Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cannes Review: Biutiful, Tamara Drew and more

Robert here, scouring the internet to give you the latest on the films premiering in Cannes.  Lots and lots to catch up on!

In Competition

  •  Biutiful Alenjandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film is one of the most anticipated of the festival.  In a piece entitled "Beautiful Biutiful" Sasha Stone of AwardsDaily raves the film, while admitting that overall reaction has been mixed.  Lou Lumenick of the New York Post is among the dissenters, calling the film "a soul-crushing endurance test at 2 1/2 hours."  Entertainment Weekly agrees that the film is depressing but finds a bigger fault. "The problem is that none of the characters are remotely developed." says Owen Gleiberman.  Rounding out the mixed reactions, we have MovieLine.com who declares the film "the best film shown so far at the festival."
  • Certified Copy "The best film so far in this year’s Cannes competition" is what Time Out London is calling the new Abbas Kiarostami film (his first outside Iran).  Eric Kohn of IndieWIRE isn't quite as ecstatic, but still positive, noting that the film "wanders a bit but never loses focus."  Meanwhile Mike D'Angelo of The AV Club was "choking back tears in his seat.

 Un Certain Regard
  • Blue Valentine Derek Cianfrance's film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple already premiered at Sundance earlier this year.  It drew positive reviews there and is drawing positive reviews here.  We'll let AwardsDaily take it from there.
  • Film Socialisme This Jean-Luc Godard film or cinematic essay is, according to reactions, um... different (and thus pure Godard.) "It is doubtful that anyone else could have made this film and found an audience for it" is how Roger Ebert puts it.  Time Out Chicago skirts the issue of what it's exactly about (as do most) but gives it points saying  "Film Socialisme is stunning to look at."  Screen.com's Lee Marshall nails it down a little more, calling the film an "occasionally amusing, rarely thought-provoking and ultimately wearing reflection on civilization, language, democracy."
Special Screening

  •  Tamara Drewe Stephen Frears' latest stars Gemma Arterton as a woman who returns to her home village as an unrecognizable beauty.  The Cannes crowd seems to like it.  IndieWIRE says "the plot wanders all over the place, but it remains enjoyably cynical throughout.USA Today reports of Frears "He has concocted an assortment of joys."  And IFC says its "Sassy, slick, slight and speedy"
A quick word about good news that was naught today.  IndieWIRE has the information about dashed hopes that Iranian director Jafar Panahi would be released from prison (he was incarcerated in March for reasons unspecified, though he's been an outspoken government critic).  It's a reminder that despite all the Hollywood marketing, artistic intellectualizing, and scantily-clad beach-going Cannes, and other film festival, serve the cinematic community by championing free expression and welcoming filmmakers who were unwelcome even in their homes.  Mr. Panahi was supposed to be on the Cannes jury this year.  Here's hoping he can take his rightful seat on the jury next year.


Amir said...

actually, Jafar Panahi released a letter a few hours ago (if anybody can read farsi, you can read the letter here: http://www.iran-emrooz.net/index.php?/news1/22560/) and said that he has been on a hunger strike since sunday morning. they treated him very rougly on satruday night apprently and threatened to abuse his family.

stories like this make me ashamed of being iranian.
and unfortunately stories like this surface on a daily basis in iran.

adelutza said...

I can't wait to see Certified Copy. Also, I'm glad that finally there's some kind of controversy at Cannes, even if it's just between bloggers not liking the same films. It looked like a pretty boring Cannes until now.

Andrew R. said...

I had high hopes for Biutiful and Certified Copy.

Biutiful...well, we'll see what happens critically when it is wide released.

Certified Copy does look good!


andrew r -- for sure. I suspect BIUTIFUL, given what we've heard about it, will be a lot better received with the more mainstream critics than it was with the cannes intelligentsia.

and who knows. it could stilll win the palme d'or if Tim BUrton is gaga for it.

adelutza -- yeah it's fun when there's verbal fighting.

amir -- thanks for the link. hopefully someone will translate it.

Arkaan said...


The above link mentions the hunger strike, but nothing about release.

New Movie Trailers said...

Watch the interviews, trailers and behind the scenes of Biutiful Movie and many more videos.