DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: Cannes 2010 Scorecard - Day 4

Sunday 16 May 2010

Cannes 2010 Scorecard - Day 4

ANOTHER YEAR (UK) dir. Mike Leigh
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Family and friendship.
Love and warmth. Joy and sadness. Hope and despair.
Companionship. Loneliness. A birth. A death. Time passes.....

Anthony Kaufman (IFC) finds it an "intimate, funny and finely crafted multi-character portrait... While Staunton's memorably irritable and intensely troubled woman is not part of the central story, Leigh foretells the terrain he wants to tackle in this opening scene: about those who are fulfilled, and those who are not, and the fickle ways of life that keep some people from happiness."

Charles Gant (Telegraph UK) writes, "Audiences not endeared by the singsong cadences and nervous giggles of the strange creatures that always seem to inhabit Leigh World will find further opportunities for irritation, and Manville's high-energy performance initially throws up the odd red flag. But, like Sally Hawkins in the director's last picture Happy-Go-Lucky, it's a real grower, powered by wonderful comic moments, jealous glances, neurotic sparks and, finally, quiet reflection. Broadbent is more restrained - much more - and his masterclass in economy unwittingly steals the film."

Ray Bennett (The Hollywood Reporter) writes, "Mike Leigh studies loneliness at a well-crafted but funereal pace...The veteran British director draws typically skillful performances from his cast of mostly regulars, and there are fine contributions from cinematographer Dick Pope and composer Gary Yershon. It's a sedate film without drama that festival juries could well fall in love with, but moviegoers might decide that their own brand of misery is quite sufficient, thanks."

THE CITY BELOW (Germany) dir. Christophe Hochhausler
En Certain Regard
A man and a woman at an art exhibition share a fleeting moment of attraction, which neither can act upon. Days later, a chance second meeting leads to an innocent coffee and the two strangers – both married - toy with their unexplainable fascination for each other. Svenja is curious and finds herself in a hotel room with Roland, but she does not consummate an affair. A powerful executive at the large bank where Svenja's husband works, Roland is used to getting what he wants. He manipulates the transfer of her husband to Indonesia to replace a recently murdered bank manager. Unaware of Roland’s actions, Svenja now ceases to resist...

Natasha Senjanovic (The Hollywood Reporter) writes, "Christoph Hochhausler makes his second appearance in Un Certain Regard with the dispassionate "The City Below," an artsy cross between "Wall Street" and "Fatal Attraction." The filmmaker takes advantage of the current crisis to the use the banking world as shorthand for emotional nefariousness, but his auteur approach renders it almost absurdly simplistic."

Boyd Van Hoeij (Variety) writes, "Private and professional spheres clash violently in Christoph Hochhausler's otherwise solemn Teuton drama "The City Below." Impressively assembled and acted, helmer's third outing after "This Very Moment" and "Low Profile" offers a clinical but always interesting observation of an illicit affair against the backdrop of the Frankfurt banking world. Serious-minded arthouse item, which could have used a bit more of the dark humor that only occasionally surfaces, goes out in Deutschland in October and should love up to other fests after its Cannes preem."

HEARTBEATS(Canada) dir. Xavier Dolan
En Certain Regard
Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Mary (Monia Chokri) are good friends. One night, they meet Nick (Niels Schneider), a young man from the country who has just settled in Montreal. From encounter to encounter, from moment to moment, troubled by innumerable signs - some real, some imagined - Francis and Mary fall deeper and deeper into their fantastical obsession. Soon, they find themselves on the precipice of a love duel that threathens the friendship they once thought indestructible.

Mike Goodridge (Screen Daily) writes, "The second film from the precociously talented 21 year-old Canadian Xavier Dolan is alternately infuriating and delicious. While Dolan’s visual tricksiness and mannerisms wear on the patience, he does achieve occasional moments of visual poetry and, appropriately bearing in mind his age, captures the despair and longing of young heartache. This time he also laces the angst with a dose of caustic humour missing from last year’s I Killed My Mother."

Eric Kohn (Indiewire) seems to concur, "A hyperstylized “Jules and Jim” update, Canadian actor-turned-filmmaker prodigy Xavier Dolan’s French language romance “Heartbeats” (“Les Amour Imaginaires”) is as hip as he intends it. At the same time, this chic look at a bisexual love triangle occasionally feels too entangled in its own cool maneuvers. Moving beyond the subtly believable relationships of his 2009 directorial debut, “I Killed My Mother,” Dolan has apparently cultivated an obsession with cinematic overstatement—albeit an effective one."

Alex Billington (FirstShowing.net) loves it, "I'm not even sure how to explain the style of the film, since I could categorize it as hyper-stylized, but it was one of the most beautifully shot films at Cannes this year and one film that I will definitely not be forgetting anytime soon. Its a uniquely modern bit of cinema that I'm absolutely in love with and I can't even begin to think about it without listening to Dalida's "Bang, Bang" which is used almost as a theme song in the film."

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