★★★☆☆ A gauche young man plays guitar and sings a song he wrote to the devoted pleasure of his parents. That was The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach’s 2005 acerbic comedy of family disintegration. Jesse Eisenberg played the young man, while the song was actually by Pink Floyd which the boy was trying to pass off as his own.
★★★☆☆ There’s something fitting about a zombie movie remake. To paraphrase Vic Reeves, “You wouldn’t let it die”. And if you’re going to remake a zombie film, why not pick one of the best of recent years. That seems to be the thinking behind Michel Hazanavicius’ Final Cut, a zom-com that faithfully replays Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead, which made a crimson splash in 2017.
The Croisette is teeming, the red carpet has been unrolled, and the ticket system is up the spout. In other words, Cannes is back. After the Covid-inflected – if not infected – July 2021 version, there is a sense of renewal as the film industry bounces back with the blockbuster delights of Top Gun: Maverick and a familiar roster of auteur talent.
★★★★★ A family car journey isn’t always an enticing premise – either for a film or in real life. But in Panah Panahi’s feature debut Hit the Road, the ride is one that both the audience and the family featured probably wish would last forever. It’s an intimate, frequently funny, poignant and deeply moving piece of work.
There’s never been a Cannes quite like this. Vaccine passports, saliva tests, face-masks: welcome to the Croisette in the time of Covid. Cannes has returned, following a year long deferral. Spike Lee is again head of the jury and some of the films are the same as Cannes 2020, but overall there is a startling new feeling in the air.
★★★☆☆ Movies love certain professions and psychotherapy is certainly one. They have to listen to people’s problems while (usually) masking their own issues. From Richard Burton in Equus to Billy Crystal in Analyse This, there’s an undoubted attraction to a job which involves lots of listening to other people’s stories.
It’s been a vintage edition of the Cannes Film Festival, with many excellent contenders in the competition. The Palme d’Or went to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho and his masterful black comedy thriller Parasite. It was a popular choice that bested the likes of Ken Loach, Justine Triet and Pedro Almodóvar.
★★★★☆ A highly flammable love affair smoulders in Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is a painter with a spark in her eye. Although she is always aware of convention and tradition, she also knows how to bend the rules to further her own pursuit of art. She smokes a nifty little pipe and is fearless.