There’s been a lot of heated talk around Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival and so far, none of it is very good with the two sides warring about what cinema means and what it doesn’t (if a film debuts on a streaming platform, is it not a film?). Even Jury head Pedro Almodovar suggested a Netflix film was unlikely to win the Palme d’Or or any other major awards.
All that debate raged even before the festival start. However, this morning, the story went into a bit of (relative) overdrive and clocking the narrative was like trying to follow the head-spinning news alerts of the Trump scandal on your iPhone. Early this morning, Cannes began screening the Netflix/Bong Joon-Ho film “Okja” in the wrong aspect ratio. And then Cannes organizers, who have looked down upon the streaming service while conversely/ironically accepting their films into the festival, had to apologize for bungling the “Okja” screening. Sheesh, it’s a been a day.
Caught in the middle of all this, much like “Okja” is Noah Baumbach with his latest film, “Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).” Written and directed by Baumbach, (“Frances Ha,” “Mistress America”), the film is described as an inter-generational tale of adult siblings contending with the influence of their aging father played by Dustin Hoffman.
The rest of the cast includes Adam Sandler—a Netflix favorite, don’t be surprised if this was a major selling point for them—Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Marvel (“Homeland,” “House of Cards”), Grace Van Patten (“Tramps,” “Stealing Cars”) and Emma Thompson.
Don’t forget that Randy Newman has written the score too.
How does Baumbach feel about this? Given that the film hasn’t premiered yet, it’s unknown, but knowing the filmmaker and his perspective, I’m sure the director is feeling a little bit unexpectedly caught in the crosshairs. And it’s bound to at least sour what should be a jubilant time. The writer/director is not only debuting his movie in competition, it’s actually the very first Noah Baumbach film ever accepted at Cannes. Here’s to hoping when his film debuts, he can sidestep the controversies and just talk about his movie instead. In the meantime, the first clip of the picture has surfaced and we can’t wait. Doesn’t it seem like Dustin Hoffman was born to star in a Noah Baumbach film? See below.
Clip removed at the behest of the film’s reps.