Monday, May 19, 2014

2014 Cannes Film Festival: Day 6

Cannes Red Carpet © FDC
  • Day 6 - Monday, May 19


  • Recap of the sixth day of the 67th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until May 25, 2014.

    Two Compétition films were screened today:
    • Foxcatcher by Bennett Miller (USA).

      The Academy Award nominated director of Moneyball and Capote makes his Cannes debut, with this, his third feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      Based on true events, FOXCATCHER tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers.
    • Maps to the Stars by David Cronenberg (Canada, Germany).

      The veteran Canadian director returns to the main competition for the fifth time, with an ensemble cast that includes Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, and Evan Bird.

      Official Synopsis:
      A tour into the darkly comic heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts.

    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • A Girl At My Door by July Jung (South Korea).

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with her first feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      Only people who live under the weight of the world’s prejudices can recognize the preciousness of the people around them...
    • Xenia by Panos H. Koutras (Greece, France, Belgium).

      This is the Greek director's fourth feature film, and first time at Cannes.

      Official Synopsis:
      After the death of their mother, Dany, leaves Crete to join his older brother, Odysseas, who lives in Athens. Born from an Albanian mother and a Greek father they never met, the two brothers, strangers in their own country, decide to go to Thessaloniki to look for their father and force him to officially recognize them. At the same time in Thessaloniki, is held the selection for the cult show, “Greek Star.” Dany dreams that his brother Odysseas, a gifted singer, could become the new star of the contest, in a country that refuses to accept them.
    • Bird People by Pascale Ferran (France).

      Winner of the Camera d'Or (1993: Coming to Terms with the Dead). The French director, probably best known for her multiple Cesar award winning 2006 film Lady Chatterley, returns to Cannes with her fourth feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      In the Paris airport zone, two strangers are trying to make sense out of their lives: an American engineer under professional and emotional pressure who decides to radically change the course of his life, and a young hotel chambermaid who faces a life-altering supernatural experience.
    Competition Film
    Foxcatcher
    directed by Bennett Miller
    USA
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "I think that the style of my films is not so much in telling a story but observing a story. There's a lot of American male repressed non communication happening in this film. There's an undercurrent beneath the undercurrent."Bennett Miller on his style.
    "To work with actors who are willing to put faith in you. You have to be grateful for the rest of your life. I really can't imagine anyone else doing these roles except for these guys."A visibly emotional Miller discussing his cast.
    "We wrestled a lot against some world class atheletes. We immersed ourselves into that world."Mark Ruffalo on role preparation.
    "I got to spend time with the real Mark Shultz, that was very special."Channing Tatum
    "I did as much research as I could. There is quite a bit written about John du Pont, but there was also a lot of commissioned video footage about himself, his life, and his interests. "Steve Carell

    Critical response:
    "Crucially, this meticulously researched picture feels as authentic in its understanding of character as it does in its unvarnished re-creation of the world of Olympic sports in the late ’80s."Justin Chang (Variety)
    "A wonderfully taut and thoughtfully unnerving drama likely to attract awards attention thanks to three very different lead performances that dovetail perfectly"Mark Adams (Screen Daily)
    "As a consequence of Miller's relentless de-dramatization, Foxcatcher offers us next to nothing of utility or complexity about du Pont's pathology."Budd Wilkins (Slant)
    "With Bennett Miller's Palme-worthy Foxcatcher (2014), we have a film which, despite devoting significant screentime to the sport of large men in tights, has as its main theme the absolutely corrosive effect of too much money on just about everything."John Bleasdale (CineVue)
    "This challenging, intense drama is not a natural crowdpleaser."Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)
    "From the beginning, you can't take your eyes off Steve Carell; as if by some secret alchemy, the actor makes you believe that his character is an entirely uncharismatic man while delivering a completely charismatic performance."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Anchored by a affecting and sullen turn by Channing Tatum, the movie derives its primary discomfiting power from Steve Carell in a revelatory performance as a monster of American wealth. "Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
    "The sweeping intelligence of Miller’s enormous movie feels like it will be feeding our minds for days to come and as the best of his films, it is also simply one of the best dramas dissecting contemporary America (despite its period) that we've ever seen."Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)
    "Foxcatcher is something dark and delirious, yet rigidly controlled: a film to be considered alongside David Fincher’s The Social Network and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master as a swirling, smoke-black parable of modern America. "Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "Like the director's previous films, this one is based on true events, although the facts have plainly been dramatised as a means towards extracting truth in what is a complex story of loyalty, paranoia and betrayal."Adam Woodward (Little White Lies)
    "Despite the running time of 134 minutes there is not a moment of slack in the whole film and it becomes mesmerisingly compulsive."Richard Mowe (Eye For Film)
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    Competition Film
    Maps to the Stars
    directed by David Cronenberg
    Canada, Germany
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "A lot of the directing is in casting. I would say that 72.5% of my work is done once I have the cast together."David Cronenberg on his ensemble
    "In terms of comedy, I think all my movies are funny. This could be the divine comedy."Cronenberg on the film's sense of humor
    "It's not just about Hollywood and the movie business, you could set this in Silicon Valley or Wall Street. Any place where people are desperate, ambitious, greedy, fearful. You could set it anywhere and have that same tone and ring of truth."Cronenberg on the theme of Hollywood bashing.
    "He's such a precise director. I don't think we changed a word of the script as it was written. There was creativity, but it was an excercise in extreme precision."John Cusack
    "David is such appreciative of actors that he encourages you to bring your all. He's so enthusiastic, and accepting of who you are, that you want to please him. "Julianne Moore
    "He knows exactly what he wants when we're on set, and he's someone you want to impress. If you don't do what he wants, he'll bark at you."Evan Bird
    "It was great, David really trusts the people he casts. So we had freedom within the structured script."Mia Wasikowska
    "Whenever you get a script for a Cronenberg film, it's so dense that you spend time peeling back the layers. It's really fulfilling as an actor, because you can just dive into it."Sarah Gadon
    "I'm always excited. I said yes before I even read the script. "Robert Pattinson

    Critical response:
    "It’s not as if Cronenberg is pulling any of his punches. He just doesn’t manage to land very many of them."Peter Debruge (Variety)
    "The long-awaited spawn of the union between director David Cronenberg and writer Bruce Wagner is Mulholland Drive, Sunset Boulevard and The Player wrapped up into one darkly comic, Gothic-tinged package."Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
    "Looks sharp but, in the end, comes off like a prank more than a coherent take on 21st century Hollywood, even if there are crumbs of truth and wit scattered throughout it."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Cronenberg never strays from the big picture of a world not only comprised of destructive impulses, but designed to breed more of them."Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
    "the film is a sickly enjoyable wallow in the scandalous, f'ed-up side of showbusiness, and a real return to form for the filmmaker. If nothing else, it'll rid you of any last desire to go on an actual LA star tour, and that alone is something to be thankful for."Oliver Lyttelton (The Playlist)
    "There’s so much in this seething cauldron of a film, so many film-industry neuroses exposed and horrors nested within horrors, that one viewing is too much, and not nearly enough. Cronenberg has made a film that you want to unsee – and then see and unsee again."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "After carefully constructing his crystal kingdom, Cronenberg launches his stones with dark, mischievous joy."John Bleasdale (Cine-Vue)
    "It's an infuriating movie, and that is possibly the point. It feels like a ten-part TV mini-series which has been inelegantly compressed to feature length."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
    "Although there is plenty to relish in the barbed one-liners it doesn’t add up to a satisfying whole – and by the end of it you feel almost as empty as the characters."Richard Mowe (Eye For Film)
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    Un Certain Regard Film
    A Girl at my Door (도희야)
    directed by July Jung
    South Korea

    Critical response:
    "An engagingly strange drama, that weaves in abuse, sexual manipulation and racism into its apparently low-key story."Mark Adams (Screen Daily)
    "Could have been an intense drama or even a thriller of sorts; being neither could certainly provide a new way of breaking norms, but here Jung's reinvention struggles to go through the door."Clarence Tsui (The Hollywood Reporter)
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Un Certain Regard Film
Xenia
directed by Panos H. Koutras
Greece, France, Belgium

Critical response:
"Alternating between a fable lulled by a playful spirit and the youthful get-up-and-go of the two heroes, and a raw analysis of the thorny societal issues that are shaking up the political debate in Greece and, indeed, in Europe, Xenia (a Greek word meaning “hospitality”) is above all a very successful portrait of brotherhood."Fabien Lemercier (Cineuropa)
"Though the story’s finally too predictable and a little too thin to captivate for the film’s entire two-hours-plus running time, the characters, their chemistry and their plight are compelling."Boyd van Hoeij (The Hollywood Reporter)
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Un Certain Regard Film
Bird People
directed by Pascale Ferran
France

Critical response:
"It’s deliciously risky, though Ferran falls far short of Icarus’ folly, soaring low and returning to earth having risked too little."Peter Debruge (Variety)
"The story is brimming with ideas about solitude in the modern world, using a bifurcated narrative to follow two characters whose destinies will be determined by fate, willpower and a touch of the supernatural. "Jordan Mintzer (The Hollywood Reporter)
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The 2014 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14-25, be sure to return for our daily coverage!

Screening Tomorrow at #Cannes2014 (Tuesday, May 20):
  • Two Days, One Night by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne (In Competition)
  • Still the Water by Naomi Kawase (In Competition)
  • Titli by Kanu Behl (Un Certain Regard)
  • Lost River by Ryan Gosling (Un Certain Regard)
  • The Salt of the Earth by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado (Un Certain Regard)

See our other coverage of the 67th Cannes Film Festival:

5 comments:

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I'm glad Foxcatcher is getting excellent reviews while I'm not surprised that Maps to the Stars is getting mixed reviews. I just hope that film isn't another Cosmopolis which I think is David Cronenberg's worst film.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I'm excited by the reviews for A Girl at My Door - although I'm trying to dodge spoilers! Looks like Korean cinema is on a comeback.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I think we've come to expect mixed reviews from anything DC does. I don't entirely agree that COSMOPOLIS was his worst, but would still love to see a return to true form.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I wasn't aware that Korean cinema had gone anywhere, but its nice to see a warmly received film from Asia at the fest.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Maps To The Stars, hopefully it's more than just a rehash of those other films: Mulholland Drive, Sunset Boulevard and The Player .

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