Archive for ‘Cannes’

May 23, 2011

For Your Cannes-sideration

After seeing 20 movies at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, I’ve used my superior movie watching skills to pick out a few lucky people that I think are worthy of awards consideration. Cannes is a particularly hard festival to maintain the traction from because the American collective memory is equal to a goldfish’s memory. That is why I’m inducting some new members into my For Your Consideration hall because the American collective memory is equal to a goldfish’s memory. I’m not going to suggest my favorites, per se, although they are all performances I loved, but just the ones that might need a little help later on.

Best Actress:

Symbolism Alert: the blood red represents violence.

Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin

Queen Tilda has done it again. And the Academy will probably ignore her again after her breath taking language bending work in I Am Love and her underseen (myself included) turn in Julia the year prior. Here she brings the crazy and she brings it hard. She’s got my vote every year and I hope she pulls it through.

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May 22, 2011

Screenday – Palme D’Oracle – Cannes Predicitons

I may not have caught every In Competition movie, but I caught all of the good ones (sorry Ichimei – I heard you were a snooze) So before the big reveal tonight, here is my slate of predictions inevitable winners tonight.

Palme D’Or: “Le Havre”

Following the news that the most bothersome film on the planet, “Arirang” won for Un Certain Regard, I know that the gods of Cannes (DeNiro and friends) have to spite me and choose something that I hate or haven’t seen. So I’ll go with the French bore-a-thon critics are calling a “dry” comedy.

Grand Prix: “The Tree of Life”

Supposedly Olivier Assayas, the only sane member of the jury, has got a major hard-on for The Tree of Life. I think the others will respect the movie enough to give it the Grand Prix. And now that I’m on first name terms with the director, I don’t think Terry really needs or wants it. He’s just happy living in his own little bubble.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”

The Artist most certainly will be rewarded somewhere, so I think this will be a great moment to give rising French director their stamp of approval. He nails the flash bang style of silent movies so well that it seems like a great fit without placing too much reverence on something is a really just a feat of vision.

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May 13, 2011

I Cannes’t be more “Restless”


Let’s get the ridiculous plot right out of the way. Enoch, played by Henry Hopper, a newcomer who happens to be Dennis Hopper’s son, has recently lost his parents, has dropped out of school, finds an obsession with death and hangs out at funerals for strangers, and now has an invisible friend named Hiroshi who is the ghost of a Japanese Kamikaze pilot from World War II. He is the very definition of indie movie quirk. At one of these funerals, he meets the terminally ill Annabel, played by Mia Wasikowska, better known as Alice in last year’s Alice in Wonderland.

If you haven’t heard the term before, Annabel is Enoch’s manic-pixie-dream girl – the girl who has her own set of undeniable quirks all under an unfailing positive attitude, falls in love with the troubled male lead, and through the powers of love cures his depression. The movie never takes any dramatic or unexpected turns, it ends just how it has to end, and you are left wondering most of the time why the ghost is a Japanese fighter pilot so consider the plot spoiled.

Fortunately, the movie is saved in the style category. It’s a pretty movie made by pretty people. Everyone’s clothing looks like it comes right out of a Calvin Kline ad as they run through the forest and discover run down but vintage houses. The two leads are breathtakingly attractive even though she is sporting a masculine haircut. The music is probably the most distinct aspect as its indie guitar melodies carry the whole film in this twee dream like space where their relationship seems destined to work.

The majority of the movie, however, is simply pretty people doing nothing. They play games with each other and with dead people, they trace their outlines in chalk as if they have died and the parallels between her dying and his dying inside are made all too obvious. Van Sant’s film hovers far too much on the clean and polished surface to incite any real emotions at all. And then of course there’s the kamikaze pilot. What is he doing there?

The promise of this movie is that Mia Wasikowska elevates her material into something almost real. She gives a finely nuanced performance and makes her screen partner a thousand times better, which still isn’t saying much for Henry Hopper. Sadly, one good performance cannot bring this movie out of the vintage-painted emptiness throughout.

It was bad but Cannes pun count: 3

May 13, 2011

“We Need to Talk About Kevin”

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Look! Red! Tilda! This is the whole movie in one frame with CANNES of soup.

Fans of the Lionel Shriver novel from which it’s based are the lucky ones. It’s supposed to be great, but if you haven’t yet read the book, you might be left a little bit in the dark. One of the four female directors here at the festival, Lynne Ramsay creates a highly stylized universe for the horrific events that distances the viewer while allowing the true emotional psychosis of her protagonist to fill the screen.

“Kevin” follows Eva (the always phenomenal Tilda Swinton) in the events leading up to and right after her son Kevin (Miller) commits a Columbine style high school mass murder. If you know this chilling outcome, pieces are laid through out the movie that as you pick them up you see exactly how he’s going to do it, completely unbeknownst to the other characters. The movie weaves the past and present together in a quite unsettling way so you feel every rise and fall of Eva’s emotions. 

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May 8, 2011

How many puns Cannes I make?

That’s right.

I will be going to the 64th Cannes Film Festival. I won’t only be going to ogle at the stars, I am the sole student going AS PRESS! I will have a fancy (but lowly) press pass, a comfy spot in the press box between Matt Lauer and Manohla Dargis, access to all of the Press Conferences where I can hear Johnny Depp do Keith Richards impresonations, and obviously I get to see all the films.

In case you don’t grasp the sense of occasion, this is more than a once in a life time experience for me. Your average movie nerd just can’t waltz into the Cannes Festival and throw back a box of Good & Plenty during a screening. It’s industry and press only and somehow I’m press.

Every day from now on, there I’ll post my every thought, prediction, review, critique, criticism, party hopping, press release, star photo, glaring opinion, diatribe or adoration right here. The festival officially starts on Wednesday the 11th, but I will be arriving late that night so I will miss only the opening film – and you might already know I hate Woody Allen so it’s no great loss here.

Let the Festival BEGIN!

Cannes Pun Count: 1