The rain might still be here but there are no damp spirits in Cannes. It could be because Hollywood golden boy Brad Pitt has arrived in town.
His new film Killing Them Softly has just had its first big screening and I was there. The Variety Live producers didn't have to ask me twice to cover this one. Set against the 2008 Presidential election and with themes of empty political promises and economic hardship this crime-thriller/gangster film takes a pop at the state of a nation.
"America's not a country, it's a business." is the perfectly delivered final line from Brad's character. It was also a good talking point during the presser that followed.
Brad was asked whether he agrees that 'Hollywood is not a culture, it's a business'.
"It's the age old battle of art versus commerce. And it will always be. I don't really wrestle with the relationship of the two. They're not meant to get along. They're symbiotic. It's a symbiotic relationship and it's cantankerous and it will always be that. There's something noble about making something that says something and covers something, and being able to do it within that system where it has to be profitable, or the thing doesn't get made."
Pitt plays Jackie Cogan, an enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a poker game that was protected by the mob. He produced and stars in the film for which he teamed up once again with writer/director Andrew Dominik. The pair previously worked together on The Assassination of Jesse James.
Co-stars Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn (who were all fantastic in the film) lined up alongside Brad for the conference but it was obvious who the hordes of eager journos were there to see. And yes, I'm including myself in that.
It was a candid insight into the man that is Brad Pitt, his political lean ("to the left a bit") and what makes him tick (architecture and his family).
On the subject of his personal life, he said that Angelina Jolie is not here in Cannes with him as she's prepping for a new role and that rumours of an August wedding are false. "There's no date been set."
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