Simon Rex Comeback

“No excuses – I messed up.  I’m a big sports fan. 
I’m like the guy at the end of the game who misses a free throw or a kick.”
Spike Lee explains why he prematurely announced the winner of the Cannes Film Festival
He was asked who the first award was going to and, instead, he said who won first place. 
Part of the problem is that he was asked in French!

I love a film festival.  It could be in Venice, Italy; Venice, California; or Venice, Uzbekistan.  Once the lights go down, it’s just you and that little piece of celluloid projected on a screen which is sized in direct proportion to the prestige of the festival.  One of the hits of this year’s Cannes Film Festival is a biopic inspired by Celine Dion – except, since it is unauthorized, it is about a singer named Aline Dieu.  Aline stars Valérie Lemercier, known as the Kristen Wiig of France.  Nope, not the Tina Fey, not even the Amy Poehler.  The film has been described alternatively as “brilliant”, “horrifying”, “hilarious”, and “insane”.  My kinda movie.  Some of that reaction might be caused by the 57-year-old Lemercier playing Celine…err, Aline…starting at the age of five!  The critic from the venerable New York Times said, “I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”  You can almost see that in an ad.


Another hit is a documentary which has been in the works for seven years: Cow, which is…you guessed it…shot from the perspective of a cow!  We follow this dairy cow through every momentous event in her life – with the exception of impregnation.  Cows, it turns out, have enormous difficulty looking over their shoulders.

Neither of these is the most surprising hit to come out of Cannes.  That honor goes to Red Rocket, a film about a washed-up male porn star, played by Simon Rex – the subject of the first big scoop of this very column.  In early 1996, it was little Billy Masters who discovered that the MTV VJ had a gay porn past.  And that, kiddies, not only put me on the map – it did wonders for Simon, who at the time was unemployed.  You’re welcome – and can see that footage on  We’re told that the audience at Cannes gave the film a five-minute standing ovation, which would be impressive if Cow hadn’t gotten six full minutes!


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