weren't enough, it yesterday was awarded the Palme d'Or, the highest honor available at the Cannes Film Festival. Reclusive director Terrence Malick skipped most of the official functions related to the festival, including the news conferences and the red carpet, although he did apparently show up for the film's screening; the producers on the film accepted the award for him, since he skipped that ceremony as well.
The film itself, a meditative look at a man's place in the world as he reflects on his childhood and the different parenting techniques of his mother and father, is almost certain to be one of those The American-style films that are beloved by critics but which mainstream audiences find ponderous, but Fox Searchlight is wisely sticking to a limited release schedule; the film hits a mere four screens this weekend. I'm sure it'll expand outward from there, but I doubt this will ever hit more than a few hundred theaters, so look for it when it comes to your area.
Other noteworthy winners at the festival were OSS 117 star Jean Dujardin for Best Actor in The Artist, a black-and-white silent film directed by OSS 117 director Michel Hazanavicius, Kristin Dunst for Best Actress in Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, and Bronson writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn for Best Director for his Ryan Gosling-starrer Drive. The panel that voted on the winners was made up of Robert De Niro, Jude Law, and Uma Thurman, as well as other cinematic divines from around the world. Many of the films winning awards have already lined up U.S. distributors, so we'll see them come to America over the course of the next few months.