DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: Cannes 2010 Scorecard - Day 3

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Cannes 2010 Scorecard - Day 3

THE HOUSEMAID (South Korea) dir. Im Sangoo
Lee Euny is hired as a housemaid in an upper class family. Soon enough, master of the house Hoon will become her lover. The family’s world will begin to fall apart.

Maggie Lee (The Hollywood Reporter) writes, "An operatic, sensuous social satire that dares to be different from the original classic. Im Sang-soo's version, far from being a masterpiece, is not even subtle. Yet, he deserves credit for his gutsy departure from the original, rather than doing a carbon copy "remake" a la Gus Van Sant's "Psycho." The outcome is a flamingly sexy soap opera whose satire on high society is sometimes as savage as Claude Chabrol's "La ceremonie.""

Lee Marshall (Screen Daily) writes, "Tasty, full of black humour, but finally upended by the mannerist games it plays so ably, erotic thriller The Housemaid is a smart but shallow remake of Kim Ki-young’s cult 1960 Korean movie of the same name."

Brad Brevet (Ropes of Silicon) says it's "an erotic revenge thriller that doesn't entirely work, but is twisted enough to keep you engaged the entire way. This is partly due to Sang-soo's direction, but even more so the talent in front of the camera as each actor carries their weight every step of the way, allowing me to dote on this film a little more than I otherwise would have had it been in less capable hands. Additionally, a series of themes and happenings keep you guessing as to their meaning throughout the picture and their overall impact on the story is impressive."

AURORA (Romania) dir. Cristi Puiu
En Certain Regard
An apartment kitchen: a man and a woman discuss Little Red Riding Hood, their voices hushed, mindful of waking the little girl sleeping in the next room. A wasteland on the city’s outskirts: behind a line of abandoned trailers, the man silently watches what seems to be a family. The same city, the same man: driving through traffic with two hand-made firing pins for a hunting rifle. The man is 42 years old, his name - Viorel. Troubled by obscure thoughts, he drives across the city to a destination known only to him.

Eric Kohn (Indie Wire) writes, "A slow burn thriller taken to the extreme, Cristi Puiu’s “Aurora” continues the Romanian writer-director’s obsession with time as his main narrative device. Whereas Puiu previously applied a patient, naturalistic approach to the final day of a dying man in 2005’s “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu,” his new three-hour opus studies a dead man walking...not much happens, and that’s the point. Puiu constructs Viorel’s gradual downfall as a purposefully overextended black comedy."

Geoff Andrew (TimeOut) writes, "Aurora’ will not be to everyone’s taste, but it is undoubtedly the work of an audacious, intelligent writer-director (and, at least for now, actor) who’s both ready and very able to deal with areas of human experience of which many other filmmakers seem barely to be aware. It was the inescapable fact of mortality in ‘Mr Lazarescu’; here it is the pain and confusion of just being alive. And Puiu’s special approach to the realist aesthetic ensures that ‘Aurora’ rings unusually true. Superb stuff."

CHATROOM (Japan) dir. Hideo Nakata
En Certain Regard
When five teenagers meet online, innocent friendships are forged. But soon one dysfunctional member of the group, increasingly drawn to the darker side of the online world, singles out the most vulnerable in the group and seizes the chance to erase his own past. A chance to manipulate, to make a statement: a chance to lead someone down the path of no return. Set in both online and offline worlds, this smart psychological thriller has a poignant relevancy, exposing the chilling reality of what happens when the lines between reality and cyberspace become blurred...

Dave Calhoun (TimeOut) writes, "what makes this creepy and often very inventive film distinctive is that it’s mostly set on the internet – in chat rooms where five teens, including Aaron Johnson, play out their neuroses and aspirations. It gets a little hysterical, and Nakata is much better with the digital world than the real one, but it’s a good stab at encapsulating the chaos of the net and the fragility of many of the young personalities inhabiting it."


Pascal said...

The Housemaid is a remake of a 1960 Korean thriller of the same name. It's quite good - you can see it for free online at MUBI here:


Interesting how the Koreans are now remaking their own classics...

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