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Cannes Review: Andrew Hulme’s ‘Snow In Paradise’ A Tired And Tiresome Brit Gangster Film 

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 21, 2014 1:10 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Snow In Paradise
So, alright, innit, there we was, at the Cannes facking Film Festival bruv, sea breezes blowing fru the old barnet, not a care in world mate, happy as larry, sound as a pound, when what do we go and do like a bunch of cahnts? We only go and watch “Snow in Paradise.” The first film from UK editor-turned-director Andrew Hulme it’s the second sidebar debut in as many days (after Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River”) for which we have developed Un Certain Disregard. Full of tricksy-yet-tired stylistic flourishes and incomprehensible editing decisions (occasional uncalled-for flashbacks and forwards serve no purpose save to confuse those viewers not already lulled into insensibility) and drowning in a score that manages to be simultaneously intrusive and generic, it’s the definition of tedium, if tedium had a punchably overdone Mockney accent. Innit.

The Cannes Field Manual: What To Expect From Ryan Gosling’s Directorial Debut ‘Lost River’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 21, 2014 12:18 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Lost River, Playlist comp
By now in the Five Stages of Cannes Reaction, (1. Reaction 2. Backlash 3. Backlash to the backlash 4. Consensus 5. Moving On To Next Shiny Thing) we’re approaching the end of phase 4 with Ryan Gosling’s Un Certain Regard entry “Lost River.” It is a divisive film, though not as polarizing in the spectrum of opinions it has raised as last year’s Ryan Gosling-starrer “Only God Forgives” which was either the greatest masterpiece known to man or the worst pile of trash ever projected on a screen, depending on who you spoke to. No, there are precious few viewers so far who’re going out on a limb to declare the film any actual good, but there are several shades of vehemence on the more negative end of the spectrum. This writer’s is probably a little sourer on it than Oli, who reviewed it, but that said, we’re in broad agreement on the fundamentals: it’s visually rich but thematically impoverished, and so derivative that it sometimes feels more like a supercut than a movie.

Cannes Review: Pascal Ferran's Curious Fable Of Alienation 'Bird People' Starring Josh Charles & Radha Mitchell 

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 21, 2014 12:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Bird People
At some point or another, every major international filmmaker gets the itch to broaden their audience, and work with big (or biggish) names for a film that, at least in part, is in the English language. The latest director to experiment away for their native tongue is Pascal Ferran, who made a splash eight years ago with her three-hour French adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterly." "Bird People," which is in large part in English, and features a number of recognizable faces including Josh Charles, Radha Mitchell and "The Wire" actor (and director) Clark Johnson has its vocal champions here in Cannes, but we were legitimately puzzled by the film, which combines a drab, enervating English-language first-half with a better, but still not entirely successful, second that marks a major departure from what's come before.

Watch: 2 New Clips From 'Clouds Of Sils Maria' Starring Kristen Stewart & Juliette Binoche

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 21, 2014 9:18 AM
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  • 102 Comments
Clouds of Sils Maria
The conventional wisdom goes that if your movie plays at the end of the film festival, chances are it’s not very good, or certainly not as worthwhile as the pictures that debut during those hot first few days. Certainly this is largely true for Sundance and TIFF, festivals that Hollywood abandons en masse after the first critical weekend, but the Cannes Film Festival is different, and they basically do whatever they want (true of the French too). So if you’re worried about Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds Of Sils Maria” playing near the end of the festival, fear not (plus we’ve heard the scheduling is to accommodate wrangling the talent, with many of the cast are shooting films elsewhere).

Cannes Review: Michel Hazanavicius’ ‘The Search’ Starring Berenice Bejo & Annette Bening

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 21, 2014 6:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Search
Winning Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars pretty much gives you licence to do whatever you want next time around. Looking at the follow-ups of some recent Academy Award winners, so you can see a near-three-hour erotic drama (Ang Lee), a one-man show about a man cutting off his own arm (Danny Boyle), a near-three-hour drama about the search for Osama Bin Laden (Kathryn Bigelow) and a near-three-hour musical sung live on set (Tom Hooper), films that for the most part, would have had a trickier time getting a greenlight without the ability to put “From Academy Award Winning Director…” on the poster.

Watch: First Trailer For Michel Hazanavicius' Cannes Contender 'The Search' Starring Berenice Bejo

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2014 2:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Search
While there are more than a handful of films already touted as prime Palme d'Or contenders, yet to screen is Michel Hazanavicius' "The Search." It's a big shift for the filmmaker, who is moving from the featherweight "The Artist," to an epic two-and-a-half-hour wartime drama. And the first trailer is here and it looks like very strong stuff.

Cannes Review: The Dardenne Brothers' 'Two Days, One Night' Starring Marion Cotillard

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 20, 2014 2:13 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Two Days, One Night
An unfeasibly gripping social realist parable that provides a gravitational showcase for one of Marion Cotillard's finest performances (and yes, we know that's saying something), the Dardenne brothers' "Two Days, One Night" sees the two-time Palme d'Or winners put in a serious bid for a third (though probably, Cannes rules being what they are, a Best Actress trophy for Cotillard is more likely). It’s a deeply lovable film, satisfying, nourishing and accessible, and bar the odd stumble toward melodrama (more on that later) we were completely immersed in its plain-spoken yet impossibly resonant rhythms practically from the first frame.

Cannes Review: Well-Acted But Uninspired Spanish Drama 'Beautiful Youth'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 20, 2014 1:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Hermanos Juventud (Beautiful Youth)
Everyone got hit hard by the economic crisis in the last few years, but Spain got hit harder than most. The fifth largest economy in the European Union, the nation went into recession harder and faster than some of its neighbors, and eventually had to be bailed out in a big way, to the tune of €100 million or so. One of the major knock-on effects of this is that the country has a brutal youth unemployment rate that hovers around the 50%, and has gone as high as 56%, meaning that over half of the nation's young people are out of work. While it's not quite as terrible as it seems (when you remove students and the like, it's closer to 25%), it's still pretty awful, and has essentially led to a sort of lost generation, kids who see no hope at home, and are leaving for other climes at an alarming rate.

Cannes Review: Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Starring Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan & Matt Smith

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 20, 2014 12:08 PM
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  • 26 Comments
Lost River
There's no bigger way for a movie star to paint a giant target on their back than by stepping behind the camera. More often than not, an actor making their directorial debut gets to do more or less whatever they want, and without anyone telling them no, the results can be indulgent and self-serving—there are more films like Mark Ruffalo's "Sympathy For Delicious" than Charles Laughton's "Night Of The Hunter." And far be it from Ryan Gosling to upset that particular narrative.

Cannes Review: Naomi Kawase’s 'Still The Water' Is A Spectacle For The Senses

  • By Nikola Grozdanovic
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  • May 20, 2014 9:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Still The Water
Naomi Kawase’s “Still The Water” was greeted with something of a muted response when Thierry Fremaux announced it among the eighteen competing films for the Palme d’Or. Ardent arthouse fans will mostly recognize Kawase, and to those who are loyal followers of the Cannes Film Festival her inclusion in the main competition is like seeing a familiar face in a crowded street. She’s had practically every feature film premiere at Cannes, starting with 1997’s “Suzaku” which won the Camera d’Or, including 2007’s “The Mourning Forest” which won the Grand Jury Prize, and now with this year's "Still The Water" (she was also part of last year’s main competition jury). And this time around, her lyrical and personal style of cinema adds another treat to an already fantastic slate, and should make the competitive scuffle for the number one spot that more interesting.

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