February 26, 2017
        Final Predictions for the Academy Awards                Just how many Oscars can "La La Land" potentially win?                "Get Out" is a very promising filmmaking debut for Jordan Peele                Film Independent Spirit Award predictions                WGA winners include "Arrival" and "Moonlight"                Penultimate Oscar predictions                2016 films that will stand the test of time                "A Cure for Wellness" is a beautiful looking and haunting mess                Potential upsets to consider for Oscar night                BAFTA spreads the love with its awards                Updated Oscar predictions as February rolls along                "The LEGO Batman Movie" is a surprising delight                VES Awards are dominated by "The Jungle Book"                Where does the race for Best Picture stand?                The Directors Guild of America rewards Damien Chazelle for "La La Land"        

Ryan Gosling is hot in “Drive”

HollywoodNews.com: It’s almost the end of the Cannes Film Festival, and the best has been saved for last. Sean Penn opens first tonight in “This Must Be The Place,” directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Then Ryan Gosling comes with “Drive,” from Nicholas Winding Refn. I saw them both this morning, they’re excellent. “This Must Be the Place” may even wind up with The Weinstein Company from what I’m hearing, which would be a great reunion of Penn and Harvey Weinstein. They made a movie years ago which Sean directed called “She’s So Lovely.”

In “This Must Be the Place,” Sean plays a an aging punk rocker from the early 80s who resembles Robert Smith of The Cure. Cheyenee, his character, has been cut off emotionally from his Orthodox Jewish family in New York, but returns when his father dies. It’s an odd story, but Sorrentino has a great visual sense. Also, David Byrne performs his song, “This Must Be the Place” live, and it’s even better than it was a hundred years ago in Jonathan Demme’s “Stop Making Sense.” Frances McDormand plays Sean’s wife with her usual fun crankiness. But the movie is all about Penn, who is unforgettable.

Meantime, Ryan Gosling takes a giant leap forward with “Drive,” a dreamily paced noir action film. This movie has cult classic written all over it. Gosling, now buffed up, emerges as a kind of new Steve McQueen. He’s had plenty of kudos, awards and nominations, but “Drive” will launch him into the leading man, action hero department. He also has a strong supporting cast with Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Carey Mulligan, and an outstanding Albert Brooks.

“Drive” is a violent film about lunatics who kill for money without thinking twice. Gosling plays a professional driver who can out pace anyone as he assists with robberies, etc. He’s also a survivor. “Drive” is incredibly stylish, although I wish someone would lose the cheesy ABBA soundtrack and put in some decent music that fits the film. (Hello, producers: call Randall Poster.)

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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