Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Cannes Review: 'Me And You' A Middling Return For Bernardo Bertolucci

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 22, 2012 at 2:45PM

It's been nine years since the last feature film from Bernardo Bertolucci, and for a moment there, it looked like "The Dreamers" would be the final effort from the currently wheelchair-bound filmmaker. And while we're glad he's re-energized and back to making movies, unfortunately, "Me And You" will be remembered as nothing more than a middling effort at best. A limp and lukewarm film about addiction and the relationships between parents and children, and brothers and sisters, Bertolucci's first entirely Italian-language film in a couple of decades doesn't build to anything of consequence, offering an insubstantial drama that mostly feels incomplete.
2
Me & You 1

It's been nine years since the last feature film from Bernardo Bertolucci, and for a moment there, it looked like "The Dreamers" would be the final effort from the currently wheelchair-bound filmmaker. And while we're glad he's re-energized and back to making movies, unfortunately, "Me And You" will be remembered as nothing more than a middling effort at best. A limp and lukewarm film about addiction and the relationships between parents and children, and brothers and sisters, Bertolucci's first entirely Italian-language film in a couple of decades doesn't build to anything of consequence, offering an insubstantial drama that mostly feels incomplete.

Your endurance will be tested by the movie's overly-long opening stretch, spent with the 14 year old Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori). We first meet him during a standoffish session with a psychologist, and follow that by watching him in school, learning enough to know that he's considered an outsider by his classmates. Obsessively fussed over by his mother, Lorenzo is looking for his own space and time to do some thinking. So instead of attending an upcoming class ski trip, he uses it as a cover to spend the week alone in the largely unused storage space/basement where he lives, bringing with him enough supplies to last seven days. With no fellow students, therapist or mother to look over him and judge, he's got it made in the shade...

Me & You 2

...that is, until his 25 year-old half-sister Olivia (Tea Falco) shows up. Breezing in looking like a supermodel, Lorenzo is both surprised and annoyed by the appearance of this familial relation (they share the same father), from whom he's been estranged for quite a few years. Olivia talks Lorenzo into letting her stay with him, but it isn't long before the real reason she has returned is revealed. She's a junkie, and she's hoping to clean herself up cold turkey, in order to satisfy her end of a deal she made to a friend, who promises to take her out to his rural farm, but only if she's off drugs. So the two semi-related siblings begin a few days of bonding and bickering which will wind up changing each of them (or in this case, mildly change them.)

The main problem with 'Me And You' is that these characters exist without context, so it's hard to get too invested into their struggles. Lorenzo more-or-less seems to have the same issues as any other adolescent teen who is misunderstood by his or her parents, while for Olivia, the reasons for breaking with the family remain somewhat mysterious, though there is a suggestion that she was sexually abused by her father. But as intriguing as those plot strands may be, the only real tension is whether or not the pair will be discovered, or if Olivia will kick her habit. That's about it. Even the initial patch of Lorenzo being interrupted by an interloper into his dedicated plan of solitude is resolved fairly quickly.

Me & You 3

Presumably, the film is meant to chronicle what each have learned about themselves during their sabbatical from the world in the basement, but it's hard to know exactly what that is. A fairly random soundtrack tries to overlay the emotional cues we're supposed to be feeling with "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure, "Rebellion (Lies)" from Arcade Fire and bizarrely, two versions -- one Italian and one English -- of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" are featured. But even these shorthand attempts, as clumsy as they are, not only leave too much open, but perhaps indicate there's not that much to uncover in the first place.

Bertolucci directs not with the vigor of a man making a long-awaited return to fimmaking, but of a craftsman cranking out a product with indifference. Both Antinori and particularly Falco keep the thankfully brief "Me And You" moving, but their director mostly keeps them in one location with not much to do, with a couple of moments added to break up the claustrophobia. A minor effort at best, and disappointingly lacking a sense of energy or intent, "Me And You" is Bertolucci exercising his filmmaking muscles, but not flexing them. [C-]

This article is related to: Bernardo Bertolucci, Me and You , Cannes Film Festival, Review


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates