BRIGHT STAR (UK, Australia) DIR. Jane Campion
The story of a secret love affair begins between 23 year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, an outspoken student of fashion.
David Gritten, Guardian UK gave the film a full 5 Stars, and "a welcome return to form ", saying "The story of their slow-burning affair, which was halted by Keats' succumbing to tuberculosis, is told largely from Fanny's viewpoint in this British-Australian co-production – a period film and a biopic that thankfully never feels a typical example of either genre."
Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter admits it's not mainstream fare, "it's doubtful that "Bright Star" will be the shining light at many suburban cineplexes, but festivals will eat it up, art house audiences will swoon and it will have a lucrative life on DVD and Blu-ray, not to mention the BBC and PBS"
Allan Hunter, Screendaily says, "Jane Campion has found renewed artistic inspiration".
BAK-JWI (aka THIRST) (Korea) dir. Chan Wook-Park
The latest film from the Old Boy director about a humble priest who travels to Africa on a mission to become a test subject against a new killer virus, dies, then is miraculously resurrected as a vampire.
Darcy Paquet of Screendaily sees Thirst as a return to form, calling it "a complex and supremely inventive work...Although the focus of its narrative movement is not always clear, in its best moments, Thirst offers something of the poetic force of cinema’s timeless masterpieces."
Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter says, ""Thirst" is a torrid expression of predatory instinct and insatiable, all-consuming love" and "A cinematic maelstorm of bloodlust and sensual obssession projected through Park Chan-wook's runaway imagination."
Alex Billington of First Showing gives the film a 7 out of 10. He tempers his expectations as a Wook-Park fan saying "Thirst is no Oldboy, nor is it Sympathy for Lady Vengeance - no, it's not that great, but it's still good."
POLITIST, ADJECTIV (aka Police, Adjective) (Romania) dir. Corneliu Porumboiu
Cristi is a policeman who refuses to arrest a young man who offers hashish to two of his school mates. “Offering” is punished by the law. Cristi believes that the law will change, he does not want the life of a young man he considers irresponsible to be a burden on his conscience. For his superior the word conscience has a different meaning…
Jay Weissberg of Variety writes "Euro and bicoastal arthouse play is assured, though some auds may find the actionless passages taxing". Of the director's style, he writes, "Porumboiu is one of the few helmers working today who so completely understands both the power of language and the power of visuals. He brings this intelligence to bear on the corrupting influence of a system that exerted control for generations, arguing that such systems die very hard deaths."
PRECIOUS (US) dir. Lee Daniels
Previously titled "Push" Lee Daniels's Sundance discovery comes to Cannes to make some International Sales deals. It's a great film. Read my Sundance review HERE.