Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

Two of the early surprises were documentaries from HBO: Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes directed by Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Hillary) where we get to see the screen star as she navigated fame; and Faye directed by Laurent Bouzereau (Five Came Back) focusing on Faye Dunaway, who personally came to Cannes and spoke of her trials with her mental health.

Just before the Roland Garros (French Open) tournament, where Rafal Nadal played one of his last matches (though he will compete in the Paris Olympics) and Andy Murray was defeated by another aging tennis player Stan Wawrinka, the long-retired Romanian player Ilie Nastase, 77, was the subject of a fabulous documentary, Nasty (his nickname) [below] which traces the exploits and incredible playing of the original bad boy of tennis.

We all love a good comedy and Rumours, directed by Canadian Guy Maddin and his regular collaborators, the brothers Evan and Galen Johnson, indeed is very funny — and absurd. Set at a G7 conference, Cate Blanchett hams it up as the German Chancellor, while Charles Dance is the US President with a British accent. All the world leaders are clueless as they are stranded in a forest and are confronted by masturbating zombies and a giant glowing brain. Essentially the film is a satire on crisis management as the world faces an apocalypse.

Nicolas Cage made a whistle stop for the premiere of The Surfer, a psychological thriller where one critic wrote that an unhinged Cage “is at his rowdiest best”. Shot in Western Australia by Irish director Lorcan Finnegan, the film depicted surfers as mean brutes aka the villains of the piece, who try to put Cage’s wealthy American, who has come back to where he grew up, in his place. Julian McMahon is the surfers’ ringleader.

Pierre Niney is fine in two very different guises in The Count of Monte Cristo, first as a man unjustly imprisoned and then very sexy as the Count, out to extract his revenge. The French star should venture to Australia with his Brisbane-born wife, Natasha Andrews, to plug the highly commercial film next year.

With Oh, Canada [below], Paul Schrader makes his best film in a while and after working with Joel Edgerton on Master Gardener he teams up with Australian Jacob Elordi to play a young Richard Gere in the days when he was dodging the draft for the Vietnam War. But it’s very much Gere’s film, and the actor who was Schrader’s lead in 1980’s American Gigolo, delivers a fine performance as an esteemed documentary filmmaker who is terminally ill and gives a final revealing interview about his life, with his wife, deftly played by Uma Thurman, by his side.

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

Another competition film The Apprentice likewise went away empty-handed in the awards. After winning the best actor Silver Bear in Berlin for A Different Man, Sebastian Stan was unlikely to take away a prize for his portrayal as a young Donald Trump. Still, there is a canny resemblance — that jaw, that way of speaking and that hair. The film follows Trump’s mentoring by Roy Cohn and Succession star Jeremy Strong is remarkable in the role, as always. There is a television feel to the film, which director Ali Abbasi (who had made 2022’s Holy Spider, for which Zar Amir Ebrahimi won for best actress) admits is deliberate. Trump’s lawyers have filed a lawsuit which prevents the film from being sold or distributed in the US, though this will likely be resolved around the time of the US election. There is a controversial scene where Trump rapes his first wife Ivana (Maria Bakalova from Borat 2) which a Trump spokesman has called “pure fiction”.

Two English-language stars appeared in tiny roles in poorly received foreign productions. Matt Dillon plays Marlon Brando in Maria, about Maria Schneider and the filming of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris; while Gary Oldman, as US author John Cheever, fares better in Paolo Sorrentino’s Parthenope, the story of a mythic Neapolitan beauty who reflects the city of her birth. The good-natured Oldman certainly seemed to be having fun with fans, signing autographs and enjoying the adulation.

Interestingly, Saint Laurent productions were involved in producing three Cannes films: David Cronenberg’s highly personal The Shrouds [below], about a man (Vincent Cassel) who is so bereaved by the passing of his wife (Cronenberg draws on the experience of losing his own wife) that he develops a technical innovation which allows grieving loved ones to watch over their deceased in their resting places; Emilia Perez, the smash festival hit that took out the best actress prize for its four performers, Karla Sofia Gascon, Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldana and Adriana Paz – Netflix is nearing a deal; and Sorrentino’s Parthenope.

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

While officially Netflix are not allowed to have films in the Cannes competition — films without theatrical distribution cannot play there – they had participation in three French films, none of which made an impression. Quentin Dupieux’s opening film, The Second Act, which played out of competition, was the dull telling of the making of a film even if it features leading stars including Lea Seydoux and Louis Garrel; Gilles Lellouche’s competition title, Beating Hearts [below], which follows a love story between two of France’s biggest young stars, Adele Exarchopoulos and Francois Civil: and a restoration of Abel Gance’s 1927 film Napoleon, which opened Cannes Classics and may enjoy a strong life once people see it.

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

Kevin Costner’s old fashioned three-hour western, Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1, which features Sam Worthington [below] as a military man (he wisely did not turn up in Cannes) did not fare well with critics. The Hollywood Reporter devoted an entire article to the reviews, citing several quotes in its headline which call the film “A Clumsy Slog Beyond Saving”, “the dullest vanity project of the century” and “more Waterworld than Dances with Wolves”.

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis, despite some impressive visuals, fared even worse with critics, with Variety noting that “Coppola’s Bold, Ungainly Epic Crams in Half a Dozen Stars and Decades’ Worth of Ideas”, while Deadline notes “True to the advance gossip, Megalopolis is something of a mess — unruly, exaggerated, and drawn to pretension like a moth to a flame.”

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

Three French films attracted considerable attention in festival sidebars. The Directors Fortnight opener, This Life of Mine directed by the late Sophie Fillieres, is an amusing, bittersweet chronicle of mental illness starring Agnes Jaoui; Noemie Merlant directs and stars in the sometimes funny, sometimes shocking The Balconettes [above], where a trio of Marseilles women take extreme action when faced with unacceptable male behaviour — it’s best not to read any reviews before watching the film; and in the crowd-pleasing The Marching Band [below], Benjamin Lavernhe stars as an ailing orchestra conductor, who when searching for matching bone marrow, discovers he has a working class brother with musical talent living in a struggling mining town.

Cannes: That’s a Wrap | FilmInk The Global Tofay Global Today

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