cannesfilmfest09-4-23

You know it to be perhaps the preeminent film festival in the world, yet unless you’re a Weinstein, keeping up with the 70-odd features showing at this year’s 62nd annual Cannes Film Festival might not be easy.  For your convenience (and entertainment), we’ve compiled a short list of some of the better-reviewed, lesser-reviewed, and all-together buzzworthy (for better or worse…) films to have screened so far at the fest.

Let’s start on a positive note…

***Note: We had trouble finding some clips and trailers for certain films. If you find anyone of them, send them our way at tips@screencrave.com or leave a comment below and we’ll add them***

The Good

A Prophet (Un prophète)

by Jacques Audiard

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“Superb prison film that brings new ideas and techniques to the genre …  French master Jacques Audiard has challenged the thus-far mostly middling Cannes competition with a powerful prison drama.” -Hollywood Reporter

“I was waiting to finally discover something exceptional here at Cannes, and this it …  From Tahar Rahim’s stand out performance to Alexandre Desplat’s amazing score to Stéphane Fontaine’s wonderful cinematography, everything about Un Prophete is exceptional.”  -FirstShowing

The Bad

Don’t Look Back (Ne te retourne pas)

by Marina de Van

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“A woman searches for identity. An audience searches for elucidation. Both wind up equally perplexed in Don’t Look Back, an initially intriguing, ultimately incoherent mind-bender…” – ScreenDaily

“A potentially brilliant formal exercise quickly becomes utterly laughable…  The filmmakers have forgotten the old rule that what might make sense in written form can be utterly ridiculous when turned into a visual image.”  -Hollywood Reporter

The Ugly

Kinatay

by Brillante Mendoza

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“An unpleasant journey into a brutal heart of darkness …  On reaching their destination, [a young prostitute] is brought to a room where she’s beaten, raped and finally dismembered. Unfortunately, the graphic nature of the presentation is so coldly matter-of-fact and overtly in-your-face that auds are unlikely to feel anything other than anger at being subjected to such unnecessary scenes.” -Variety

“[Mendoza] makes the rest of the film as unpleasant to the eyes, the ears, the mind and the story itself as possible. This he succeeds in doing beyond his wildest dreams. … Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling “The Brown Bunny” the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.” -Roger Ebert

Best newcomer

Katie Jarvis, in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank

“Newcomer Katie Jarvis is every bit as impressive as Mia, finding the vulnerability of the teenager without recourse to sentimentality or surrendering any of her anger or sarcasm. It is a performance that should win her a lot of attention and add profile to a film that will have to fight for its audience.” -ScreenDaily

“The film belongs to Jarvis, however, and she makes the most of it with expressive features that convey Mia’s mixed-up emotions from raging temper to sweet vulnerability.  She will go far.” -Hollywood Reporter

Here’s a Katie Jarvis montage from her scenes in Fish Tank…


From directors you know…

Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos)

by Pedro Almodóvar

“Pedro Almodóvar reunites with Penélope Cruz for a sensuous film-within-a-film that is a moviegoer’s delight …  After the film is over, its images and characters may well vanish into the air leaving little or no residue in your memory, yet I defy anybody to watch it without a tingle of pure moviegoing pleasure.” -The Guardian

Taking Woodstock

by Ang Lee

“Gentle, genial and about as memorable as a mild reefer high … A sort of let’s-put-on-a-show summer-camp lark for director Ang Lee after the dramatic rigors of Brokeback Mountain and Lust, Caution,  the picture serves up intermittent pleasures but is too raggedy and laid-back for its own good, its images evaporating nearly as soon as they hit the screen.” -Variety

Watch the trailer here…

Thirst

by Park Chan-wook

“Thirst is no Oldboy, nor is it Sympathy for Lady Vengeance – no, it’s not that great, but it’s still good.  … I’d certainly take Thirst any day over the other more mainstream vampire fare these days (like with a character named Edward). But it’s not Chan-wook’s next classic.” -FirstShowing

Here’s a trailer…

What do you think so far?

Written by Bryan Carberry