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2010 Cannes Lineup

Posted by: Matthew Turner 26/04/2010 @ 16:25
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 128
Films seen this week: The Losers, Cherrybomb, Dogtooth (again), One Night In Turin, Tetro, Pimp, Valhalla Rising, A Boy Called Dad (again), The Milk of Sorrow

Annual Case of Cannes Envy
Last week (actually the week before, but who's counting?) saw the release of the 2010 Cannes lineup for this year's festival. I confess that an initial glance at the films on offer didn't exactly thrill me with anticipation (particularly when compared to last year's tantalising selection) and I thought for a lovely moment that I might get away without my annual case of Cannes Envy. That was until I interviewed The Very Lovely Gemma Arterton last week (check back here on Thursday for the full interview) and discovered that she's in director Stephen Frears' upcoming adaptation of Tamara Drewe, based on the serialised comic strip by Posy Simmonds (available to read in full at The Guardian's website here), which is in turn loosely based on Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd. (The strip is an excellent read by the way – highly recommended). Anyway, then the canny distributors went and released this gorgeous photo of lovely, lovely Gemma (there's also this one, Gemma fans) and suddenly I've got Cannes Envy again.

As for the rest of the line-up, I can't think of a film I'm less excited about than Robin Hood (and even if it's good, it's still a terrible choice for the Opening Night Film) but I'm curious to hear about Another Year (the new Mike Leigh film) as well as Rebecca H, the new film by Lodge Kerrigan (who made Keane). I'm also keen to see Hideo Nakata's Chatroom (because Tuppence Middleton told me about it during a recent interview and it sounded interesting), Woody Allen's You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Gregg Araki's Kaboom and Diego Luna's directorial debut Abel, which he mentioned in Edinburgh last year. At any rate, the festival kicks off on May 12th and I'll be glued to the coverage from that point onwards.

Trailerwatch: Four Lions
Cheating a bit this week, because this is for a film I've already seen, but the trailer for Chris Morris' upcoming terrorist comedy Four Lions (co-written by Morris and Peep Show writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain) is really, really funny and the Dancing In The Moonlight gag at the end, in particular has me chuckling just thinking about it. To be fair, it does contain a pretty massive spoiler for one of the film's funniest and most unexpected moments, so you might want to shut your eyes and go “La la la la la” for six seconds at the 1 minute 44 second mark. Anyway, the film, fairly obviously is about a British terrorist cell made up of five idiots and, rest assured that a) the film is every bit as funny as the trailer makes it look and b) contrary to what you might think, the trailer does actually leave out several of the film's best jokes. That said, the “You're going to die in that gear, lads” / “It's all for a good cause though” exchange is utterly inspired and almost worthy of applause. It opens here on May 7th, so not long to wait now...

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, with the excellent Dogtooth (for my money, a masterpiece – it's almost certain to be my favourite film of the year come end-of-year list-making time), highly amusing Hollywood comedy Date Night and original satirical comedy-drama The Joneses all making it into the top ten. However, I couldn't bring myself to bump the also-excellent City of Life and Death from the top ten just yet, so it's sharing tenth place with The Joneses.

Interview-wise, you can read our press conference interviews with Date Night stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell here and here and we also have exclusive interviews with Gurinder Chadha and Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy (i.e. Gurinder and Mohinder) for It's A Wonderful Afterlife that can be found here and here. Rapidly disappearing from cinemas this week are Drew Barrymore's wonderful Whip It and the superb French drama Lourdes (starring Sylvie Testud, with whom we have an exclusive interview here), both of which are also highly likely to be in my top ten of 2010. Stinker of the Week: The Calling. Film On TV of the Week: Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (Thursday 29th, 11am, FilmFour).

1. Dogtooth
2. Whip It
3. Kick-Ass
4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
5. Lourdes
6. How to Train Your Dragon (3D)
7. Shutter Island
8. Date Night
9. Cemetery Junction
10. The Joneses / City of Life and Death

DVD of the Week: Mad Men S3 (out now, RRP £29.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is season 3 of Mad Men, which, in my humble opinion, is not only the best show currently on TV (season 4 starts July 25th in the US) but also the best TV show of the last ten years, Wire or no Wire. In case you still haven't watched it yet (in which case, obviously, start with the season one DVDs), the series is based around the lives of the men and women who work for ad agency Sterling Cooper in 1960s New York, most notably enigmatic Don Draper (Jon Hamm), his frustrated wife Betty (January Jones), secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and ambitious young adman Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), although the superb supporting cast, particularly smoking hot office manager Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), are arguably just as important.

Without giving anything away, plot-wise (although it's not really a plot-driven show), season 3 picks up in 1963, just a few months after the events of season 2, with British company Putnam, Powell and Lowe having bought Sterling Cooper and PPL man Lane Pryce (Jared Harris, a welcome addition to a fine ensemble case) in charge. Over the course of the season, there are big changes in store for the Drapers, to say nothing of America itself – eagle-eyed viewers may spot the unfortunate date of Roger's daughter's wedding, mentioned in episode one and then beautifully paid off later in the season. This really is an absolute treat from start to finish – it's superbly written, impeccably acted and beautifully shot, with incredibly detailed, lovingly crafted production design work that will bring tears to your eyes. I can't WAIT for season 4. Extras include: a two-part documentary on the History of Cigarette Advertising, featurettes on murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers and the March on Washington (both of which feature heavily in separate episodes), audio commentaries with the cast and crew and a further featurette showcasing the wonderful work of artist Dyna Moe, who's created several vintage-looking illustrations based on scenes and characters from the show. Highly recommended.

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