Cannes Film Festival Wrap-Up: Week 2, Part 1

REVIEWS

Les Amours Imaginaires (Un Certain Regard)

Eric Kohn from indieWIRE gives Xavier Dolan’s film a mediocre review:

A hyperstylized “Jules and Jim” update, Canadian actor-turned-filmmaker prodigy Xavier Dolan’s French language romance “Heartbeats” (“Les Amour Imaginaires”) is as hip as he intends it. At the same time, this chic look at a bisexual love triangle occasionally feels too entangled in its own cool maneuvers. Moving beyond the subtly believable relationships of his 2009 directorial debut, “I Killed My Mother,” Dolan has apparently cultivated an obsession with cinematic overstatement—albeit an effective one.

Alex Billington from First Showing gives the film a positive review:

Despite those minor criticisms, I’m in love with this film (and it’s lead actress Monia Chokri) as much as I possibly can be, simply because I love Dolan’s style and use of music as well as his very modern characters (and the superb performances that embody each of them). It’s essentially a fairly simple and amusing love story wrapped in a much more visually stimulating package and it is entertaining to watch, despite a usual desire to discover more intellectual films here in Cannes.

Certified Copy (In Competition)

Brad Brevet of Rope of Silicon gives Abbas Kiarostami’s film a mostly positive review:

One of the most interesting films of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival is Abbas Kiarostami’s Tuscan romance Certified Copy starring Juliette Binoche and William Shimell. What initially appears to be a story of a chance meeting between two people quickly becomes something much more. What is going on exactly? Have these two people known each other for 15 years or more? Are they just meeting? Is this even a linear narrative telling one cohesive story or perhaps just a series of vignettes representing all that could take place on a couples’ one day tour of Tuscany? The film plays with your mind and I had a hard time enjoying it until it was over and I began piecing it together from the little clues Kiarostami gave me.

Eric Kohn of indieWIRE gives the film a positive review:

If the couple featured in Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” got married, grew old, divorced and reunited, the resulting confrontation would probably look a lot like Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy.” Possibly the Iranian director’s most accessible work, this elegant, stream-of-conciousness movie takes place almost entirely within the constraints of a single two-person conversation. Humming along on the rhythm of its central dialogue, “Certified Copy” drags a minimalist romance down the rabbit hole of philosophical revelation.

Film Socialisme (Un Certain Regard)

Nobody knows that Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film is about. Kevin Jagernauth of The Playlist thinks Godard is poking fun at his audience:

It’s difficult to describe “Film Socialisme” as frankly, we didn’t understand what the fuck was going on. The film is presented with no subtitles or rather, with extraordinarily condensed subtitles. Featuring a plethora of languages including French, English, Russian and a couple of others, entire sentences are reduced to no more than three word summaries at the bottom of the screen. This writer has a pretty good working understanding of French and can thoroughly attest that the Cliff’s notes-style subtitles leave a lot to be desired. This stylistic choice by Godard was…interesting, but to what end we’re not certain. Still, we’re sure he had a good laugh about it.

Jordan Mintzer of Variety says that Godard flips the bird at cinematic convention.

Of Gods and Men (In Competition)

Peter Howell of The Toronto Star gives Xavier Beauvois’ film a rave review:

Tuesday morning saw the world debut of the French film Of Gods & Men, a movie that looked going in to be horrifically brutal and potentially controversial, but which reveals itself as a beautifully acted and directed work of uplift and inspiration.

Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter gives the film a negative review:

There are eight individual decisions to be made here, yet Beauvois never humanizes any of his monks. The film instead consumes itself with songs, communal prayers and nightly meals.

So when snow starts to fall and the old doctor brings about a couple of good bottles of red and plays Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” you know their goose is cooked.

DISTRIBUTION DEALS

  • Some of the best news from the festival is that Mike Leigh’s Another Year will be coming to a theatre near you. It has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. [Rope of Silicon]

OTHER NEWS AND POSTS

  • Pete Hammond talks about the Oscar prospects that could be emerging from Cannes. [The Envelope]
  • Logan Hill learned 10 lessons from the Cannes Film Festival. [Vulture]
  • Unsurprisingly, Jeffery Wells has started a fight over differences in opinion on the film Certified Copy. [Hollywood Elsewhere]
  • Roger Ebert talks Godard in his latest diary entry from the festival. [Roger Ebert’s Journal]
  • Two perspectives from the Woody Allen press conference. [indieWIRE and Deadline Hollywood]

PICTURES

  • Photo call for Biutiful with Javier Bardem and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. [Awards Daily]

VIDEOS

  • Two clips from Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2 have appeared online. [Empire]
  • Jeffery Wells posted 4 minutes of video from the Biutiful press conference. [Hollywood Elsewhere]

My last Cannes Wrap-Up and Palme d’Or predictions to come later this week.

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