While on the topic of allegories, if Killing Them Softly is about capitalism, is Lawless, the Prohibition movie that used to be called The Wettest County in the World (such a better title), actually about the modern War on Drugs? Well, whatever it's about, some folks have liked it, while others have definitively not. We didn't much care for John Hillcoat's The Road, so we're inclined to trust the negative take, plus there's the whole Shia LaBeouf factor, which is a big knock against the film. Either way, people aren't buzzing about this movie quite the way it was once thought they would.
Folks are buzzing about Lee Daniels' new film The Paperboy, or at least about how sexed-up it is. Nicole Kidman apparently plays "an oversexed Barbie doll" in the 1960s-set crime story. She goes to visit John Cusack's character in prison and they enjoy "a heavy-breathing bout of mutual auto-eroticism," so good for them. And then she apparently pees on Zac Efron. Like, because of a jellyfish. But still. Apparently the camera lingers a lot on Zac Efron's chiseled frame, which is fine by us. Oh, and Macy Gray is in it. Man, Lee Daniels is emerging as a wonderfully crazy director — not afraid of grime and filth (in all possible meanings of the word) and downright tawdriness. Can't wait to see this one.
Something we're less excited to see is Kanye West's new experimental short film, which he screened for 200 people yesterday. The film, which stars Kid Cudi and features Aziz Ansari and West himself, was financed by the Doha Film Institute and was shot on location in the Qatari capital. West's innovation, if we're calling it that, is that it's a seven-screen movie, showing things from multiple angles and viewpoints. West came up with the idea because he apparently always gets bored at movies and sports games so ends up fiddling with his phone. A filmic testament to Kanye West's boredom. Cool. His current girlfriend Kim Kardashian was there and was the first to give him a standing ovation, because if anyone understands film, it's Kim Kardashian. Oh, Cannes! What have you become?
A film that's gotten surprisingly strong reviews is On the Road, the Kerouac adaptation with the hot cast — Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart — that looks like one of those Levi's "Go Forth" commercials. Though, to be fair, plenty of critics are saying that the film is pretty but empty, and a bit like a museum piece. But still we're surprised this thing wasn't outright booed. Maybe people were just bowled over by the sight of nude Kristen Stewart, which apparently is a common motif throughout, including a scene wherein she, well, not-so-auto-erotically services both Hedlund (not too far from head land, I guess) and Sam Riley's character. Walter Salles, you rogue! Making poor innocent Bella Swan do such things. Only in France.