I’ve been so busy with work and parties and seeing films that I’ve been neglectful of my column. Luckily, I have lots to share, and I’m running up against a deadline for another screening, so I’d better get talking!
Emma Watson was here a few nights ago for the premiere of her new film The Bling Ring, and we may or may not have rubbed elbows within the Palais des Festivals’ artists’ corridor. She was lovely, and although the film was a bit of a letdown (mainly because the real people that the characters are based on aren’t exactly compelling or sympathetic), I have to say that she’s one of my favorite twenty-something actresses working right now.
The Great Gatsby, as many have noted, came in with a bang and left Cannes with a whimper. It seemed to be a nearly even split amongst critics, and there was much day-after discussion that circled around high expectations not having been met. Sadly, I haven’t managed to see it, as all the screenings were packed . . . this might wind up being a DVD selection once I get back home.
A lot of buzz has built up over the past five months around Fruitvale Station, a dramatization of real-life events that took place in San Francisco in the wee hours of New Year’s Day 2009. After winning the audience award and grand jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film really hit its stride here in Cannes, with standing ovations at the first screenings. I thought the performances absolutely stellar, and it’s not crazy to think of lead actor Michael B. Jordan as the first probable candidate for the Oscar next spring. The film is tight and resonant, and first-time director Ryan Coogler really succeeded in creating an emotional tension that runs throughout the film. So fantastic, I might see it again when it’s released back home in July . . . and it should be a fairly wide release, since it was picked up by The Weinstein Company.
Fort Wayne Monthly is delighted that local cinephile Sara Jackson agreed to share her Cannes experience with the rest of us, and we invited Cinema Center's Jonah Crismore to start the conversation. Feel free to chime in!