28-year-old Writer-Director Kantemir Balagov, whose debut feature, “Closeness,” shocked and astonished many at Cannes just two years ago, is back with another challenging and bleak statement set in his native Russia.Read More
Visual poetry is again on display in Yinan Diao’s “The Wild Goose Lake,” his latest action-noir, following the visually-dazzling 2014 Berlinale-winning, “Black Coal, Thin Ice.”Read More
“Booksmart” and its bad box-office are no doubt of concern this weekend as the female version of “Superbad,” from director Olivia Wilde, just didn’t cut the mustard for audiences. It garnered some rather tepid numbers, in fact. Critics have been pushing this film ever since its triumphant SXSW debut. Fact of the matter is this; the film itself, “Booksmart,” felt like it was set in a faux world. If “Lady Bird” was lived-in and authentic then “Booksmart” turned out to be quite the opposite. The movie is entertaining enough as it goes but much of the comedy feels implausible. It isn’t the second-coming that many critics have claimed it to be (85 Metascore, 97% on RT) and it sure as hell isn't remotely close to “Superbad”-level goodness.
Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro: “We can’t ignore the small start of UA/Annapurna’s Booksmart, which is bound to see $7.8M over four days. The movie looked like a female Superbad, but more indie. Great reviews and solid exits, but no one is taking the time out over the holiday weekend to see it. Saturday’s $2.1M ticket sales were down 16% from Friday. Smart, R-rated, critically acclaimed teenage girl pics remain a tough sub-genre. Booksmart‘s bests plays were in big cities on the coast, especially in the west.”
In my 4.3.19 review of the film, in which I rated it a B, I praised Beanie Feldstein’s performance, which saves the movie, and also wrote:
“Wilde’s after-hours journey is no doubt filled with the familiarity that comes in the tradition of final-night-of-high-school classics such as “Dazed and Confused,” “Superbad,” “American pie,” and “American Graffitti,” but if “Booksmart” can’t reach the same heights as those aforementioned movies it nevertheless compensates by tackling something that all of those films clearly lacked: the female experience.”
It's always interesting to go through the competition lineup at Cannes, especially if, like me, you've been attending the fest for quite a few years now. The stakes are always high for world cinema whenever this film fest to end all film fests kicks off. A good chunk of the European film industry counts on Cannes to produce a fair number of successes with every passing edition. Sometimes it doesn't pan out. More recently, in 2017, Cannes had a mediocre lineup which was a hint at the terrible year in foreign language cinema to come. During that year, the best films in competition The Safdies' "Good Time," Ruben Ostlund's "The Square," barely made a dent at the international box-office.Read More
The jury led by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, awarded the Palme D’or to Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.” As predicted, no Palme for Almodovar, whose film was a little too distance-filled for many. In fact “Pain and Glory” won a Best Actor award for Antonio Banderas, a real slap-in-the-face honor. Great news that, despite mixed reviews, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the Best Director award for the excellent “Young Ahmed.” Also, Don’t get me started on “Atlantics” winning the Grand Prix, which I found middling and amateurishRead More
Wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this, but HE beat me to it with a simple and satisfactory blurb, 5.24.19:
“So why wasn’t Robert Eggers‘ The Lighthouse offered a Cannes competition slot? Jordan Ruimy‘s French-speaking festival whisperer, who’s been fairly accurate this year, confirms that it was fiat–out rejected for competition by Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux. A midnight slot was offered as compensation, but Eggers and A24 decided instead on a Director’s Fortnight slot, and it all worked out in the end”
Un Certain Regard Award: Karim Ainouz, “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao”
Jury Prize: Oliver Laxe, “The Fire Will Come”
Best Director: Kantemir Balagov, “Beanpole”
Best Performance: Chiara Mastroianni, “On a Magical Night”
Un Certain Regard Heart Prize: Michael Angelo Covino, “The Climb” & Monia Chokri, “A Brother’s Love”
Special Jury Prize: Albert Serra, “Liberte”
Special Jury Mention: Bruno Dumont, “Joan of Arc”
A 76-year-old Harrison Ford is supposed to play Indiana Jones in a fifth installment due to be released in 2021. He will 78 by that time. Steven Spielberg is set to direct, right after he completes production of his “West Side Story” remake.Read More
Luca Guadagnino has many short films under his belt. However, this year’s “The Staggering Girl,” which just premiere at Cannes, broke his croissette cherry: “I’m a Venice man,” he tells IndieWire’s Anne Thompson. “I am a nouvelle vague person, this is my first time. I felt at home. Maybe this is the beginning of a new phase for me.”Read More
Abdellatif Kechiche‘s “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo” is a 212-minute cinematic revolution. It means to destroy our notion of what a movie should be in 2019, and the fact that the film was included in Cannes competition is a message in itself from Thierry Fremaux and the gang.Read More
Daniel Craig’s ankle has, most probably, not been given enough rest time, at least based on my decent knowledge of how these things work. The Bond producers are claiming that it will just be two weeks before Craig is back on the set of Bond 25. As we all know, a Bond movie these days requires a lot of Bourne-esque activity, a 51-year-old Craig recovering from this injury and running/jumping/diving etc. in such a limited recovery time-frame is unusual, but I’m all eyes and ears. Maybe they’ll pump his ankle with some tranquilizers or maybe they’ll just freeze it, who knows.Read More
More to come …
Arnaud Desplechin‘s “Oh, Mercy!” (aka Roubaix, une lumiere) was an unexceptional police procedural — a pilot episode for “C.S.I Roubaix” as many critics have called it. A real shame since I absolutely love Desplechin. Then again, his last two films, also counting “Ismail’s Ghosts” have been absolute failures. At some point I really wasn’t sure if this was a serious statement from Desplechin or if he was actually pulling an all-time of a joke on us.
This is my final day of screenings today, unless I decide to go ahead and watch an 8:30am of Justine Triet’s “Sibyl” tomorrow. On tap are two films with the highest of potential. Abdelatif Kechiche’s “Mektoub: Intermezzo” which is said to be a near four-hour film taking place in dance clubs, which is supposed to have a 25 minute cunnilingus scene and Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor,” a Godfather-style Italian epic. Some feel-good cinema ahead in the next 24 hours.