Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cannes: Round-Up #2

Day 2 at the Cannes Film Festival saw the premieres of two films from the significant Asian presence in this year's main competition slate. Bright and early in the morning (8:30am local time), the patrons were treated to the familial sludge of Wang Xiaoshuia's Chongqing Blues. Despite a few words of encouragement, the Palme d'Or temperature gauge is deathly chilly.

's Justin Chang calls it plodding, affecting. Hollywood Reporter's Maggie Lee describes it as "average father-son angst". Awards Daily's Sasha Stone radically thinks it's a Palme contender. Total Film's Jamie Graham believes it to be solid, but "never truly gripping". InContention's Guy Lodge meanwhile, calls it "drab and maudlin". Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells hated the "grimness" and the "slow pace".

The early start time of Wang Xiaoshuia's Chongqing Blues didn't seem to help its glacial pacing win over reviewers.

The other half of the double-edged Asian sword, screening a bit later in the day, was Im Sang-soo's The Housemaid, a loony-sounding erotic thriller (think Brian De Palma), which seems to have been received a touch more warmly around the web.

Rope of Silicon's Brad Brevet liked the twisted eroticism to a certain extent. Total Film's Jamie Graham calls it demented and over the top. Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells described it as broad and lurid, but was more or less okay with it. Hollywood Reporter's Maggie Lee was enamored with its operatic sensuality. ScreenDaily's Lee Marshall, however, found it smart but shallow.

The twisty eroticism of Im Sang-soo's The Housemaid won over a few willing viewers.

Those were the highlights for Day 2 at Cannes. Reviews are starting to pour in for Oliver Stone's Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps kicking off Day 3, I'll have more info on that film and more in the next round-up.

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