Variety Loses Paywall for Cannes Coverage

The folks at Variety are no dummies. They have decided to park their extensive, short shelf-life coverage of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival beyond the website’s paywall, making it freely available to one and all.

So, much like Owen Wilson’s 1920s time traveling character in Woody Allen’s opening night gala Midnight in Paris, it’s December 2009 all over again at, the point at which the barrier was erected. The trade’s contingent at the festival includes long-time editor Pat Saperstein, reviewers Justin Chang and Peter Debruge, news editor Stuart Oldham, and veteran reporter David McNary.

There are still some kinks to work out. At press time, some of the entries listed in the front page section “Films Reviewed at Cannes” are blocked, including We Have a Pope and Love the Boat.

But Debruge’s take on Allen’s opener is free and clear, with the writer giving actor Corey Stoll especially high marks for a portrayal of “Hemingway at his most earnest.” Ha ha.