Posts tagged ‘Kristin Scott Thomas’

June 16, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: Tell No One

Francois Cluzet Tell No OneTo stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

 

Movie #19: Tell No One

Director: Guillaume Canet

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Blood Ties

If the title wasn’t enough of a give away, this is a film of secrets. Unfortunately, director Guillaume Canet doesn’t always listen to the title’s advice.

The film starts out as an incredibly taut mystery. We watch as Alexandre’s (Francois Cluzet) life falls apart. His wife is murdered and he is the prime suspect. Years pass and the case is reopened when two bodies are discovered and Alexandre receives a mysterious email. This is pretty standard man-on-the-run thriller territory, and for the first hour or so, it succeeds rather well at this. Canet takes his time with the mystery and lets us get involved with Alex and his unending grief.

A little more than halfway through, Canet lets too much slacken. Maybe we learn too much, maybe there are too many characters at play, but the mystery no longer feels 100% central. I certainly am not complaining if the problem is too many characters. This means that I finally get some fun Kristin Scottt Thomas as Hélène Perkins, Alex’s sister’s wife. She must be wonderful to work with because it seems like she is giving off so many different cues for her scene partners to play on and build their characters. It seems that everyone else in the cast is doing his or her best work when they are next to Thomas.

If Canet lets the line go loose halfway through, he drops the line off the side of a cliff for the film’s third act. In what might be the laziest ending since Shutter Island, a character practically walks in to the movie just to explain the central mystery for abou 20 minutes. The end. Sure, there is some housekeeping to do, but the film ends with such little cinematic or narrative interest, that it’s hard to call anything in this film successful, when for the majority of the running time, it is! I certainly won’t reveal what that ending is or how exactly it happens, but it feels like a let down and everyone’s motives seem unrealistic. A lose-lose for everyone.

What I learned through this movie is that Kristin Scott Thomas and Francois Cluzet are clearly some of the greats. They make the case for star power in characters, that intangible je ne sais quoi that brings a character to life. Now I’ll console myself by going through each of their filmographies.

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June 2, 2013

DIY Cannes 2013: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch

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To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #10: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (2008)

Director: Jérôme Salle

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Zulu

For what might possibly be the first time, I went into this franchise movie without having any idea what the conceit of the franchise was. Imagine going to see a James Bond movie without even knowing that James Bond was a spy, let alone the fact that he likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. It’s a bizarre experience and one I’m afraid didn’t hold up too well.

Based on a series of comic books, this series focuses on the titular character trying to prove that he is truly the adopted son of his father and the heir to a brilliant fortune. There’s a lot of action, some of it compelling, some of it not. They go to exotic lands. And there’s a big final showdown and a couple of reveals by the villains. And obviously, everything turns out fine. If I seem blasé, it’s because even though the characters kept telling me that the stakes were high, I never felt it.

It’s certainly not because of Tomer Sisley’s lead performance. He manages to do as much as possible with very little script. His suave and slinky manner helps him coast through most tough acting, and he nails all of the action. Perhaps the biggest let down was Kristin Scott Thomas who was given almost nothing to do. Her role as businesswoman Ann Ferguson has a couple of important dialogue scenes, but that’s about it. Instead, we are forced to rely on the visuals, which never really go out of their way to distinguish themselves from any other movie. The Croatian island monastery is pretty cool and I actually quite enjoyed some things (although I am failing to come up with any examples… maybe… seeing Hong Kong?), but everything about this movie is utterly forgettable.