Thursday, May 16, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival: Day 2 Roundup

© FDC / Guillaume Thierry
  • Day 2 - Thursday, May 16


  • Recap of the second day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until May 26, 2013.

    Two competition films were screened today:
    • From France, Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful) by François Ozon.

      His fourteenth feature and second time in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      A coming-of-age portrait of a 17-year-old French girl over four seasons and four songs.
    • From Mexico, Heli by Amat Escalante.

      His third feature and first time in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      Estela is a 12 year old girl who has just fallen crazy in love with a young police cadet who wants to run away with her and get married. Trying to achieve this dream, her family will have to live the violence that is devastating the region.

    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • Opening the section from the USA, The Bling Ring by Sofia Coppola.

      Her fifth feature film. It stars Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Claire Julien, and Taissa Farmiga.

      Official Synopsis:
      In the fame-obsessed world of Los Angeles, a group of teenagers take us on a thrilling and disturbing crime-spree in the Hollywood hills.
    • Also from the USA, Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with his 2013 Sundance Grand Prize winning debut feature.

      Official Synopsis:
      "This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions...
    Competition Film
    Jeune & Jolie • Young & Beautiful
    directed by François Ozon
    France
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "Adolescence is often highly idealized. I have painful memories of my own teenage years, so I wanted to deal with the topic again with a greater maturity and experience."François Ozon on why he made the film.
    "I tested a lot of actresses, and when I saw Marine I felt that she was different from all the others. She was answering the questions, but in her eyes I could see a whole inner world, a mystery, and that's what I was looking for."François Ozon on the casting of Marine Vacth.
    "Well I'm a model but I've never really seen myself as a model. I have a problem with being given a status. I didn't feel any major transition moving between modelling and acting. "Marine Vacth.

    Critical response:
    "Its skilful blend of dark humour, eroticism and the human dimension definitely ensure that the movie reflects the spirit of our times."Domenico La Porta (Cineuropa)
    "Although it lacks its predecessor’s critic-wowing metafictional fireworks, its elegant execution will win warm regard."Leslie Felperin (Variety)
    "Potent combination of sex, sensitivity, a plaintive soundtrack of Francoise Hardy songs and a luminous, star-making performance from Marine Vacth"Allan Hunter (Screen Daily)
    "Psychologically probing and unerringly elegant in its nonjudgmental restraint, driven by a transfixing performance from the incandescent Marine Vacth that will land her major exposure on the casting radar."David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "It's a powerful and personal point-of-view, but in asking the audience to do half the legwork for him, "Young & Beautiful" misses an opportunity to say something definitively different about being seventeen."Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "It's to Ozon's credit that he never serves up easy answers, and even after ample scenes of sex and showdowns with those closest to Isabelle, we're none the wiser as to what's driving her."Dave Calhoun (Timeout London)
    "Moment by moment you think you have the measure of it, but when you stand back, the overall picture is as baffling as that optical illusion in which the tuning fork suddenly seems to grow an extra prong. "Robbie Collin (Telegraph)
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    Competition Film
    Heli
    directed by Amat Escalante
    Mexico
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "I think that we were right to show violence in this film in a way that makes people think and leads them to the conclusion that something is wrong. "Director Amat Escalante
    "By making a movie about this bad aspect of our lives, we're trying to do our part to fix those problems. It's not only about Mexico, the whole world has problems, and anyone can identify even if they are not involved with violence."Scriptwriter Gabriel Reyes

    Critical response:
    "With a very intense opening scene and punctuated by a few shocking sequences, Heli is a film benefiting from superb direction."Fabien Lemercier (Cineuropa)
    "Destined to traumatize buyers and audiences in roughly equal measure, this accomplished but singularly unpleasant pic lends this year’s Cannes competition its first authentic whiff of scandal."Scott Foundas (Variety)
    "Stylistically a slow-burner, Heli is nevertheless remorselessly confrontational, observing violence unflinchingly and – many viewers will feel – in barely tolerable detail."Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily)
    "Undoubtedly made with serious intent, but it is also relentlessly depressing and curiously uninvolving."Stephen Dalton (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "It tasted as superficially indigestible, if ultimately nutritious, as the prickly pears our hero hacks off the desert cacti in a frenzy of impotent rage."Catherine Shoard (The Guardian)
    "Supremely accomplished and subtextually tidy, "Heli" leaves us, even at its ugliest, comfortably numb."Guy Lodge (In Contention)
    "Performances from the almost entirely non-professional cast range from serviceable to stiff, however, in a picture that’s generally a little too muted and inert to ever pack much in the way of genuine emotional impact."Neil Young (The Jigsaw Lounge)
    "I wouldn’t recommend the movie to anyone sensitive to on-screen violence, but I cannot dismiss it as an empty exercise, either. It’s a work of a highly talented filmmaker who happens to be drawn toward portraying malice."Michal Oleszczyk (RogerEbert.com)
    "It'd probably be overselling Escalante's inexorable, hyperviolent hellride to say that the devil here is in the detail, as it's a film that's so bereft of any kind of hope, justice or empathy that it's hard not take the director's posturing sense of nihilism as some kind of sick joke."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
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    Un Certain Regard Opening Film
    The Bling Ring
    directed by Sofia Coppola
    USA

    Critical response:
    "Traces an intriguing feedback loop of which it is knowingly a part: a movie that affords its subjects the very immortality they so aggressively sought."Scott Foundas (Variety)
    "It is all beautifully put together and the performances are all spot on, but there is a niggling sense that the film is an empty at the real-life Bling Ringers heads."Mark Adams (Screen Daily)
    "Coppola’s attitude toward her subject seems equivocal, uncertain; there is perhaps a smidgen of social commentary, but she seems far too at home in the world she depicts to offer a rewarding critique of it. "Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "There’s a numbing, unfulfilling repetitiveness to Coppola’s depiction of this mostly privileged gang’s label-hungry thieving."Matt Mueller (Thompson on Hollywood)
    "Emma Watson is a stand-out: she delivers her character's blasé whines of entitlement like a musician coaxing a keening lament from an oboe, and her drained interactions with her dopey mother, played by Leslie Mann, are a joy."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "Shot throughout with a distanced, non-judgmental camera, Coppola's film doesn't exactly delight in such detail, but it doesn't decry it either: dispassionately subversive and quietly modern, “The Bling Ring” may well be a morality tale with no moral. "Guy Lodge (In Contention)
    "By the end, there's the feeling we've seen Coppola's most fully rounded, ambiguous and cautiously empathetic film to date."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
    "The real story here isn’t the good-girl-goes-bad stunt casting; it’s that Watson can act. Against the odds, the Harry Potter star gives a sharp, knowing smart performance."Cath Clarke (Timeout London)
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    Un Certain Regard Film
    Fruitvale Station
    directed by Ryan Coogler
    USA

    Critical response:
    "A devastating dramatization ... freshman director Ryan Coogler doesn’t attempt to sensationalize this story or its characters."Sam Fragoso (The Movie Mezzanine)
    "It was like poetry on screen brought to us by 26 year old, first time filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who possibly used his youth and background to identify with this young man and craft this movie as though we are walking together with Oscar Grant."Shala Thomas (Life Between Films)
    "Best viewed as an ode to victim’s rights, “Fruitvale” forgoes nuanced drama for heart-tugging, head-shaking and rabble-rousing."Geoff Berkshire (Variety)
    "A shrewd script and career-launching performances drive a tragic modern story that carries heavy social weight."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
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See our other #Cannes2013 coverage:

9 comments:

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I might rent The Bling Ring for Emma Watson, though I hope it's eons better than Somewhere.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I'm happy that "Jeune & Jolie" and "The Bling Ring" are getting good notices. Plus, I saw some pics of Emma Watson at the red carpet. She is becoming a truly gorgeous woman.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Indeed. Can't wait to see both of those.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It's certainly got a more interesting story. So that's encouraging.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

The Ozon looks fascinating and Fruitvale is impressing everyone. I like the post modern quip in Bling Ring that one of the worlds most famous young movie stars is robbing women who are (arguably) less famous than her. It was clever to use Emma Watson - and not just because she can act.

Great coverage as usual BT. Thanks for all the posts, especially now that you're much busier.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I will be keeping an eye on this Fruitvale Station. Not fully convinced about Bling Ring

Bonjour Tristesse said...

That's a great observation on the casting. Makes it all the more interesting. Thanks for the comment Lisa, glad you're enjoying the coverage.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

At first I was thinking the opposite as you, but I'm slowly becoming more intrigued by Fruitvale and less by Bling Ring.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I don't know about her awards chances here, but the praise she's been getting is encouraging.

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