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CANNES FESTIVAL – A very tarantinesque UPON UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD came and went (Best Acting Prize to Leonardo DiCaprio, please!)

This film is competing for the Palme D'Or

This year, there was a before- and an after-Tarantino Cannes Festival. Quentin Tarantino's new film “Once upon a time in Hollywood” was the marker. And it was also the most anticipated film of the 2019 festival. What a party! There is no other American auteur who can command the kinds of huge crowds like the ones seen yesterday in Cannes, when he and the cast walked the red carpet. The Croisette ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL – The grifter family versus the perfect family in the entertaining PARASITE

This film is competing for the Palme D'Or

“Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-Ho, is a comedy that glistens with irony about an elaborate con. The covetous greed of the poor is pitted against the dull indulgence of the wealthy in a manichean duel for supremacy, to realistic effect. Will the world one day see an all-out war between the classes? Occupy Wall Street, the Yellow Vest movement, are those harbingers? These movements have come and ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL – A so-so “Frankie” gets elevated by a great performance by Isabelle Huppert

"Frankie" is in the running for a Palme D'Or

An exotic locale in beautiful Portugal, an unaffected and powerful performance by a star actress and existential worriment. This is what you can expect from “Frankie,” an ensemble film directed by Ira Sachs that’s asthmatic and lacks energy but fascinated me, nevertheless, because of its main actress Isabelle Huppert and her incredible on-screen presence. Huppert is one of France’s ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL – “Young Ahmed,” a story of mental bondage

This film is competing for a Palme D'Or

It’d be understandable to want to interpret the new Dardenne Brothers movie as finger-pointing at the insidious and virulent strain of religiosity that’s going around the world right now, that is, Islamism. But enslavement, of the mind (to someone else’s viewpoint, a submission to a code of beliefs that’s toxic, that will make you do irrational things, like commit murder) and, more to the point, ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL – “A hidden life,” a Terrence Malick film in Cannes

This film is competing for the Palme D'Or

Terrence Malick has directed “A Hidden Life,” a very enjoyable contemplation on World War II, on freedom, on good and evil, and on God. His film asks, where was God during WWII? Radegund, a beautiful village in the Austrian Alps. Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis or pledge allegiance to them. Franz has a farm in these beautiful mountains that he tends ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL – Moving and magical PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

This film is competing for a Palme D'Or

The year is 1770. Marianne (Noémie Merlant), the daughter of a renowned painter and a painter herself travels to an island off the coast of Brittany, tasked with painting the portrait of a noblewoman, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). Héloïse has recently left the convent where she led a life of seclusion because of a family tragedy: Her sister has met a tragic end on the verge of marrying a Milanese ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL – Diao Yinan’s WILD GOOSE LAKE

"Wild Goose Lake" is competing for the Palme D'Or

A gang leader on the lam in search of redemption. A prostitute eager to gain her freedom back. Together they will decide to play one last gamble with their fate, the proverbial last big hit. Within this narrative proposition, a discrete romantic plot that will come to fit within the film’s dramatic structure. This is “Wild Goose Lake,” by Chinese director Yi'nan Diao, a film that’s inferior to his ... more >