Cannes Web Wrap Day 10-12: ‘This Must Be the Place,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’

With yesterday’s Awards announcement, the 2011 Cannes Film Festival has come to an end and gotten me more excited than ever for the movies that will be coming out of it. Before we bid the Festival adieu, it is time for one final wrap-up of Cannes coverage from around the web.

Reviews

This Must Be the Place – Directed by Paolo Sorrentino

  • “There’s an awful lot to enjoy here and yet I couldn’t help feeling that, when Cheyenne leaves Ireland to journey into the classic American midwest on a mission to find the fugitive Nazi who tormented his father in the camps, the film becomes derivative and Wim Wenders-ish. And a final twist-reveal gestures at some kind of equivalence between the suffering of Jews and their Nazi captors. Now, perhaps it’s the lingering unease that Lars von Trier has left behind him here at the festival, but I found that a slightly uncomfortable conceit.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
  • “A few confounding monologues later, the movie ends with a shrug, as if Sorrentino never cared about the project in the first place. His capacity for balancing stylistic indulgences with heavy themes makes the tonal confusion especially troublesome. It’s easy to imagine that the Sorrentino behind “Il Divo” and his acclaimed thriller “The Consequences of Love” doing something savvier with this material on his home turf.  Instead, “This Must Be the Place” feels the product of a director wandering the wilderness, looking even more stunned than a makeup-clad Penn.” — Eric Kohn, indieWIRE
  • “The only problem is Penn, looking suitably withered but speaking in a wispy voice that evokes both Tiny Tim and Droopy Dog. Radiating the aura less of a rock star than of something found under a rock, Penn is never Cheyenne, always Sean Penn playing Cheyenne. He is like the lead actor who’s the one weak performer in a top Broadway musical; you may want to wait for him to leave the cast and his replacement to take over.” — Mary Corliss, TIME

Grade Estimate: C-

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

  • “One could definitely argue that Anatolia needs trimming, especially in the early sections where scenes seem to repeat at will. But Ceylan’s power as a filmmaker stems from his insistence to linger within a specific moment for an unusual amount of time. A long take within a farmhouse, which follows a young woman serving tea to a line of men by dim lamplight, is a stunning example of Ceylan’s kino eye. Still, I can’t help but feel Anatolia is crippled by its strenuous attention to the droll rhythms of everyday contradiction.” — Glenn Heath, Jr., Slant
  • “Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s somber, rigorous new feature is a meditative procedural that expands what would normally consume the first five minutes of a “Law & Order” episode into a slow-moving, nearly three-hour portrait of men at work, taking stock of the enormous social and moral burdens they bear.” — Justin Chang, Variety
  • “Ceylan’s background in still photography informs every shot, which rings with hidden feeling and a sense of intimacy. Gokhan Tiryaki’s cinematography emphasizes the stark, eerie beauty of the Anatolian landscape, an ancient world of nature that humans can’t even see without the help of headlights or a lightning storm” — Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

Grade Estimate: B+

Acquisitions and News

  • Student film The Letter took home the top Cinefondation Award at the Festival. [indieWIRE]
  • Sundance Selects snagged the rights to French drama Polisse. [Deadline]
  • Le Havre, which was thought by many to be a strong Palme contender, was loved by critics and took home the top FIPRESCI Award. [Awards Daily]

Features and Interviews

  • Lars Von Trier was interviewed after being banned from the Cannes Film Festival and he said he would never do a press conference again. [indieWIRE]
  • Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Olivier Assayas and the rest of the Cannes jury explain their Awards decisions. [indieWIRE]

Pictures and Video

  • The trailer for Joachim Trier’s Cannes film Oslo, 31 August. [The Playlist]
  • The movie posters of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. [The Daily Notebook]

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