What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:20 AM 5/21/2018

by THR staff

Closing Ceremony Cannes 2018 - Getty - H 2018
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

What's news: Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters nabbed the Palme d'Or, but Asia Argento takes the spotlight as Cannes wraps. Also: Luc Besson denies an accusation of rape, Deadpool 2 can't top the original's U.S. debut and 22 million viewers watched the royal wedding stateside. — Erik Hayden

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  • Leaving Cannes (For Now)

    After a sluggish start, this year's fest shone through the cloud of pessimism with some strong, timely, provocative films - suggesting that those proclaiming Cannes "over" had spoken too soon, chief film critic Todd McCarthy writes: 

    It's amazing what a few good films can do. Like a heavy fog dissipating to give way to sunny skies, the 2018 Cannes Film Festival shed its shroud, started coming to life and ended up delivering what people come here for: a surprisingly strong range of films, some from well-established auteurs but others that didn't exactly inspire you to jump out of bed and race to 8:30 a.m. screenings to catch. My favorite: Lee Chang-dong's dazzling and mysterious romantic drama BurningFull wrap

    The standouts...

    ? Cannes award watch: Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters took home the Palme d'Or, while Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman landed the runner-up Grand Prix award. Full list. 

    ? If THR critics picked the Cannes prizes… Reviewers at the fest swooned for Cold War, Burning and Shoplifters, and singled out two star-making lead performances. Full list. I The 20 best films. 

    Quoted: "We have to bring it back to the victims. To the human trafficking that went on here in Cannes. On the yachts." — Asia Argento, explaining her decision to reference Weinstein during her onstage Cannes appearance. 

    ? Luc Besson accused of rape. The director is being investigated by French authorities, according to a report from Europe 1. The outlet reports that a 27-year-old French actress, who remains unnamed, brought forward a complaint against the helmer. Lawyer: "Mr. Besson fell off his chair when he learned of these accusations, which he flatly denies." Full story.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ? U.S. box office: Fox's Deadpool 2 bowed to $125 million domestically and $301 million globally after scoring the biggest foreign debut ever for an R-rated title.

    + Paramount's Book Club arrived with $12.5 million, slightly ahead of expectations. Will Arnett's Show Dogs couldn't quite find its bark. The family film opened in sixth place with $6 million. U.S. wrap.

    ? China box office: Disney's Avengers: Infinity War added $53.7 million in its second weekend. After just 10 days on Middle Kingdom screens, the title has earned approximately $302 million, Hollywood's biggest release this year. 

    + Local romantic comedy How Long Will I Love U debuted to $36.7 million and Paramount's horror hit A Quiet Place which opened to $17.7 million. China wrap + Heroes dominate 2018.

    *R.I.P., Bill Gold. The artist, who revolutionized movie posters over a seven-decade career that began with Casablanca and included A Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist and dozens of Clint Eastwood films, has died. He was 97. Full obit.

    Also: The enduring genius of Stanley Kubrick. Stephen Galloway's latest: "By the time Kubrick made 2001, psychology had vanished from his repertoire; philosophy was everything. But it was exactly because of this that he made such a unique film." Full column.

  • After a TV Miracle

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine showrunner Dan Goor never lost faith after the cancellation of the series by Fox and then a pickup by NBC. He recalls his thinking here: 

    "I got a text from the studio or from [3 Arts'] David Miner [who exec produces], who had heard from the studio [Universal TV] and then we quickly all got on the phone together with [Universal TV president] Pearlena Igbokwe and the studio. Pearlena was so great, as was [NBC comedy head-turned-co-president] Tracey Pakosta was great and Bob Greenblatt."

    "It's not easy to move a show from one network to another. It takes a lot of willpower — and to do it so quickly? All of those people deserve so much credit. I am eternally grateful to all three of them; they are the true heroes of this whole thing." Full interview. 

    Elsewhere in TV...

    ? Ratings: 22.4M U.S. viewers watch royal wedding. NBC’s coverage, under the Today umbrella, led with 6.42M viewers. ABC was right on its tail, averaging 6.38M, while CBS tallied 4.79M.

    + Another 4.8M viewers watched on the big three cable news networks; Fox News led with 2M, followed by CNN with 1.8M and just under 1M for MSNBC. Details.

    + U.K. viewers: BBC's flagship channel led the way with an average audience of 8.7M viewers, peaking at 13.1M during the ceremony. Over on ITV, the average was 2.5M, Meanwhile, the coverage on Sky News, BBC News and Sky One were seen by averages of less than 500,000 viewers. 18 million total

    ^Tina Fey revives Sarah Palin impression on SNL. Donning a leather jacket with an American flag pin, she introduced herself as the ghost of Palin. "No, I'm just kidding, I'm still alive," Fey's Palin said. "But you had to think about it, didn't you?" Full clip

    ? Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran tops winners. The artist, who wasn't at the show, accepted the top artist award via a videotaped message. He also sang "Galway Girl" via a taped performance. Full list I Avicii mournedNot on TV.

    ? Sky's glitzy Riviera casts Will Arnett. The second season of the Cote d'Azur-set drama is set to welcome Arnett, Juliet Stevenson, Poppy Delevingne, Jack Fox and Gregory Fitoussi as new castmembers.

    ? Paramount Network heads to Spain. Viacom’s Paramount Channel in Spain will officially rebrand on June 10, the first of 12 international territories. It marks the first step in aligning programming with the U.S. network's focus on scripted.

    *R.I.P., Patricia Morison. The glamorous star who originated the role of the actress diva in the delightful 1948 Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate, has died. She was 103. Full obit.

    Rep Sheet Roundup: Mayim Bialik signs with Icon PR ... Mo McRae heads to Anonymous Content ... Jackie Tohn goes to Artists First for management ... David and Alex Pastor sign with Verve ... Wavyy Jonez joins Abrams ... music agents Andrew Colvin and Adam Voith leave Billions for WME. More. 

  • 'Cheers' Untold Stories

    On the 25th anniversary of the comedy's series finale, Marc Freeman reassembles the writers' room to discover the hidden stories behind the minds that gave us ex-ballplayer Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. Full feature. 

    What else we're reading...

    "The fearless cinema of Claire Denis." Alice Gregory's profile: "In High Life, the filmmaker’s English-language début, Denis set out to tell the story of the last person in the world." [The New Yorker]

    "Kate McKinnon is comedy's not-so-secret weapon." Amy Wallace's cover profile: "A performer who can make Hillary Clinton seem warm and vulnerable and Jeff Sessions seem (almost) relatable." [GQ]

    "In conversation: Bill Burr." David Marchese's interview with the "comedy star on the value of humiliation, audience hypocrisy, and why no one should take him - or any comedian - too seriously." [New York]

    "The force is strong with this Star Wars subculture." Ben Lindbergh takes a close look at "the tenacious volunteer-led community keeping the ‘Star Wars Customizable Card Game’ alive." [The Ringer]

    "Thanks, Meghan Markle, we needed that." Mara Gay writes: "Who knew the royal wedding was going to be so black? Who knew it would be so American?" [New York Times]

    *The first clip from the annual THR Drama Actress roundtable has arrived, featuring Elisabeth Moss in conversation. Watch.

    Today's birthdays: Gotye, 38, Jeffrey Toobin, 58, Nick Cassavetes, 59, Judge Reinhold, 61, Mr. T, 66.