Amazon Returns to Cannes With Triumphant Oscar Contender ‘Cold War’ and Signs of a Company Learning From Its Mistakes

Amazon Studios’ mission is to make commercial art films headed for critical, festival and (sometimes) awards acclaim. Despite some missteps, its slate shows signs of a developing strategy. In 2017, Amazon made a big splash at Cannes with two auteur-driven Competition films from Todd Haynes (“Wonderstruck”) and Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”), and wound up with a Best Actor prize for Joaquin Phoenix. Now, the company is back at the festival with competition entry “Cold War,” an immediate sensation that suggests the company is still very much in the game.

Last fall, Amazon dominated the New York Film Festival with opener “Last Flag Flying” from Richard Linklater, “Wonderstruck” as the centerpiece gala, and Woody Allen’s scandal-tainted “Wonder Wheel” closing it out — but taking those movies into the crowded fall marketplace was another matter. They floundered. A year later, the company seems to be trying to learn from its

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