Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 Cannes Report: Days 1-6

The 65th Festival de Cannes opens today and all the big names and faces are set to gather at the Croisette for the Opening Ceremony, hosted this year by Bérénice Bejo, star of last year's surprise of the festival The Artist.

As always, the line-up of films looks incredible, including entries from 4 previous Palme d'Or winners and 5 films representing the United States.

The festival runs until May 27, and I will be keeping a close eye on the events, watching the press conferences, reading the early reviews, and posting frequent updates right here.

2012 Cannes Report: Days 7-12
2012 Cannes Award Winners

  • Day 1 - Wednesday, May 16
  • Opening Film - In Competition
    Moonrise Kingdom
    directed by Wes Anderson
    The first reviews for the festival's opener are in, and I'm glad to see that so far they are all positive.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Wes Anderson on always working with the same actors: "Every movie we start is a little bit like a reunion."

    Bruce Willis on what it's like working on a Wes Anderson film: "I found it refreshing to be directed. It was nice to be asked to perform the part in a specific way."

    Bill Murray on Bruce Willis: "He's a real serious crazy movie star... we could have got the Muscles from Brussels but it wouldn't have been the same."

    Tilda Swinton: "It felt like we were invited to a wedding or something, it was an adventure. It was a very very easy family to join. I was happy to get that invitation."

    Edward Norton: "Wes has obviously over the years put together one of the great troupes in modern cinema".
    "It feels even more finely detailed than any of his previous live-action outings. Still, the love story reads loud and clear, charming those not put off by all the production's potentially distracting ornamentation." - Peter Debruge (Variety)
    "Working with his long-time cinematographer Robert Yeoman, the director succeeds in turning young love into precisely the intense, transitory, impossibly idyllic sensation it can be in real life." - Tim Grierson (Screen Daily)
    "As in Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson is able to express sincere personal connection and compatibility while employing a highly artificial style. The result is that the core of Kingdom -- the bond between the leads played so forthrightly by newcomers Hayward and Gilman -- is strong, even bracing in its resilience." - Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter)
    "You can imagine ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ turning young kids on to cinema; it’s so full of a joyous love for the medium and smart without being clever-clever. Its childishness, sense of innocence and eye for fun all make it a very easy film to love." - Dave Calhoun (Time Out London)
    "Wes Anderson may have a distinct and easily recognized style, but his talent is genuine and his love of his characters rings loud and true in this film. He may make it look easy because of how firmly his mannerisms are established at this point, but it takes a real artist to evoke the rocky emotional storms of adolescence and adulthood with such clear eyes and precise voice." - Drew McWeeny (Motion Captured)
    "If its ending feels faintly messy and rushed, Moonrise Kingdom is a worthy addition to Anderson’s canon – his deadpan wit meshes nicely with a generous view of human imperfections. A mood elevator of a movie, it’s an ideal opener to a sunny, blue-skies Cannes." - David Gritten (The Telegraph)
    "Anderson's movies are vulnerable to the charge of being supercilious oddities, but there is elegance and formal brilliance in Moonrise Kingdom as well as a lot of gentle, winning comedy. His homemade aesthetic is placed at the service of a counter-digital, almost hand-drawn cinema, and he has an extraordinary ability to conjure a complete, distinctive universe, entire of itself." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian UK)
    Jason Schwartzman, Bruce Willis, Wes Anderson, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray
  • Day 2 - Thursday, May 17
  • Competition Film
    De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone)
    directed by Jacques Audiard
    France France
    Wow, looks like Jacques Audiard has made another winner. What an amazing festival this is shaping up to be.

    Watching the press conference I was very impressed by Schoenaerts' English, I have a feeling this guy will be a huge star very soon.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Marion Cotillard on the differences between French and American cinema: "Every film I do is a different adventure, with a different captain, and no two are the same." 

    Matthias Schoenaerts on his future in global cinema: "Last week they called me for Rambo 34, and I said I'd do it if I get 35 and 36 as well." 

    Jacques Audiard : "I personally have a problem with filming violence. I try to make it realistic but not too gory."
    "Rust And Bone is a standout, a towering picture we can't wait to see again and that this early in the year, is a no brainer favorite for the awards season" - Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "What could have been simply bizarre, sentimental or contrived here becomes an utterly absorbing love story; This is early days in the festival, but Rust and Bone has to be a real contender for prizes, and, the odds will be shortening to vanishing point for Cotillard getting the best actress award." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    "These are two towering performances in a film of genuine power. Rust and Bone may not be for everyone; but it’s a complex, assured, demanding work." - David Gritten (The Telegraph)
    "Audiard deserves to once again be applauded for the way he takes melodramatic convention and bends it to his own particular sensibility, delivering a powerful tale about the reminders we all carry of the pains that have formed us." - Drew McWeeny (Motion Captured)
    "Despite its sensitively handled melodramatic premise and two outstanding central performances, Rust & Bone is much duller in impact than Audiard’s previous films." - Adam Woodward (Little White Lies)
    "Perhaps it lacks the genre crossover potential of A Prophet; but Rust And Bone is a big film in every sense, sure-footed, stylish and confident, that mainlines emotion into its audience." - Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
    Jacques Audiard, Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts
    Competition Film
    Baad el mawkeaa (After the Battle)
    directed by Yousry Nasrallah
    France France, Egypt Egypt
    Sadly, most of the reviews for this one are not too flattering.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Director Yousry Nasrallah: "My commitment was not so much political, but cinematic."

    Actress Menna Shalabi: on whether she felt any danger making the film: "Yes but art is freedom and I enjoy it."

    Actress Nahed El Sebaï: "When I embark on a project, I find it fun to play a character with many layers."

    Actor Bassem Samra: "Our presence in Cannes is a wonderful answer to all those people who want to put an end to art in Egypt."
    "There's an almost chameleonlike element to Nasrallah's use of various visual styles, ranging from the cerebral to something more storybook-like, yet these differing modes are always connected by a refusal to treat his characters as anything other than complex beings." - Jay Weissberg (Variety)
    "If the high volume of After the Battle’s emotional theatrics doesn’t kill you, its incessant self-pity certainly will." - Glenn Heath Jr. (Press Play)
    "The result is a flatly shot mash-up of politics and drama that run side-by-side and are often individually interesting but never convincingly connect." - Fionnuala Halligan (Screen Daily)
    "The film’s great merit is Nasrallah’s consummate story-telling, which allows non-Egyptian audiences an easy entry point into the familiar sight of thousands of demonstrators." - Deborah Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "In what could have been an important and incendiary work of obvious international relevance, After the Battle is ultimately a rushed and feathery portrayal of a seminal contemporary event." - Blake Williams (Ioncinema)
    "You imagine that, in 10, 20 or 30 years time, ‘After the Battle’ will be of value to historians of the Arab Spring. However, as a film, it’s an indecipherable, chaotic blitzkrieg of half-baked ideas and hot-headed dramatizations of reality." - Dave Calhoun (Time Out London)
    Yousry Nasrallah, Nahed El Sebaï, Bassem Samra, Menna Shalabi
  • Day 3 - Friday, May 18
  • Competition Film
    directed by Matteo Garrone
    France France, Italy Italy
    Very interesting that the main actor Aniello Arena, has been in prison for the past 20 years serving a life sentence for murder. He was granted special permission to act in the film but not allowed to travel with the crew to Cannes. 

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Director Matteo Garrone about the fantastic nature of the film: "The big challenge of the film was to establish a link between dream and reality."

    Composer Alexandre Desplat on the same topic: "We didn't want to crush reality or kill the fable, it was a delicate balance."

    Screenwriter Ugo Chiti: "One has the impression that it's a dreamscape of the past."

    Garrone on the choice of Naples for the film's setting: "There are many contradictory places, old and new, they are all totally different, just like the actors I chose."
    "It's a likable film played with gusto and heart — though fundamentally a little sentimental and predictable." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    "Reality-TV addiction is overripe for satire, yet the script here swerves from anything biting, opting for an affectionate look at a family and the rabbit hole this father of three jumps into on his mad quest for celebrity." - Jay Weissberg (Variety)
    "The problem lies not with the craftsmanship but with a discursive, verbose, screenplay that never seems entirely sure whether to approach Reality as a caustic satire, an amusing Walter Mitty fantasy, a cutting commentary on a world enslaved by the inanities of reality television or a plaintive window into the mind of a hopelessly deluded innocent." - Allan Hunter (Screen Daily)
    "while the film is seldom as funny as it probably wants to be, and drags here and there towards the end, it nevertheless has more than its fair share of strong scenes suggestive of a latter-day ‘La Dolce Vita’." - Geoff Andrew (Time Out London)
    Matteo Garrone, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone
    Competition Film
    Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love)
    directed by Ulrich Siedl
    France France, Germany Germany, Austria Austria
    Sounds like this one is just as explicit and unflinching as his previous films, and Margarethe Tiesel is getting a lot of praise for her brave performance.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Director Ulrich Siedl on the assertion that the film depicts the 'beach boys' too simplistically: "The film is mainly about white women of a certain age, their desires and their solitude, but the film is also an honest portrayal of the 'beach boys', even if we don't depict their daily lives to the same degree."

    Siedl when asked if he has a pessimistic view of human beings: "My goal is to depict things as realistically as possible, whether it's negative, positive, or pessimistic is besides the point."

    Actress Margarethe Tiesel on the loneliness of her character: "When you are a woman of a certain age in the West, and you no longer look like the advertisements you see in the newspapers, it's difficult, it's very hard. You come to Africa and nobody really cares how you look as long as you have white skin."

    Tiesel on the differences between male and female sex tourists: "That was something I had to fight for in this role, I think that the crucial element is that it's not just about sex but that women are really seeking love."

    Cinematographer Wolfgang Thaler on the unusual experience of working with another co-director of photography: "It's a pleasure to work with Ed, and I welcome the opportunity to exchange views and to share experiences, to achieve this result. A strong film can only be expressed through strong images."

    Cinematographer Ed Lachman on his function in the crew: "Well for me it was just the admiration for Ulrich and Wolfgang's work. I'm more of a guest worker. I really feel like I'm more an observer than another cinematographer."
    "It challenges auds throughout on a multitude of levels. Repulsive and sublimely beautiful, arguably celebratory and damning of its characters, it's hideous and masterful all at once, 'Salo' with sunburn." - Leslie Felperin (Variety)
    "Underlines the way in which sex tourism is a form of neo-colonialist oppression but leaves the impression that no matter how striking the aesthetic, Seidl is really not telling us anything we don’t know already." - Allan Hunter (Screen Daily)
    "There’s much to admire in the formal rigor of Seidl’s filmmaking. His background in documentary is evident in the striking use of static shots and stark compositions by his cinematography team. Like Mike Leigh, Seidl works to a structured improvisation plan, and no doubt there will be praise for the unflinching, vanity-free performance of his lead actress Margarethe Tiesel." - David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Does the film tell us anything we didn't know already? And could anyone expect anything but the most straightforward irony in the title? The answer to both questions is no – but there is undoubted technique, and an authorial address to the audience." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    "A witty if psychologically pitiless test of our unspoken presumptions about age, race, class and gender, lingering on the kind of physiques and interactions that Hollywood has long taught us are not fit for general consumption, and calmly inviting us to ask ourselves why we want to look away from the screen when we do." - Guy Lodge (Time Out London)
    Inge Maux, Peter Kazungu, Margarethe Tiesel
    Un Certain Regard Film
    Laurence Anyways
    directed by Xavier Dolan
    Canada Canada
    I bet a lot of people will have a problem with the film's 2h39m running time, but from what little I've read so far it sounds like Dolan has made an even better film than his last, and that's encouraging news.
    "Contains a voice so pronounced, and so specific, that Dolan is going to be one to watch for years to come. And frankly, this film is more adventurous on numerous levels than some of the competition fare we've seen so far. " - Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "Stunningly gorgeous leads prove more than capable of eliciting emotion over the near-three-hour haul, though the pic's exhausting length and intensity will try even lovers of love stories, to the detriment of exposure and acclaim." - Rob Nelson (Variety)
    "Dolan's magpie style is beginning, despite itself, to become something his own, but there's still rather too much of it." - Guy Lodge (In Contention)
    Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye, Suzanne Clement, Xavier Dolan, Monia Chokri
  • Day 4 - Saturday, May 19
  • Competition Film
    directed by John Hillcoat
    Overall lukewarm reactions for this one are not too surprising, but a little bit disappointing because I am a fan of Hillcoat's last two films.

    Quotes from the very amusing press conference (I highly recommend watching it), it had lots of funny quips, Nick Cave at one point calls a reporter an SOB, and it's hard not to notice that Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain seem to get along extremely well:

    Tom Hardy on how he prepares on set to play a bad-ass on screen: "I actually play Scrabble, and I lose. Jessica beats me."

    John Hillcoat on being a part of a new movement in American cinema: "I've always thought of films as stories for the world. I am interested in stories in America, but in the medium budget world, Character and Drama are words that you cannot use in the United States at this time."

    Jessica Chastain on her return to Cannes: "I can't imagine I'm going to be back every year with two films, I'm happy to be back whenever."

    Shia Laboeuf on his personal stance on prohibition: "Next question."

    Mia Waskikowska: "I'm always drawn to characters who are at odds to the time in which they live in."

    Nick Cave: "I didn't have much interest in when the story it was set, it was more the flavor of the book that took me. The classical love story and the excessive violence."

    Nick Cave on how aging has influenced his screenwriting: "My memory's gone, and I have to use the thesaurus a lot. Enlarge the type, all that sort of shit. It's awful and I don't recommend it to anyone."
    "A well-paced and entertaining story of bootlegging. But if the film will boost Hillcoat’s stock as a commercial director, it is lacking in both the poetry that infused The Proposition and The Road and the mythic quality of many other retro ‘30s gangster pictures." - Mike Goodridge (Screen Daily)
    "This is the kind of material studios used to like making, bringing together an interesting story and an excellent collection of talent to tell the tale. We doubt 'Lawless' will be gunning for any Oscars, but as far as top tier storytelling goes, it doesn't get much better than this." - Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "If Lawless doesn’t achieve the mythic dimensions of the truly great outlaw and gangster movies, it is a highly entertaining tale set in a vivid milieu, told with great style and populated by a terrific ensemble." - David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "A smug, empty exercise in macho-sentimental violence in which we are apparently expected to root for the lovable good ol' boys, as they mumble, shoot, punch and stab." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    "Hillcoat's film wins its gasps and gulps honestly, but it doesn't remotely strain against the constraints of genre in the same way as last two equally Western-inflected films, The Proposition and The Road." - Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    Shia Laboeuf, Jason Clarke, Tom Hardy, John Hillcoat, Jessica Chastain
    Competition Film
    Dupa dealuri (Beyond the Hills)
    directed by Cristian Mungiu
    Romania Romania
    I sense an overall aura of disappointment around this one. Still it remains a must see for me, and I was extremely impressed with Mungiu's direct and articulate answers during the press conference.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Cristian Mungiu on once again telling the story of two women: "I never intended to make a film with so many similarities to my last one. But this one is less about friendship, it's more about love and abandonment."

    Mungiu on similarities between his films and the Dardenne brothers (co-producers for this film): "There's no connection. My choice not to use music and not to abuse editing was made before seeing their films. The kind of cinema I am trying to make tries as much as possible to avoid making the filmmaker present and visible. It's a matter of respect from me to my spectators, I don't think they need to be told when they need to be emotional or not."

    Mungiu on the theme of fatality and inevitability in the film: "I don't like when films are reduced to words, because words are not precise. Of course it's about destiny, but it's about a lot of things at the same time."
    "Boasts the same formal control and somber realism that distinguished '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.' But Mungiu's slow-burning, scrupulously evenhanded portrait of religious hysteria rarely achieves that film's gut-level intensity, leaving audiences with an accomplished but bleak 152-minute picture." - Justin Chang (Variety)
    "While there are a few rich, exquisitely observed moments, a larger thesis never really coheres. Even if there isn't one, you're left with Flutur and Stratan's performances - both haunting and heartbreaking." - Karina Longworth (LA Weekly)
    "A cerebral melodrama of the most steely, bare and brutal kind, the past hangs over it like a character just out of frame, insidious and corrupting." - Dave Calhoun (Time Out London)
    "Stylistically, Mungiu's preference for long takes and rugged handheld camerawork remains intact, it's just that the slender facts in this particular case can't even begin to withstand the mammoth weight of a 150-minute running time." - Bud Wilkins (The House Next Door)
    "Though Beyond the Hills lacks the taut dramatic suspense that made its predecessor so riveting, it nevertheless stands as the most consistently satisfying film to have screened in Competition so far." - Geoff Andrew (Sight & Sound)
    Cristina Flutur, Cristian Mungiu, Cosmina Stratan
    Un Certain Regard Film
    directed by Brandon Cronenberg
    Canada Canada
    So for it sounds like this one has turned out just as expected for a first film from a Cronenberg, and it didn't take long to find a review that mentions apples and trees. Can't wait to see it despite whatever flaws it may have.
    "It's exactly the oddball and crooked tale you'd want and expect from a Cronenberg with all the gratuitous blood, pus, bone and multiple closeups of needles piercing skin you could ask for. Dad would be proud." - Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "Never builds the sort of character investment or narrative momentum that would allow its visceral horrors to seriously disturb, rather than seeming like choice gross-out moments lovingly designed for maximum viewer recoil. " - Justin Chang (Variety)
    "If this is where he's starting his career, then it's going to be very exciting to watch his work develop in the years ahead, and I suspect his voice will get clearer and even more distinct." - Drew McWeeny (Motion Captured)
    "It's just not weird enough in the execution. Cronenberg Jr. is strong on visual style, but weak in creating the real creepiness that gets under your skin." - Barbara Scharres (Chicago Sun Times)
    Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Brandon Cronenberg
  • Day 5 - Sunday, May 20
  • Competition Film
    Amour (Love)
    directed by Michael Haneke
    France France, Austria Austria, Germany Germany
    After the across the board glowing reception this has been getting, not that that comes as a surprise, it sounds very much like it will figure prominently on awards night, we'll see if the jury concurs. What an incredible festival this is turning out to be!

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Michael Haneke: "It's far more difficult for an actor to watch the film than to do the actual work. It's romantic to think that if you make a sad and tragic film that the shooting is also tragic."

    More from Haneke: "I never make a movie to prove anything. At the end of the day, I am very pleased to have made a simple film."

    Isabelle Huppert on working with Haneke again: "He's demanding as a director but we are tremendously rewarded. I like to watch myself in Haneke's films, it's very gratifying. So I don't see why I shouldn't do this again and again."

    Jean-Louis Trintignant on returning to the screen from the stage for the first time since 1998: "I didn't want to act in films anymore, I love the theatre. I think that Michael Haneke is one of the greatest directors in the world, and it was a wonderful opportunity but I won't do it again."

    Emmanuelle Riva: "When I watch the film I have the impression that I'm seeing someone else, someone I don't know. It's hard to say, it's very special."
    "Trintignant and Riva are consummate veterans of French cinema but put aside their baggage of famous films to approach these roles with concentrated freshness, making each moment a deep plunge into a heroic side of themselves." - Deborah Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "As unrelenting and unflinching as you might expect from the provocateur, but there is tenderness within that marks a bit of a new direction for the helmer." - Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "Everything that could have been expected from Haneke and more: a moving, terrifying and uncompromising drama of extraordinary intimacy and intelligence. This is film-making at the highest pitch of intelligence and insight." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    "Infused with its namesake, this gentle tragedy is the filmmaker’s least complicated work to date, a streamlined tearjerker that respects viewers enough to not jerk the tears out of them." - David Fear (Time Out New York)
    "Considering Haneke's confrontational past, this poignantly acted, uncommonly tender two-hander makes a doubly powerful statement about man's capacity for dignity and sensitivity when confronted with the inevitable cruelty of nature." - Peter Debruge (Variety)
    "Amour is striking for its subdued and relatively un-provocative quality. Haneke has become known for poking a stick in viewers’ eyes and then asking them why they keep coming back for more. And yet Amour’s icy calm representation is of a piece with earlier films like The Seventh Continent and Lemmings." - Simon Abrams (Press Play)
    Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuelle Riva, Michael Haneke, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert
    Competition Film
    Jagten (The Hunt)
    directed by Thomas Vinterberg
    Denmark Denmark
    Happy to hear that Vinterberg has finally returned to form. I don't know about it's awards chances, maybe Mikkelsen will get some love for playing against typecast. At any rate this looks like yet another must see film.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Thomas Vinterberg: "We're not used to happy endings in Denmark. It's a dark and sinister country."

    Vinterberg on child actress Annika Wedderkopp: "She's just really incredibly good. It's not because I'm a genius. Yes I am a genius, but in this case she did it her own."

    Vinterberg on his first return to Cannes since Festen (1998): "Well first of all, I was always here. You guys were gone for awhile, but I was here and I am proud of what I did meanwhile."

    Actress Susse Wold: "This film is about a lot of smoke without any fire and how dangerous that can be."
    "Absorbing if not particularly innovative, will fit snugly into the recent run of solid Danish dramas that have done well at fests and in arthouses worldwide. " - Boyd Van Hoeij (Variety)
    "Early plotting here is fast, so fast that it can sometimes feel false. But any initial doubts that this might prove to be simply a beautifully-crafted TV-movie are expertly laid waste as The Hunt, propelled by Mads Mikkelsen in an everyman role, hits home - and hits hard." - Fionnuala Halligan (Screen Daily)
    "The film is superbly acted by a cast that never strikes a false note or softens the impact with consolatory sentiment. The same strengths distinguish Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm’s screenplay, which spins a psychological horror story rooted at every step in credible reality." - David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Vinterberg really has come storming back with this new movie, easily his best since Festen, and a reminder of his superb gift for unsettling collective drama: it is forthright, powerful, composed and directed with clarity and overwhelming force, yet capable of great subtlety and nuance." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    Thomas Vinterberg, Mads Mikkelsen
  • Day 6 - Monday, May 21
  • Competition Film
    Vous n'avez encore rien vu (You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet)
    directed by Alain Resnais
    France France
    Quotes from the press conference:

    Alain Resnais: "I make it up as I go. This film is different from any other I've done, if I thought it was going to be a grand statement, I'd never have the courage to do it."

    Lambert Wilson: "For an actor, what's really difficult is when a director asks you to be yourself."

    Producer Jean-Louis Livi: "You have the impression that you're the one making decisions, but it's actually Resnais who has led you to make them."
    "Though Resnais' gamble seems to have failed, it's encouraging to see a director on the brink of 90 still willing to experiment in a way most helmers half his age wouldn't dare. While the performances feel rawer and less conventional in the young warehouse version, Resnais supplies the more daring directorial solution, giving poignancy to the film's title: If life permits, he could go right on innovating." - Peter Debruge (Variety)
    "This reflection on the past, love and death through the prism of layers of theatrical endeavor is both serious and frisky, engaging on a refined level but frustratingly limited in its complexity and depth." - Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Mounts an interesting challenge to the realist consensus of cinema, to the convention that we must pretend that what is being played out on screen is actually happening. But despite its moments of charm and caprice, the film is prolix, inert, indulgent and often just plain dull." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    Competition Film
    Like Someone In Love
    directed by Abbas Kiarostami
    France France, Japan Japan
    Yikes, sounds like he failed to repeat the magic of Certified Copy. Lots of hate from the critics for this one and a screening that ended with a round of boos.

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Abbas Kiarostami: "My film has no beginning and no ending. That's just what life is like. We show up after the beginning, things always happen beforehand."

    Tadashi Okuno on working with Kiarostami: "That was the first time I worked without a script. We were told not to act, just to be natural. Perhaps that's why it was easy for him to choose me, because I don't know how to do a great deal." 
    "Not entirely satisfying as either an academic or an emotional exercise, 'Like Someone in Love' offers its most complete pleasures as a quietly pristine showcase for Kiarostami's undiminished craft, its most laborious stretches still wowing with their poised camera placement and confidently spare editing schemes." - Guy Lodge (Variety)
    "The more you delve, the more resonance you find; the problem is that Kiarostami fails to embed the film’s visual, aural and symbolic games in a narrative that satisfies on the level of story and character." - Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
    "There is a fine line between meeting an audience halfway and witholding enough without falling into self-indulgence, but Kiarostami can't make that balance here. Enigmatic and dull to a maddening degree, 'Like Someone In Love' finds Kiarostami spinning his wheels." - Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "There are some interesting ideas and sympathetic performances in a superbly shot and fascinatingly controlled exercise. There is potential. But the curtain comes down with an arbitrary crash just as the drama was becoming interesting." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Competition Film
    Da-Reun Na-Ra-E-Suh (In Another Country)
    directed by Hong Sang-soo
    South Korea South Korea
    Quotes from the press conference:

    Hong Sang-soo on his many visits to Cannes: "I'm not sure why Cannes likes me so much, but I'm invited, it's a great honor, so I come."

    Hong on the use of zoom: "It allows me to shoot from a distance and get close to the actor's faces, I also use it to create a rhythm."

    Isabelle Huppert: "For me this was a very original and interesting experience. It was a very enchanting adventure for me."

    Actor Yu Jun-sang on Isabelle Huppert: "It was a tremendous pleasure. Onscreen she throws herself completely into the work, and as soon as we stop shooting she becomes someone who's like a child, very joyful."
    "Beguilingly simple, relaxed in its mastery and enhanced by Isabelle Huppert's impeccable poise, helmer-writer Hong Sangsoo's ambivalently titled 'In Another Country' plays like the flipside of his Paris-set 'Night and Day'." - Maggie Lee (Variety)
    "Another loving tribute by Hong Sangsoo to French cinema, somewhere between inconsequential and flimsy but pleasant to watch all through." - Dan Fainaru (Screen Daily)
    "Hong slyly provides enough structural intricacy and interconnectedness to keep semiologists and deconstructionists in business for weeks, while more general audiences may be happy to enjoy the picture's more straightforward pleasures." - Neil Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
    Isabelle Huppert, Hong Sang-soo
Thanks for stopping by, check back periodically for the latest updates.


Nikhat said...

I love that last little review excerpt. This is easily one of my most anticipated films of the year. It just looks wonderful.

The Angry Lurker said...

Looking forward to updates as usual.....

Max said...

Looking forward to the reviews of Moonrise Kingdom. I'll be looking into its performance today as well.

Diana2389 said...

Cool, thank you for the update, looking forward to the others, as well! Great job!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Moonrise Kingdom does look great. I'm glad we won't have to wait months and months to see it like most Cannes titles.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yep Max, I'm glad to see it was rather well received by the early critics screening, we'll see how it does after the gala.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thank you Diana.

Lisa Thatcher said...

WOAH!!! Exciting!!!
This looks like a great year for film...
Thanks for a brilliant intro! I can't wait to see what's in store - thanks for your great commentary and dedication.

Steven Flores said...

I'm glad Cannes is up to a great start. I just saw some of the red carpet and press conferences as I've already begun my marathon this morning. This year's Cannes will rock! Nice to read those positive reviews for Moonrise Kingdom.

d_4 said...

I'm intrigued with Moonrise Kingdom. Not sure how much those reviews helped incline me towards it, but they did.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks for the glowing praise :)

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yep I was very excited to see MK get good praise, and Bill Murray was hilarious as always during the photocall and press conference.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I never fully trust early reviews, one day perhaps I'll be there to see for myself and report first hand, in the meantime I'm glad to hear that most enjoyed the film.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

and I'm looking forward to providing them.

Jason said...

I'm no Wes Anderson fan but I may take a look at Moonrise Kingdom just to reappraise my stance on him. I love that Bill Murray quote.

Pete Turner said...

Great start to the fest! Looking forward to the updates!

Margaret said...

I'm so glad Rust and Bone is getting good reviews. I really want to see this one, I love Marion she is one of the best actresses nowadays.

iluvcinema said...

I am growing more intrigued by Rust and Bone.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

From what I've heard, if you aren't already a fan then it probably won't win you over, but you never know. Also that press conference was hilarious, Bill Murray is just as or even more funny in real life than on film.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It has been an excellent start. Thanks for visiting Pete!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Agreed. Marion is amazing. She'd be unstoppable if she could speak English without an accent.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I know, I can't wait to see it. Hopefully it gets some North American screenings soon.

Jason Hemming said...

I almost thought you were actually at Cannes and got to see all these movies. Great article I am learning so much. Thank you

Jason said...

Ahh, Shame about Lawless being a disappointing follow-up to his early films. The Proposition was pretty stirring stuff but this one looks rather humdrum despite the violence. Paradise: Love sounds a lot like the French film Heading South. Sorry

365 moviesandsongs365 said...

I'm looking forward to Mud (2012) ,
Rust & Bone (2012) , and Cosmopolis (2012) mainly due to the track record of the directors.

It will be interesting to follow on your site how it all pans out at Cannes!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Jason!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah you are right. I haven't seen it myself, but I saw Heading South mentioned many times in the reviews.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It's still early yet but I think RUST & BONE is leading the way right now. MUD screens next Saturday, COSMOPOLIS on Friday.

Steven Flores said...

Wow, so Vinterberg is finally back. Good, let's hope he doesn't create more bad films again.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yep, sounds like an excellent return to form, and it will be interesting to see Mikkelsen in a very different role from usual.

John Williams said...

This is a very beautiful and interesting series of pictures, i enjoyed every picture, it has great detail in it, thanks for sharing the artistic work, i appreciate your work!

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Jason said...

Isabelle Huppert in a Korean film, colour me intrigued. Hong Sang-soo is a director critics and fans rave about but gets little coverage. I'll have to search out his films. I'm kind of disappointed with the reception that Like Someone in Love has got considering it's one of the big 'Japanese' films. Like Certified Copy it's one that asks a lot of the audience but in this case maybe it's too much.

Steven Flores said...

Yikes... I was hoping for good things on that Kiarostami film. Wow... I heard some good reception for Resnais' film as I heard it might be his last one.

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