DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: Cannes 2009 Scorecard - Day 6

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Cannes 2009 Scorecard - Day 6

LOOKING FOR ERIC (UK and others) dir. Ken Loach
A domestic drama starring former soccer star Eric Cantona as a postman and familyman whose lost love 30 years ago causes him to journey into his past to reconcile his internal pain.

Sukhdev Sandhu, Telegraph UK, calls it "endearing, crowd-pleasing fare".

Peter Bradshaw, Guardian UK, concurs, "a lovably good-natured if erratic comedy...It's a bit like Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam. This is Kick It Like Eric. (Or maybe Kick Him Like Eric.) The difference is that Woody had to make do with an actor who only looked like Humphrey Bogart. Ken Loach has got the real thing (played, as it says in the credits, by "lui-même"): Cantona is excellent comic value, although his accent is still a bit impenetrable, and it isn't easy to tell if he is speaking in French or English."

Dave Calhou, Timeout, says, "It’s Loach’s most accessible film in years."

ANTICHRIST (Denmark and others) dir. Lars Von Trier
Easily the most hotly anticipated Von Trier film in years, a genre film perhaps? The Cannes synopsis reads as this: A grieving couple retreat to ’Eden’, their isolated cabin in the woods, where they hope to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse...

Peter Brunette, The Hollywood Reporter, writes "Danish director's overly fecund imagination overwhelms a slight but visually splendid story...Lars von Trier is in no danger of jeopardizing his reign as the most controversial major director working today. Visually gorgeous to a fault and teeming with grandiose if often fascinating ideas that overwhelm the modest story that serves as their vehicle, this may be the least artistically successful film von Trier has ever made. As such, commercial prospects appear slim, though many of the auteur's most ardent fans will want to see the film anyway. And they should."

Jonathan Romney, Screendaily, writes, "Some von Trier fans will welcome his return to the elaborate visual invention he abandoned with the founding of Dogme. But in the wider world, Antichrist will prove too loopy and coarse for art-house audiences, while genre horror buffs – however cleverly the film is sold to them - will spurn the film, much as they did Michael Haneke’s US Funny Games remake."

Jeffrey Wells, of Hollywood Elsewhere hated it, "easily one of the biggest debacles in Cannes Film Festival history and the complete meltdown of a major film artist in a way that invites comparison to the sinking of the Titanic"

Roger Ebert, writes, "Whether this is a bad, good or great film is entirely beside the point. It is an audacious spit in the eye of society... Von Trier is not so much making a film about violence as making a film to inflict violence upon us, perhaps as a salutary experience. It's been reported that he suffered from depression during and after the film. You can tell. This is the most despairing film I've ever have seen."

Manohla Dargis, NY Times, seemed to like it, "Chaos reigns if not narrative sense, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that this impossible movie kept me hooked from start to finish"

INDEPENDENCIA (Philippines, France and other) dir, Raya Martin
(En Certain Regard) Early 20th century Philippines. The sounds of war signal the arrival of the Americans. A mother and son flee to the mountains, hoping for a quiet life. One day, the son discovers a wounded woman in the middle of the forest, and decides to bring her home. Years pass. Man, woman and child live in isolation from the growing chaos all over the country. But a coming storm soon threatens their existence, and American troops draw nearer.

Howard Feinstein, Screendaily, writes, "Generically, Independencia is as melodramatic as they come. Besides the family narrative and the acting style, the music, as lovely as it is, is continuous, insistent, and frequently mournful, with horns, guitar, flute, violin, and cello accompanying or anticipating every element of what little plot exists."

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