The pandas have been euthanized and Sean Penn is still lighting up despite you on the first full day of the Cannes Film Festival, which we continue to study from our vantage point in the salt mines. We continue to wince at the reaction to the opening-night film Blindness, whose bad buzz we were nervous about back when the festival waited forever to announce its selection. Variety's Justin Chang piled on this morning — "Blindness emerges onscreen both overdressed and undermotivated, scrupulously hitting the novel's beats yet barely approximating, so to speak, its vision" — with an only slightly happier James Rocchi following suit at Cinematical.
Then there's the anticipation for Indiana Jones and Whatever the Fuck, whose anxious makers are taking precautions to dodge the lynch-mob on their own tail:
Paramount, producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg have made some changes in their game plan to avoid the Da Vinci scenario. For one thing, they're not having a big party. ...
In contrast, Indy's producers have skedded a "filmmakers party" for 250 people — no press invited. There will be the usual press conference following the screening; the only TV and print junket interviews with the cast are scheduled the day before the screening, instead of afterward; access to Spielberg outside the press conference is strictly interdit.
We didn't want to go to your stupid party anyway; we're too busy joining Pete Hammond in handicapping the Oscar chances of this year's higher-profile fest selections. Actually, we're doing no such thing, and we wish Hammond wouldn't either, but there it is: Jury chair Penn might help shepherd his ex-director Clint Eastwood's Changeling to the Palme d'Or! Che is a front-runner, except it's not finished! Kung Fu Panda is an animated film contender! Only 10 more days of this; thanks for nothing, LA Times.
Elsewhere, Anne Thompson is making the rounds in smoke-filled rooms, and Jeffrey Wells was on the scene at a panel during which David Poland — via Skype! — apparently predicted the end of The Hollywood Reporter within three years. So, you know, don't renew your subscription.