Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- Kathy Griffin has been widely criticized for a gory photo shoot with Donald Trump's (fake) head
- Then she apologized
- But President Trump didn't accept Griffin's apology
- Neither did First Lady Melania Trump
- And now CNN has fired Griffin
- Lebanon has officially banned 'Wonder Woman' over star's Israeli heritage
- Olivia Newton-John has a new cancer diagnosis; her June shows are postponed
Todd Haynes has been to the Festival de Cannes before. His “Velvet Goldmine” took a special jury prize in 1998, and 2015’s “Carol” went on to earn six Oscar nominations. But he’s never been here with a film like “Wonderstruck.”
Indeed, he’s never made anything like “Wonderstruck” before.
“My films are not always the most conventional,” the director, exhausted by travel but completely involved, acknowledged the night before “Wonderstruck” debuted in competition at Cannes.
But with this engaging and richly emotional film, smartly adapted from Brian Selznick’s uncommon novel, he’s not only made his first-ever family film, but he’s done so very much on his own terms.
“The thing that excited me was that I’d never done a movie about kids, a film kids could see,” the director says. “But I wanted it to be as complex, sophisticated and rich as any cinematic experience, to make something really sublime for kids. Great kids films are great films.”
In this goal he is helped by Selznick’s enormous novel, which tells the stories, first parallel and then intertwined, of two fearless and curious 12-year-olds, who, 50 years apart, run away from home chasing big-city dreams in Manhattan.
In 1977, young Ben (Oakes Fegley of the underappreciated “Pete’s Dragon”) takes off from Gunflint, Minn., for New York. In 1927, feisty Rose (newcomer Millicent Simmonds) leaves Hoboken, N.J., with the same destination in mind.
But that is only the beginning of the complexities that Selznick, whose first novel became Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” has layered into the story.