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Cannes Film Festival Envy

Posted by: Matthew Turner 13/05/2011 @ 15:47
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 153
Films seen in the last week: Prom, Something Borrowed, Take Me Home Tonight, Love Like Poison, Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides, A Screaming Man, Bridesmaids, Mother's Day

FILM OF THE WEEK: Love Like Poison

The Annual Case of Cannes Envy
As dedicated film fans everywhere are probably aware by now, the 2011 Cannes Film Festival is currently in full swing and once again, I have a full-blown case of Cannes Envy, despite various jaded Cannes veterans attempting to tell me that “Really, it's not all that ...” on Twitter. Of course, Twitter just makes it even worse this year, because a good 35% or so of film-related people I normally follow are all merrily tweeting from Cannes as we speak. Sigh Of the films that have screened so far, I'm delighted to hear “return to form”-style whispers about Woody Allen's latest Midnight In Paris (starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdam and Marion Cotillard, with an appearance by French First Lady Carla Bruni) and very excited to hear the buzz surrounding Lynne Ramsay's We Need To Talk About Kevin (full disclosure: I haven't read the book), not least because it's rumoured to be screening at this year's Edinburgh Film Festival, of which more next week. I'm also really hoping Lars Von Trier's Melancholia (see the blog's trailer section a few weeks ago) turns out to be good.

Other films I'm jealous of people seeing include: Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan), Paulo Sorrentino's This Must Be The Place (starring a fright-wigged Sean Penn as a gothic rocker turned Nazi hunter), cult drama-slash-Sundance hit Martha Marcy May Marlene, Boy With A Bike (the new film from the Dardenne Brothers), Terrence Malick's eagerly-awaited The Tree of Life (which, sadly, had its imminent UK release pulled due to an ongoing rights dispute), Julia Leigh's controversy-courting Sleeping Beauty (starring Emily Browning – check out the poster here) and Where Do We Go Now? (writer-director-star Nadine Labaki's follow-up to the wonderful Caramel) and The Artist (check out the wonderful trailer here), a silent film from the director and star (Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin) of one of my favourite recent comedies, OSS-117: Cairo, Nest of Spies ..
Ah well. Maybe next year. (I say this every year).

Trailerwatch: Transformers 3 - Dark of the Moon
I would say I was cautiously optimistic about the Transformers 3 trailer but, well, fool me twice, Michael Bay, etc - I remember being excited by the trailers for both the previous Transformers films and look how they turned out. (To save you looking, I gave the first film
3 stars for novelty and spectacle but gave the second film 2, though I can't think of a single thing I liked about it at this point).

There are a couple of things I'm excited about in the new film, (optimus) prime-arily the presence of Frances McDormand, who can make terrible films less terrible just by standing there. I'm also excited that John Malkovich is in it (according to the imdb anyway), though I'm slightly worried that he's not in the trailer. I hope he's doing a rubbish accent of some kind. I like Shia LeBeef as an actor (or I did until Indiana Jones 4, anyway) but his character in Transformers is really badly written and he irritates me enormously with Witwicky's incessant wittering. As for Megan Fox replacement Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who, COINCIDENTALLY, happens to be number one in FHM's current 100 Sexiest Women In The World list), it's rather telling that she appears in the trailer four times but doesn't have a single line – the third time you see her gawping reaction shot, it's actually rather comical. Will there be an equivalent shot in the film to rival this iconic shot of Megan Fox bending over a car? We'll have to wait and see.

Other than that, the trailer promises the expected mayhem (or, as we're expected to call it, Bay-hem) and plenty of hard-to-tell-apart robots blowing shit up. The colourful ones are the good ones, apparently. I have to say, I'm mildly intrigued by the moon angle of the story and I'm keen to see how the rather dodgily 9/11-esque sequence of the EVIL ROBOT slicing the building in half plays out too, at least as far as critical reaction is concerned. To be fair, the CGI, as ever, does look amazing, but I still find it hard to care about robots smashing up other robots. (For the record, I don't even like Terminator 2 all that much, for similar reasons). Anyway, Transformers 3 opens 1st July and, as it turns out, I don't mind waiting.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only one new entry this week, with just French coming-of-age drama Love Like Poison making it into the top ten, which means there is now an unprecedented three French films in the list, though you'll have to hurry if you want to catch Adele Blanc-Sec (still my second favourite film of the year), as it's deep into its second run and will no doubt disappear soon. As for the rest of this week's new releases, I'll also put in a good word for Emilio Estevez's The Way and for Chad drama A Screaming Man but I can't quite bring myself to actively recommend Attack the Block, because the more I think about it, the less I like it. I was wavering between a two and a three while writing the review and I think it shows. That said, I don't doubt that it will find a receptive audience, I just don't think it's as funny or as scary as it should have been and that the comparison to Shaun of the Dead doesn't do it any favours.

However, you should still check out our semi-exclusive interviews with Attack the Block writer-director Joe Cornish and star Nick Frost.
Elsewhere you can still read our press conference interviews with director Kenneth Branagh and the stars of Thor (Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston), our exclusive interview with Source Code director Duncan Jones, our equally exclusive interview with Adele Blanc-Sec director Luc Besson and Adele Blanc-Sec star Louise Bourgoin and our round table interview with Little White Lies director (and star of Farewell) Guillaume Canet. Come back next week for exclusive (well, round table) interviews with Attack the Block stars Jodie Whitaker and Harry or Luke Treadaway and press conference interviews with the stars of Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

1. Adele Blanc-Sec
2. Love Like Poison
3. Meek's Cutoff
4. Thor
5. Source Code
6. TT3D: Closer to the Edge
7. Hanna
8. 13 Assassins
9. Farewell
10. Cedar Rapids

DVD of the Week: The King's Speech (out now, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Oscar-winning drama The King's Speech, which in the spirit of last week's 'Reviews I Might Have Got Wrong' piece, I should have given five stars instead of four. Directed by Tom Hooper, the film is based on the true story of the unconventional relationship between the Queen's father King George VI (Colin Firth) and the unconventional Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) he hires to help him with a crippling speech impediment.

Firth deservedly picked up an Oscar for his portrayal of “Bertie”, delivering a terrific performance that isn't afraid to portray Albert (don't ask – King's names are confusing) as emotionally cold and frequently tetchy. Rush was denied a Best Supporting Actor win, but he's equally good as Logue and displays some great comic delivery.

Hooper's direction is offbeat and interesting throughout and the production design is extraordinary, while the witty script crackles with great lines and there are several memorable scenes, particularly the by now infamous swearing sequence (which resulted in a climbdown by the BBFC) and a lovely singing sequence involving a model airplane. And, oh yes, Helena Bonham Carter's pretty good in it too. Highly recommended if you somehow missed it at the cinema.

Extras include: a director's commentary by Tom Hooper; a 22 minute Making Of featurette, featuring interviews with director and stars; two real-life speeches from King George VI (one from 1939, one from 1945); the trailer; production sketches; a photo gallery; and an interview with Mark Logue, Lionel Logue's grandson and the co-author (with Peter Conrad) of The King's Speech: How One Man Saved The British Monarchy. No deleted scenes or out-takes though, sadly.


by  bexter2001  16/05/2011 @ 12:32
Heads up: It's Ryan Gosling who's in Drive, not Ryan Reynolds. Better change it quick or whichever one of them is your good friend will be upset!
by  Matthew Turner  18/05/2011 @ 11:50
Thanks, bexter2001, if that *is* your real name. I would love to
pretend that you'd fallen for the old Deliberate Mistake To Guarantee
Comments On Blog ploy, but it's a fair cop. It is indeed Ryan Gosling
who is in Drive and not My Good Friend Ryan Reynolds, but I'll leave
the mistake in and hope that more people are driven to the comments as a result.

Incidentally, I've added an extra film to the list above (The Artist).
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