The world’s most prestigious film festival is currently taking place in Cannes and as usual, it would appear that most of London’s Soho has decamped to the south of France to talk shop, watch films and soak up the sun. The only problem is the sun has been conspicuous by its absence. This isn’t usually an issue but when you are in possession of a bog standard festival badge, getting to see any of the big name films tends to involve a lot of queuing outside. As a consequence most of the first three days of my festival experience were characterised by wet feet.
Luckily, as is usually the case, the films on offer have been of an exceptionally high standard and make the potential onset of trench foot well worthwhile. Last year the two big hits that arose from the festival were Nicolas Winding Refn’s stylish thriller Drive and the Oscar winning silent marvel, The Artist. A lot of talk has been around what could potentially be this year’s similar break out hits.
The obvious comparison for Drive is the Brad Pitt starring Killing Them Softly. A brutal and brilliant crime drama set against the backdrop of the current economic crisis in the US. Director Andrew Dominik injects oodles of style into proceedings and my initial feeling is that it’s a stronger proposition than the Ryan Gosling stunner.
The Artist is obviously one of a kind but as he did with the current Oscar best picture winner, Harvey Weinstein has already picked up The Sapphires for UK distribution. Telling the true story of an aboriginal girl band who go on tour of Vietnam during the war to entertain the troops. It’s a genuine crowd pleaser featuring another star making performance from Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, The IT Crowd). Super stardom is surely not far away as he lifts every scene he’s in as the band’s put upon manager.
Michael Haneke’s Amour is currently a firm favourite for the Palme D’Or and it’s not hard to see why. A devastating study of an elderly couple’s relationship under the strain of one of their deteriorating health. It’s being released in the UK by Artificial Eye and will be a mainstay of next year’s award season.
Obviously not every film is a gem but there’s so much to see that before you’ve had time to dwell on the lesser films, you’re already queuing up for the next festival hit. Thankfully, as I type this, the sun has come out, which will make queuing up for the next film even more exciting.
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