Cannes prepares to open with “Robin Hood,” but fewer quality films?


By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: We’ll be turning our attention overseas this week as the film industry descends on France for the 63rd annual Cannes Film Festival. The festivities officially launch Wednesday with the premiere of “Robin Hood,” the latest collaboration between director Ridley Scott and leading man Russell Crowe. Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Danny Huston and Mark Strong co-star.

But the word out of the festival before the curtains are drawn circle around the lack of suitable product available for screening, a possible result of the suffering global economy.

In an interview with the N.Y. Times, general delegate Thierry Frémaux claims he had trouble finding 19 films for the Cannes competition this year.

And no shows are also making headlines as the fest gets underway. Scott, for instance, will miss Cannes due to a knee injury that has sidelined the director. We also reported late-breaking news yesterday that, on the eve of Cannes, indie cinema iconoclast Bob Berney left Apparition, the distribution label he founded with financier Bill Pohlad almost a year ago.

We expect plenty more headlines to burst out of Cannes as the week progresses. The festival’s official Web site can be found here. We’ve also got a complete list of films screening in competition at this year’s fest. Bookmark HollywoodNews.com, and we’ll keep you updated on all things Cannes this week!

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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