Ladies and gentlemen—anyone, really, who cares about his or her mug—step right up. According to a bit of advice proffered in one of the festival editions of The Hollywood Reporter a few days back, the beauty product to buy while in Cannes is Avibon, an "only-in-France aging cream." If sun and cigarettes don't turn your skin to crinkled leather, now there's a product to help you achieve that just-rolled-out-of-the-crypt look.
Ask people about their favorite movies and the same titles come up regularly—Casablanca, Pulp Fiction, Annie Hall, Citizen Kane. But some movies have special meaning for people even if they don't turn up on lists of established favorites. These are the secret movies we keep in our pockets like lucky coins—there's something intimate about them, as if they belong to us alone.
The unlikeliest of all the Hangover trilogy's comic implausibilities might be its four pampered rich-boy leads unironically calling themselves the "Wolf Pack" without anybody ever making fun of them.
|Photo by www.NicoleRivelli.com © 2012 Topeka Productions|
|Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric in Jimmy P.|
In Arnaud Desplechin's English-language Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian), Benicio Del Toro--freed at last from the tyranny of playing bit-part heavies in American thrillers and action movies--is James Picard, a Blackfoot Indian who has lost his way in post-World War II America.
Considering that the Cannes experience consists mostly of critics and other assorted ornery types shambling into theaters, sitting in front of a screenful of flickering images for a few hours and then, like Flash Gordon’s Mole People, tumbling back out into daylight, news travels surprisingly fast.
Earlier today, a colleague and I had just stepped out of a midmorning screening of a rather steamy and interesting little thriller, Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake, when a third colleague began thinking aloud about what he might see next. Earlier in the morning, some of our friends who are surprisingly adept at being in two places at once had seen a picture called The Selfish Giant, screening not in the main competition, but in the Quinzaine, or Directors’ Fortnight, section of the festival. Our colleague told us what he’d heard about the movie, and warned us that it was probably going to be upsetting; a Cannes programmer had told him he still feels a little melancholy every time he thinks about it.
Let’s say that you and your friends get accused of being racist. And let’s say there’s nothing in your heart that fits that accusation. You know you’re a celebrator of freedom, a passionate American who wishes all people could enjoy the best that this country has to offer.
You’re white, incidentally.
One of the most exciting things about attending the Cannes Film Festival is being among the first people to see the films the world will be talking about. That's one of the terrible things, too: There's no one to warn you when you're about to see a puppy murder, a 12-year-old girl borne away toward rape and misery, or a penis doused with lighter fluid and set ablaze.
François Ozon's Young & Beautiful, a portrait of a 17-year-old French call girl is a story about a family in crisis: Isabelle (played by Marine Vacth, a stunning-looking if ultimately inert actress) is a student who still lives at home with her mother, stepfather, and kid brother; no one, least of all mom (Géraldine Pailhas), is too happy when her secret profession comes to light.
The biggest puzzlement of these early days of the festival comes from Sofia Coppola, one of my favorite working directors. Until now, I have loved every one of Coppola's movies: I love her sure and delicate touch, and she's better than any other contemporary filmmaker at capturing the greatness of small moments. The Bling Ring is the first of her pictures that I actively dislike—I sense no mystery, no depth there.
Haphazardly veering between bloody prison stabbings and angelic orphans out-wholesoming the von Trapp brood, the bilingual Aussie drama 33 Postcards is a film as rootless as its foundling protagonist.