The streets are so thick with people it wouldn’t be absurd to think that this whole town will crumble under the weight of the festival, which is now in full swing in this first, and most important, weekend.
Days are full of market screenings and business deals and pitch sessions, nights are full of cocktails and late dinners, drinks going off at 15 euro a pop in some places, meals for a whole lot more. Everyone has money at Cannes, whether they have any money or not.
Everyone is Cannes is selling something, always telling themselves in the process. It’s how you’re dressed, how you smile, how you laugh, how you bullshit, but most importantly, how you pretend everything’s fine even in the worst moments.
After all, it’s all about perception. For every incredible film here at the festival or in the marketplace, there are at least 3 horrible films that either never had enough money to succeed or enough passion, which suggests, ironically, that it was a money job.
However, there are exceptions to this. Consider Jane Campion’s much-hyped Bright Star, a film concerning the star-crossed romance of poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, played by Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, respectively. Both leads own their screentime and put in solid, sincere performances. There’s also the great Paul Schneider as Keats’ best friend Charles Armitage Brown, who serves as the comic relief of the film and, eventually and unfortunately, it’s lone spark.
Campion clearly put everything into this film and cares about the material and the story; it seems she neglected to convey this to the viewer. The film’s cold and unengaging, lacking much of a soundtrack and offering very few effectual close-ups. Some around the fest has suggested it be Cornish’s cold demeanor that turns viewers off, but this is not the case. Cornish as Brawne works, at first establishing the independent virtues of the woman and then breaking them down in the face of uncompromising love.
And while is a Jane Austen adaptation without the classy gloss and unnecessary fashion showcases, something is missing in the frame that prevents those watching to really care about the characters on screen.
Despite this, I may keep this as my Palme d’Or prediction, as most disagree with my opinion. There’s also Almodovar’s Broken Embraces, which could do big things. It seems Wook-Park’s Thirst is too much of a vampire film to garner enough votes and Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist is too much of a Lars Von Trier film, which means exactly 50 percent of viewers will deem it a masterpiece and the other half will deem it a failure.
Meanwhile, Ken Loach’s Looking For Eric has gone under the radar. It screens tomorrow, parallel to Antichrist, so future posts will confirm or deny my above allegations.
Moving over to Directors Fortnight, Coppola’s Tetro has been attracting lukewarm reviews at best, but then it doesn’t seem like the old auteur cares about the critical response, which is inspiring really. Likewise, Marina de Van’s Don’t Look Back was received poorly.
Until tomorrow, back into the break I go my dear friends. Wish me luck.
Any questions? Specific thoughts? Email email@example.com and I’ll ask around the fest and find out. Maybe.