Yesterday saw the first full day of screenings at the festival, with Todd Haynes (Carol) Wonderstruck being perhaps the most anticipated, and the first of the day. The film stars Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams (pictured above from the red carpet premiere), is based on Brian Selznick’s novel (he wrote Hugo that Scorsese filmed a few years back) and takes place in two time-zones, 1977 and 1927. Sadly the film received mixed reviews from the critics with The Guardian labelling it a “gooey and indulgent young adult fantasy that fails to inspire awe” but the afternoon screening received a 3-minute standing ovation for it’s director, and The Hollywood Reporter called it “as seductively crafted as anything the director has made”.
Screening in the Quinzaine (Director’s Fortnight) section of the festival was Claire Denis’ latest film, Bright Sunshine In, starring Juliette Binoche. Denis regulars Agnes Godard (her cinematographer) and Stuart Staples (Tindersticks) are back for this sort-of romantic comedy. Variety says it is a “delightful foray into romantic kinda-comedy retains all the director’s signature sensual delicacy.”
Takashi Miike, who seems to make a film every other week, was at Cannes with his 100th film entitled Blade of the Immortal, which tells the tale of a samurai warrior who is able to grow back his limbs. Very handy! Screen Daily says “Miike is on fine form, never losing his sense of humour, or sense of character, even as yet another axe is embedded in yet another skull.”
The Netflix controversy rattles on as Festival president, Pedro Almodovar, commented that he didn’t feel a film that does not receive a theatrical release should be considered for the Palme d’Or, while his jury member Will Smith retaliated that Netflix played no part in what his children watch at the cinema and that it has benefited them by allowing them to watch films they otherwise would not have been able to see elsewhere.
One other controversy that I heard about via a friend who is at the festival, was that he was removed from the queue for a film because he was wearing shorts, and it was not considered “appropriate”! Seems like a hark back to last year’s issue over the wearing of high-heels !