Friday, May 14, 2010

Cannes: Round-Up #3

Stealthily beneath the glamor of Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps premiere were two films playing out of competition on the third day of the Cannes Film Festival. One a Romanian slow-burner and the other a British-backed horror film from the Japanese helmer of Ringu starring that guy from Kick-Ass.

The former is Cristi Puiu's Aurora, the Romanian director's follow-up to the much-beloved The Death of Mr. Lazarescu ('06). A three-hour exercise in minimalist character depreciation, some may argue its more of an exercise in patience. Nevertheless, reviews are in and it appears that most really dig it.

Time Out London's Geoff Andrew called it audacious and intelligent and IndieWire's Eric Kohn found that it seeps under your skin, while Variety's Jay Weissberg described it as the "product of a master filmmaker". InContention's Guy Lodge, however, was not impressed, calling it "perversely languid".

Personally, out of all of the films described so far, the one I would most likely pay to see tomorrow would, in fact, be Aurora - sounds fascinating.

Cristi Puiu's Aurora - at three hours long - will (and has) divided critics.

Depending on who you talk to, Hideo Nakata's Chatroom is either the worst film of the festival or one of the worst. Widespread disdain abounds for this out-of-competition horror effort, starring Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Hannah Murray ("Skins").

InContention's Guy Lodge despised it, calling it bafflingly misguided, while Variety's Leslie Felperin notices that it has "major bugs in its system." Time Out London's Dave Calhoun was mostly okay with it, it seems, admitting that it gets "a little hysterical". And Total Film's Matthew Leyland calls it terribly po-faced.

Well that's it for Day 3. If you can't find a review for Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, you're terrible at navigating the web. (That's why I left it out of the round-up.) Tomorrow apparently looks big, with films from Mike Leigh and Woody Allen taking center stage in the morning. Until then.

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