The Cannes-Do Spirit

BORIS HORVAT/AFP-GETTY IMAGES

SNAP DRAGONS: The lensmen can't get enough of Thurman

Some administrations find it hard to admit mistakes; ask George W. Bush. Others find it hard not to; ask Thierry Frémaux, chief programmer of the Cannes Film Festival. The films in competition at Cannes last year provoked such widespread derision that some sort of revamping was essential. So Frémaux declared that Cannes 2004 would cast a wider net. In other words, more Hollywood glamour. More films with a perky pulse. And no Brown Bunny — the Vincent Gallo road movie that, from the moment of its screening last year, became the code phrase for pretentious junk.

Sure enough,...

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