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 Post subject: Cannes NOTES - 5 - day 9
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 7:33 pm 
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MAY 25. CANNES DAY 9
A YOUNG IRANIAN DIRECTOR IN COMPETITION; LUHRMANN'S 'ELVIS'; CLAIRE DENIS


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STILL FROM LEILA'S BROTHERS

LEILA'S BROTHERS (Saeed Roustayi)
Cannes. In Competition. This film revolves around the parasitic, misogynistic male relatives of a woman (the excellent Taraneh Alidoosti of THE SALESMAN) who supports them. Bradshaw in The Guardian gives it 4/5 stars and calls it a "fierce Iranian drama." Jordan Mintzer in Hollywood Reporter says Roustayi (or Roustaee? سعید روستایی), who's 32, made one of the most complex crime dramas for the big screen, JUST 6.5, but it hasn't been released in the US. The current picture is a busy, complex portrait of moral corruption and and economy "forever teetering on the brink of disaster." With this third feature, in Competition at Cannes, will bring the young filmmaker wider recognition. The woman supports four useless brothers and her father, "a whining, self-pitying schemer, addicted to opium," Bradshaw explains, who wants to become "'patriarch' of his extended clan," which will bring financial perks. The film is fueled by the "simmering rage" of Leila toward the "contemptible mediocrity" of the lazy, preening males in her family. The film, a compendium of rivalries and frauds, is "Like a massive 19th century novel by Zola or Dickens condensed into a three-hour story," says Mintzer. This sounds like something exciting and new from Iran, bolder, more out there, and more monumental and complex in construction than any other Iranian filmmaker - the work of a new generation, says Variety's critic, who calls it "dense and demanding."
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SAEED ROUSTANYI

MAY 25. CANNES DAY 9: BAZ LUHRMANN'S 'ELVIS'

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[COLOR="#808080"]AUSTIN BUTLER IN ELVIS[/COLOR]

ELVIS (Baz Lurhmann)
Cannes. Out of Competition. Austin Butler plays Elvis; Tom Hanks the Colonel, Maggie Gyllenhaal Elvis' mother, Kodi Smit-McPhee Jimmy Rogers, Kelvin Harrison Jr. B.B. King. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian (who gives it a lousy 2/5 stars) is very disappointed the film follows a "defanged" script that doesn't show Presley's dysfunctional sides. If you like Luhrmann's "signature brash, glitter-bomb maximalism," says David Rooney in Hollywood Reporter, it's pretty great, and by the way it received a 10-minute standing ovation at the premiere, allegedly this year's longest at Cannes so far. (Variety says it was 12 minutes; these figures tend to vary.) Rooney says that "if the writing too seldom measures up to the astonishing visual impact, the affinity the director feels for his showman subject is both contagious and exhausting." Without the interesting omitted details, says Bradshaw, this is "just another exercise in Elvis impersonation, its upper lip twitching to no purpose." And it puts the callousness on the Colonel, and makes the Republican Elvis a liberal. Mix the views out with Joshua Rothkopf's rave in Entertainment, and Robbie Collin's and Clarisse Loughrey's high praise in The Telegraph and The Independent respectively, and you get the rating: 61%. The film comes out in theaters June 24, 2022. The trailer makes you want to see it, and at the same time think maybe you already have.

ELVIS TRAILER

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[COLOR="#808080"]AUSTIN BUTLER, TOM HANKS IN ELVIS[/COLOR]

MAY 25. CANNES DAY 9: CLAIRE DENIS' 2ND-EVER COMPETITION ENTRY

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JOE ALWYN, MARGARET QUALLEY IN STARS AT NOON

STARS AT NOON (Claire Denis)
Cannes. In Competition. "Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn work up a sweat in Claire Denis' seductive Latin American escapade," reports Variety. In the film, which Quailey carries, she's an American journalist in Nicaragua who lies on a hotel bed having intercourse with a young officer, pining for more romantic times, like those of Graham Greene, perhaps. Denis is updating the 1984 Denis Johnson novel The Stars at Noon to the present Covid era and shows that "young rebels — and officials, and outlaws, and shady international oilmen, and drifters who don’t know exactly what they are — can still be very sexy indeed," especially when played with "teasing, taciturn, ten-drinks-down chemistry by performers as gorgeous as Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn." The BBC calls this "a beguiling, immersive film" that's "beautifully made," even if "its plot drifts in places." David Rooney in Hollywood Reporter notes Cannes has slighted Denis: this is only her second Competition slot since CHOCOLAT. But sadly, says Rooney, this is one of her "least interesting films," with "unpersuasive" lead performances" and overall "almost perversely lacking in dramatic tension or in momentum." Writing for Deadline, Todd McCarthy also uses the word "unpersuasive," plus "listless." Bradshaw finds STARS' languidness turns to lethargy, and its leads lack chemistry and conviction. Alas, the Cannes selection committee should have brought her in for 35 SHOTS OF RUM or HIGH LIFE instead of this and she'd have had a much better chance at the Palm.

MAY 25. CANNES DAY 9

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Leah Mondesir Simmons, Eva-Arianna Baxter as young versions of the girls in The Silent Twins. Photo: Jakub Kijowski/Focus Features

THE SILENT TWINS (Agnieszka Smoczyńska)
Cannes, Un Certain Regard. Tim Grierson of Screen Daily calls this based on fact tale of Welsh twin sisters June and Jennifer Gibbons who speak only to each other "A willfully challenging, sometimes abrasive drama." Bradshaw gives it 4/5 stars in The Guardian ("well acted, disturbing"). This is a true story - there is a 1994 BBC documentary - about twin girls in Wales with a speech impediment who are withdrawn, strange, and violent, turning to crime. (Story on YouTube.) They had artistic (literary) ambitions and did a lot of writing (one self-published a novel); were committed to various institutions; spoke in their own "language." Interesting but creepy tale well dramatized in this Polish-UK production. "An engrossing, well-acted story," writes Bradshaw, "disturbing but also tender and sad." Letitia Wright (BLACK PANTHER) will bring star power to the role of one of the adult twins, and especially toward the end, Grierson says, "it is hard not to be moved by Smoczynska’s uncompromising approach."

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