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Cannes in Review

Well, it’s almost over. The Cannes film festival – generally praised as the height of sophisticated cinema – will wrap up on Sunday evening. I may have been a bit negative in my coverage of Cannes this year – with jabs at Lars von Trier and Quentin Tarantino who were screening at the festival – but I’m absolutely delighted with how the festival seems to have gone, and with the weather the way it is over here, I figured it was time to run some good news.

Things I like about Cannes #1: I like that it's always sunny in Cannes...

Things I like about Cannes #1: I like that it's always sunny in Cannes...

Just some of the times I really liked:

  • Pixar opening the festival in style and to a standing ovation with Up. You don’t get more commercial than a Disney-financed CGI animated film, and Cannes doesn’t do mainstream. Also, no one ever likes the opening film at Cannes, no matter how artsy it may be. So, that was cause to celebrate.
  • The crop of contenders is seen as relatively strong, and most journalists seem at least happy with them. Keep in mind you don’t get to be a critic by loving everything, so it’s quite rare. Of course, there’s always one exception, and I’m getting to that…
  • Most reviewers saw through Antichrist. I’ve never been a ars Von Trier fan, but the film seems excessive even to me. I was worried that there would be an attempt to paint it as ‘art’, and I am ridiculously happy that (for the most part) that hasn’t happened.
  • Finally, Inglourious Basterds opened to mixed reviews. That may sound like an odd thing to be happy about, but Tarantino doing a ‘Jewxploitation’ film was never going to be embraced by the mainstream in the way anything older than Kill Bill was. I was worried that this would be the dud of the festival, but most reviewers seem to accept that while it isn’t the best, it isn’t the worst either.

There, nothing like a bit of good news to brighten up a Friday morning?

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