Monday, May 05, 2014

2014 Cannes Check #7: The Canadians

A group with two directors, one was not born in Canada but grew up there and another is a true Canadian. Both have movies that I like and many more that I do not particularly like.

#7.1 Atom Egoyan

Born in Egypt to Armenian parents and raised in Western Canada, he began shooting short films at the University of Toronto until in 1984 his first feature film, Next of Kin traveled the festival circuit and became known to critics plus world audiences. Is in 1989 with Speaking Parts that he first comes to Cannes in a parallel section and in 1994 with Exotica is his first time in competition

The Captive is his tenth time in Cannes and sixth in competition; he already has won awards: in 1994 Exotica wins the FIPRESCI Award and in 1997 wins the same award again but also the Grand Prix with The Sweet Hereafter, a movie that truly impressed me and one of the few I really like, as for example his previous film, The Devil's Knot, was truly unbearable to watch, not for the story but for the Egoyan's storytelling style.

Then The Captive story seems too similar to another Canadian recent movie by Denis Villeneuve that ALSO is about a father looking for his kidnapped daughter; but, know that has to be different as Villeneuve style is a lot more twisted and interesting than Egoyan's style. Movie has a star that I do enjoy when he does "good" movies, Ryan Reynolds and hope his performance here will be great.  Odds for this film are extremely low as last week was at the very end of the odds list, but everything could change -or not- once the press sees the movie.

Basic Info about The Captive
Director: Atom Egoyan
Scriptwriter: Atom Egoyan and David Fraser
Language: English
Runtime: 112 min
Production countries: Canada
Production companies: Ego Film Arts, Film Farm,

Plot Summary
A pick up truck pulls off the highway at a diner. Confident that his young daughter is safe in the back seat and promising to return with ice cream, the father slips out of his truck and into the diner. When he returns, she is gone.
The psychological thriller, The Captive examines how this kidnapping destroys the relationships among those involved. As the film teases out the complex threads weaving together the victim, her family, the predators and the investigators, the mystery of what happened to the child, during the eight years she was missing, is revealed.

The Trailer

#7.2 David Cronenberg

Not many directors upset me for how they changed their careers but David Cronenberg is one of them as he was making very interesting movies but very violent; I do not like violence in movies BUT Cronenberg's style was hypnotic and so intense as a drama that his films captured me, kept me feeling lots of emotions and when over, released me in a big bang. Sigh. You have no idea how much I miss his particular style.

To me all started with A Dangerous Method, got worst with Cosmopolis and have no hope for Maps to the Stars even if the story seems interesting; not only his style changed as he explores different type of stories but also his "muse" is an actor that truly can NOT act, Robert Pattinson, and he is again in his latest film. Admit that I do enjoy the other actors like Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, and Olivia Williams so maybe narrative will be not as bad as Cosmopolis. But I have no high hopes.

Even if he started in the late 60's to make movies it is not until 1996 that he comes to Cannes for the first time and his film Crash is screened in competition giving him his only award in Cannes, the Special Jury Prize. Since then he has been in Cannes four more times and in his fifth brings a Hollywood story that wonder how will be received. If last week betting odds remain the same, then Cronenberg's movie seem to be a big contender to win the Palme d'Or as was in second place, after Nuri Bilge Ceylan's film.

Basic Info about Maps to the Stars
Director: David Cronenberg
Scriptwriter: Bruce Wagner
Language: English
Runtime: 112 min
Production countries: Canada, USA, France and Germany
Production companies: Prospero Pictures, Sentient Entertainment, SBS Productions, Integral Film

Plot Summary
The Weiss family is the archetypical Hollywood dynasty: father Stafford is an analyst and coach, who has made a fortune with his self-help manuals; mother Cristina mostly looks after the career of their son Benjie, 13, a child star. One of Stafford's clients, Havana, is an actress who dreams of shooting a remake of the movie that made her mother, Clarice, a star in the 60s. Clarice is dead now and visions of her come to haunt Havana at night... Adding to the toxic mix, Benjie has just come off a rehab program he joined when he was 9 and his sister, Agatha, has recently been released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania and befriended a limo driver Jerome who is also an aspiring actor.

The Trailer

No comments yet