Cannes 2012: ‘Sightseers’ review

★★★☆☆ Showing in the Directors’ Fortnight strand of the 65th Cannes Film Festival, Ben Wheatley’s Kill List (2011) follow-up Sightseers (2012) is an unexpectedly lighthearted jaunt – with serial killing of course – but a jaunt nonetheless. Taken from a script developed by its two leads Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, initially intended as a…

Cannes 2012: ‘On the Road’ review

★★☆☆☆ It’s been a long journey from the original publication of Jack Kerouac’s beat novel On the Road in 1957 to this Walter Salles-directed big screen adaptation. Over half a century has passed, and in the meantime the cultural influence of the ‘Beat Generation’ has inspired music and film on many different levels. Salles’ On…

Cannes 2012: ‘The Paperboy’ review

★★☆☆☆ Following up on the success of his previous film, Precious (2009), Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy (2012) is a star-studded oddity; an overly-directed pot-boiler unable to decide how seriously it wants to take itself. Narrated by housemaid Anita (Macy Gray), The Paperboy begins with a murder in a small town near Miami. Although everyone else…

Cannes 2012: ‘Killing Them Softly’ review

★★★★☆ In competition for the Palme d’Or and one of the most anticipated American entries of the 65th Cannes Film Festival, Andrew Dominik returns with Killing Them Softly (2012), a sharp, noirish thriller which gave an already rain-soaked Cannes a slick masterclass in how genre movies should be done. Adapted by Dominik from George V….

Cannes 2012: Haneke’s ‘Amour’ wins Palme d’Or

After two weeks of screenings, press conferences and red carpets, Austrian director Michael Haneke’s latest film Amour was awarded the coveted Palme d’Or this evening. Haneke joins an elite club of directors to win the prestigious prize twice, having also won in 2009 for The White Ribbon, and fought off competition from Leos Carax, Cristian…

Cannes 2012: Palme d’Or and other award predictions

As the 65th edition of the Cannes Film Festival draws to a close, predictions are rife about who will win the prestigious Palme d’Or prize, amongst a host of other awards on offer. The field is packed full of former winners (Haneke, Loach, Mungiu and Kiarostami) and each of these all have good claims on…

Cannes 2012: ‘Cosmopolis’ review

★★☆☆☆ A man drives across New York to get a haircut and it takes all day: simplicity itself. Celebrated Canadian director David Cronenberg enters the running for the coveted Palme d’Or prize at the 65th Cannes Film Festival with Cosmopolis (2012), an overly faithful adaptation of the Don DeLillo’s novel of the same name.Eric Packer…

Cannes 2012: ‘Holy Motors’ review

★★★★☆ French-born director Leos Carax returns to cinema screens this year with Holy Motors (2012), his first feature film for over a decade (since 1999’s Pola X ), which premiered at the 65th Cannes Film Festival and has since become somewhat of a late favourite for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize. It’s a truly bizarre,…

Cannes 2012: ‘The Angels’ Share’ review

★★★★☆ Named after the term that describes the amount of alcohol that evaporates from a cask of whisky, The Angels’ Share (2012) finds director Ken Loach – Cannes’ only British Palme d’Or contender – returning to more light-hearted, yet invariably true-to-life and politically-tinged form. Newcomer Paul Brannigan plays Robbie, an untoward young man who, by…

Cannes 2012: ‘After Lucia’ review

★★★★☆ Showing in the Un Certain Regard section at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, Michel Franco’s After Lucia (Después de Lucía, 2012) is a devastating and harrowing look into high school bullying. Following the death of her mother in a car accident, teenager Alejandra (Tessa Ia) and her father Roberto (Hermàn Mendoza), a successful high-end…

Cannes 2012: ‘The Hunt’ review

★★★★☆ Danish director Thomas Vinterberg enters the chase for the Palme d’Or with The Hunt (Jagten, 2012), a tense thriller about a primary school teacher unjustly accused of paedophilia. Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a recent divorcee in the midst of a bitter custody dispute over his teenage son Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrøm), who despite this enjoys…

Cannes 2012: ‘Student’ review

★★☆☆☆ An contemporary re-telling of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Darezhan Omirbaev’s Student (2012) paints a grim portrayal of post-Soviet Kazakhstan, with occasional moments of wry, bitter humour. The film follows a poor, unnamed philosophy student who lives in the basement flat of an old lady’s house, with barely enough money to do anything other than…