Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cannes Review: Another Year, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and more

Robert here, scouring the internet to give you the latest on the films premiering in Cannes.
In Competition

  • Another Year Mike Leigh's latest is earning some pretty high praise. Mark Adams of Screen Daily calls it "thoughtful and insightful," while Charles Gant of The Telegraph says the film is "a real grower, powered by wonderful comic moments, jealous glances, neurotic sparks and, finally, quiet reflection." Time Out London likes it too, saying that compared to Leigh's other films it's "more contemplative, less confrontational, more at ease with the gentle passage of time."

    Nathaniel Interjects! I interrupt Robert's rundown to bring you my dismay that I didn't full out predict Lesley Manville in Another Year in my Oscar predictions despite my strong hunch that her stellar work in past Leigh films (she's so terrific in Topsy Turvy for one) would pay off here. Though she's not one of the two central married characters (played by Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen). She's winning great reviews and some say she's a contender for Cannes' Best Actress gong.

Un Certain Regard

  • Tuesday, After Christmas Those following the recent wave of successful Romanian films, might be hopeful for this drama of which the L.A. Times says, "(director) Muntean's movie is a remarkable, pitch-perfect work." Alas, The Hollywood Reporter dissents, noting "the dissected minutiae of this adultery drama unfortunately doesn't add up to a very original or moving whole." Although Mike D'Angelo over at The AV Club draws attention to the fact that the film "opens with a lengthy, static shot of a man and woman lying naked in bed." So really, how can you resist?
Special Screenings

  • You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Woody Allen's latest, which sports a very impressive cast (including Naomi Watts, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins) seems to be garnering kind though not ecstatic reactions. Vanity Fair says stylistically "It's a throwback to his late 80s ensemble pieces, most akin to Hannah and Her Sisters." The Hollywood Reporter just about sums up the mood by calling the film "A serviceable Woody Allen comedy that trifles with its characters rather than engaging with them." A few reactions, like EW's, are viciously snarky "and you know what happens in a bad Woody film when people are miserably hitched: They seek liberation! Crazy love! With sexy-time fantasy mates!"
    You Will Meet Lucy Punch, Watts & Brolin & Gemma Jones at the Premiere.


    Marsha Mason said...

    Kinda funny if Lesley were to get Sally Hawkins' make-up nomination.

    Jorge Rodrigues said...

    I'm SO thrilled to hear this about Mike Leigh :D He's such an amazing film maker who deserves to be celebrated BIG TIME at the Oscars.

    If Leslie Manville is any good (which she must be, 'cos Leigh doesn't fool around while working) I bet she'll be nom'ned to make up for Sally Hawkins.

    NoNo said...

    Happy to hear that Mike Leigh's latest is so well received. Although, with his track record it's probably a given. I can't wait for it to open here and see how it's received.

    Not very surprised about Woody. He seems to be retreading on the same themes which essentially makes his films so "Woody" but when you don't come at them with a fresh angle, it's just redundant. I think that's part of the reason why people went head over heels for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

    RC said...

    Exciting to hear about Another Year & Lesley's potential run with Oscar potential.