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Cannes Review: Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive' Starring Ryan Reynolds, Mireille Enos, Rosario Dawson & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 16, 2014 8:33 AM
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  • 4 Comments
The Captive Mireille Enos Ryan Reynolds
Have you ever Xeroxed a picture repeatedly until the image became so degraded that only the highest-contrast elements of the original remained? Imagine doing that with Denis Villeneuve’s “Prisoners,” the other Canadian-directed child abduction movie, and you’d get something like Atom Egoyan’s “The Captive.”

Cannes Review: ‘Party Girl’ An Earnest But Underwhelming Tale Of Self-Defeat

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 15, 2014 6:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Party Girl
The third of a trio of films with 'Girl’ in the title that played Cannes today (the terrific “Girlhood” and the execrable “That Lovely Girl” being the other two), “Party Girl,” written and directed by Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis firmly occupies the middle slot in terms of quality. It’s a heartfelt and undoubtedly well-meaning film, attempting a character study of a woman of an age and lifestyle that makes her an unusual and therefore unusually worthy subject. But Angelique’s overriding characteristic is that she is incapable of fundamental change which makes her at best a frustrating protagonist for this drama, which essentially describes a complete circle and eventually leaves her exactly back where we found her, only having hurt a few more people along the way.

Cannes Review: Celine Sciamma's ‘Girlhood’ Shines Bright Like A Diamond

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 15, 2014 3:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Bursting onto the screen in a blast of buzzing power pop, “Girlhood,” the Cannes Directors' Fortnight opening film from Celine Sciamma (“Water Lilies,” “Tomboy”), is marked from the outset by its energetic embrace of the complexity and contradictions of underprivileged, urban teenage life. An (American) football game is in progress, but the players beneath the pads are all female, mostly black, and speak a slangy colloquial French: they are, as the French title has it, a “Bande des Filles,” a gang of girls from the same notorious Parisian suburbs that spawned “La Haine.”

Cannes Review: Keren Yedaya's Loathsome Israeli Incest Drama 'That Lovely Girl'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2014 1:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments
That Lovely Girl
Sometime after seeing "Grace Of Monaco" (review here) yesterday, I said as an aside to a colleague, "Well, at least it can only get better from here." Because normally, if a film like that, badly made and ill-conceived on every level, kicks off a festival, the worst is over, and while you might get a few duff movies in the days to come, a low bar of clearance has already been set. How little I knew. Barely 24 hours later, saying as much felt like tempting fate, because while "That Lovely Girl" is certainly more technically accomplished than 'Grace,' it's infinitely more loathsome.

Cannes Review: Mike Leigh's 'Mr. Turner' Ranks Among His Very Best Films

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2014 8:32 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Mr. Turner
Things acclaimed British director Mike Leigh is known for: wry comedy-drama poking at ordinary lives and the class system, a compassionate yet sharp take on the human condition, his almost unique working method that involves workshopping and improvising for months with his cast before a frame of film is shot. Things Mike Leigh is not known for: lavish biographical dramas, sweeping landscapes, gorgeous photography.

Cannes Review: Abderrahmane Sissako’s Powerful, Persuasive & Profound ‘Timbuktu’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 14, 2014 6:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
While Mauritanian-born director Abderrahmane Sissako has premiered three films in Cannes (winning a number of prizes including the FIPRESCI), and has served on three of its juries including the Competition jury in 2007, “Timbuktu” represents his first film In Competition. This unusual profile, coupled with Sissako’s (rightly) outspoken opinions on the underrepresentation of African filmmaking in the average international festival lineup might lead one to suspect a degree of tokenism in this film’s inclusion in the main competition this year. But they are suspicions that the film quickly lays to rest: “Timbuktu” inarguably stands on its own merits as a distinctive film told with both authenticity and artistry, that makes human and visceral the kind of stories that most Western eyes read only as news headlines, if that.

Watch: First Clip From Cannes Competition Pic 'Clouds Of Sils Maria' Starring Kristen Stewart & Juliette Binoche

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 14, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 26 Comments
Clouds Of Sils Maria
The Cannes Film Festival may have kicked off today, but it's a long wait still for Olivier Assayas' "Clouds Of Sils Maria." Even though it's slotted in Competition, the film won't be unspooling until the tail end of the festival, but if you're the impatient type (and we are) this clip will have to do.

The 6 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Moments From Cannes Opener 'Grace Of Monaco'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 14, 2014 3:00 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Grace Of Monaco, Nicole Kidman
So this morning the Cannes opener “Grace of Monaco” screened for critics, to a stunned response (here’s our full review), a few whistles of derision, and a light smattering of ironic applause. How did we know it was ironic, you might ask, since applause is merely the sound of palm striking palm? Well, because it came after “Grace of Monaco,” that’s how. But in many ways, the film has proven the ideal first movie of a major festival--literally almost anything has to be an improvement after it, and perhaps nothing could have bonded an audience full of strangers together more than getting the opportunity to guffaw in unison at the many, many clangers dropped throughout (think of tossing a bag of hammers down the side of a quarry for the level of clanginess we’re talking about).

The 15 Best Palme d'Or Winners From The Cannes Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 14, 2014 1:34 PM
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  • 16 Comments
The 15 Best Palme d'Or Winners
Right about now, taking the time difference into consideration, a bevy of beautiful celebrities will be spritzing and primping their last in preparation to walk the red carpet at the Opening Ceremony of the 67th Cannes Film Festival. But while the festival is a byword for glamour in the wider media, underneath the glossy surface is where its real heart beats, in the long queues in pouring rain, in the panic of swimming against the tide in the mercurially mutable traffic flow system on the Croisette, in the flocks of deskless journos sitting cross-legged on the floor riding out caffeine highs and blood sugar crashes in an effort to file on time. This side of Cannes may not be its prettiest but it is where the action is at, and it is all made worthwhile by the quality of the films we’re privileged to enjoy, across all the sections of the festival for the ten days of its duration before the Palme d’Or is announced and we all pack up and go home.

Watch: First Trailer & 2 Clips From Mike Leigh's Cannes Competition Film 'Mr. Turner' Plus New Pics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 14, 2014 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Mr. Turner, Timothy Spalding
Mike Leigh's process—which includes a lengthy rehearsal process before shooting even begins—means that his films can come as quickly as a couple years apart, or in the case of "Mr. Turner," four years on since his last effort, 2010's lovely "Another Year." The latter won an Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes, and the director is back on the Croisette in Competition this year with a period drama about famed artist J.M.W. Turner.

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