The 71st Cannes Film Festival runs this year from 8th to 19th May inclusive with Australia's very own Cate Blanchett named as the Jury President for those twenty-one feature films competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or. This year the opening film is by Iranian Director and Screenwriter Asghar Farhadi with his Spanish language psychological thriller 'Everybody Know's' starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Ricardo Darin and Barbara Lennie. The closing film and screening out of competition is Terry Gilliam's lifetime in gestation on again off again passion project 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' starring Jonathan Pryce, Adam Driver, Stellan Skarsgard, and Olga Kurylenko.
Of the twenty-one films in main competition for the Palme d'Or there are entries from far and wide ranging from Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, South Korea, Lebanon, Japan, Egypt, Kazakhstan, France, Italy and the USA, with nothing this year from the UK or Australia. Included in this list are : 'Burning' from South Korea and starring Steven Yuen; 'BlacKkKlansman' from the USA, Directed by Spike Lee and starring Adam Driver, Topher Grace and Harry Belafonte; 'Everybody Knows' as previously mentioned; 'Under the Silver Lake' from the USA and starring Andrew Garfield, Topher Grace, and Riley Keough; 'The Image Book' a French/Swiss Co-Production Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Judges for this award also include Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Denis Villeneuve and Andrey Zvyagintsev.
There are eighteen films in the Un Certain Regard category this year, overseen by Jury President Benicio del Toro spanning an equally diverse geographical spread as the above category and also taking in Kenya, India, Ukraine, Belgium, Germany and Argentina. Included in this list are : 'Angel Face' from France starring Marion Cotillard; 'Donbass' from the Ukraine and the opening film in this selected category; 'The Dead and the Others' from Portugal; 'Rafiki' from Kenya; 'Girl' from Belgium; 'Long Day's Journey into Night' from China; 'Manto' from India; and 'Die, Monster, Die' from Argentina.
Those films being screened out of competition include the Kevin Connolly Directed biographical drama 'Gotti' about the life of New York City mobster John Gotti (John Travolta) and his son. The film also stars Kelly Preston and Stacy Keach. Then there is the Lars von Trier Directed 'The House That Jack Built' starring Matt Dillon as Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer over the course of twelve years. Also starring Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman and Riley Keough. Terry Gilliam's 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' screens as the closing night film, and Ron Howard's 'Solo : A Star Wars Story' the second standalone film in the Star Wars Universe charting the early years and the rise to intergalactic notoriety of one Hans Solo (Alden Ehrenreich).
For more details, go to : festival-cannes.com
This week we have five new movies coming to your local Odeon. We launch with another Marvel character who first emerged onto our screens all foul mouthed, heavily opinionated, guns blazing and almost indestructible just two years ago and here that Superhero is back for a second time to save a young mutant lad from a time travelling cyber assassin, whilst rounding up a new cadre of colleagues to help save the world. We then switch to a post apocalyptic zombie drama about one mans race against time to save his infant daughter from a deadly virus that he is already infected with. Next up is a fantasy drama about a young teenager who lives in a make believe world inhabited by giants that only she can see, but to her they are very real, and must be killed. We then move to a WWII drama that sees a German Officer falling for a young Jewish maid who is also a Secret Agent, and the choices he must make, and the consequences of his decisions. Wrapping up the week is a French foreign language RomCom about a woman going through a mid-life crisis of a failed marriage, no job and about to become a Grandmother, finding salvation and given a second chance by a old flame from her dim and distant past.
Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the five latest release new movies as Previewed below, or those doing the rounds currently on general release and as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, you are here cordially invited to share your movie going thoughts, opinions and observations by leaving your relevant, succinct and appropriate views in the Comments section below this or any other Post. We'd love to hear from you, and meanwhile, enjoy your big screen Odeon outing during the week ahead.
'DEADPOOL 2' (Rated MA15+) - based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name who first appeared in the 1991 publication of 'The New Mutants', here we have the sequel to the Critically and financially successful 2016 antihero Superhero film 'Deadpool' which off the back of a budget of US$58M grossed worldwide US$783M and collected 28 award wins and another 75 nominations from around the awards circuit. Despite the first films success, plans were already underway for a follow up film even before the release of the initial 'Deadpool' introductory instalment, with 'Deadpool 3' already in development. That first film was Directed by Tim Miller, although he did not return for this segment due to creative differences with Co-Producer, Co-Writer and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds. Instead David Leitch signed on to Direct (whose previous Directorial outings include 'Atomic Blonde' and the upcoming 2019 'Fast & Furious' spin off 'Hobbs & Shaw'). Although a Marvel Comics character, Deadpool does not belong in the world of The Avengers or the MCU, but rather sits within the 'X-Men' franchise, and as such this is intended to be the eleventh film in that series.
'CARGO' (Rated MA15+) - this Australian post-apocalyptic zombie thriller is written by Yolanda Ramke and is Co-Directed by her and Ben Howling and is based on their own 2013 Sydney shortfilm festival 'Tropfest' seven minute film entry of the same name. The film first Premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival back in October last year and now gets its limited release in theatres in Australia as well as on Netflix. Starring Martin Freeman as Andy Rose who following a violent pandemic is holed up on a houseboat with with Kay Caine (Susie Porter) and their one year old child, Rosie. When an unexpected violent attack kills Kay and leaves Andy infected with a killer virus that will turn him into one of the walking dead within 48 hours, he embarks on a perilous journey to find salvation for his daughter - an Aboriginal tribe and a young indigenous girl being the only means of safe passage into that remote community, but the girl also has her own agenda. Also starring Anthony Hayes, Caren Pistorius, David Gulpilil and Kris McQuade.
'I KILL GIANTS' (Rated PG) - this fantasy drama film is helmed by first time feature film Danish Director Anders Walter who picked up an Academy Award in 2013 for Best Live Action Short Film, 'Helium'. The story is based on the limited series American comic book of the same name released over seven issues from July 2008 onwards and written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by J.M. Ken Nimura. The film Premiered at Toronto in September last year and went on general release in the US in late march and has so far taken just US$184K at the Box Office despite its generally favourable press. Here twelve year old Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe) flees from reality, choosing to reside in her imaginary world of fantasy and magic, where she fights with giants to protect her beachside New Jersey hometown, and kills them. Her family does not understand her, her peers at school do not like her and she is bullied, and she irritates the teachers, except for newly arrived school psychologist Mrs. Molle (Zoe Saldana) who takes it upon herself to discover more about young Barbara's 'condition'. Only Sofia (Sydney Wade) recently moved into the neighbourhood and of a similar age, tries to make friends with her, understand her and show some empathy. Also starring Imogen Poots as Barbara's older sister, Karen. Wolfe's performance has in particular been praised.
'THE EXCEPTION' (Rated MA15+) - in his Directorial debut British David Leveaux adapts the 2003 novel by Alan Judd 'The Kaiser's Last Kiss' which was Premiered at TIFF in September 2016, was released in the US in June 2017, the UK in October 2017 and now only gets a limited theatrical release in Australia. The film has so far met with mixed or average Reviews and a Box Office take of just US$804K. It is the early days of WWII and German Officer Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) is given a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a remote mansion near Utrecht in the Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country's authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be monitoring the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser's life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke de Jong (Lily James), one of the Kaiser's maids. But Mieke in time reveals that she is secretly Jewish, and furthermore that she is a British Secret Service Agent. When SS Commander Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan) pays a visit, Brandt must choose between protecting his love and toeing the Nazi party line. Also starring Janet McTeer, Ben Daniels, Mark Dexter and Kris Cuppens.
'AURORE' (Rated M) - in only her second feature length Directorial outing, this French foreign language romantic comedy film (aka 'I Got Life' and 'Fifty Springtimes') was also Co-Written for the screen based on an original idea by Blandine Lenoir and has received generally positive Reviews. Here she crafts the story of Aurore (Agnes Jaoui) a woman in her fifties, menopausal, separated from her husband, loses her job, and finds out that she is about to become a grandmother. Realising that she is being pushed to the very edge of society, she unexpectedly rediscovers a love from her much younger days. Picking herself up by her coat tails, Aurore decides to rebel against the cards she has been dealt and instead grasp this new opportunity to make a new life for herself. Also starring Sarah Suco, Pascale Arbillot, Thibault de Montalembert and Lou Roy-Lecollinet.
With five new release films out this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephile friends afterwards here at Odeon Online. In the meantime, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-