Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cannes 2012: Moonrise Kingdom and Rust & Bone Reviews

About a week ago, the Emmy season officially started at The Awards Psychic! Today I am happy to announce that the 2012-2013 Oscar season is now upon us as well with the opening of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In the first day, critics have already seen two high-profile Oscar contenders, Moonrise Kingdom and Rust & Bone. Moonrise Kingdom looks to be classic Wes Anderson, so quirky that apparent flaws in the film get pushed to the side. I am not sure at all whether the Academy will like this, and at this moment I am leaning towards, no. Simply because of its premise. However, there are a lot of stars, and so far the reviews have been decent to great, so you can't write it off just yet.

  • Drew McWeeney of Hit Fix thinks that it is a success, he writes:
    • "Gilman and Hayward are exquisite as Sam and Suzy, and I like that they don’t look like polished, perfect Disney Channel kids.  They have big personalities that are just starting to come into focus, and they feel like real kids, struggling with the disappointments that are inherent to the maturation process."
  • Similarily Simon Gallagher of Film School Rejects enjoyed the film, particularly Bruce Willis, he writes:
    •  "Bruce Willis is good here, offering an understated, tragicomic turn as Captain Sharp, the sheriff charged with leading the search party, who could quite easily be the geographically removed twin of Willis’ other fine comic character Ernest Menville. Like that Death Becomes Her performance, Willis plays down the star quality and paints Sharp as a slightly bumbling, completely charming fool and hopefully the sometimes Die Hard actor will explore the possibility of taking on more roles like this."
  • Sasha Stone of Awards Daily admits that its flaws are noticeable, but says it is so damn charming you simply fall for it:
    • "But in the end, it’s hard to hate Moonrise Kingdom — even with all of the parts of it that make it too conscious of itself, too drenched in sun-kissed nostalgia, at times irritatingly quirky — it works ultimately because Gilman and Hayward are so good. Somehow, these two pierced the surface of the Wes Anderson oeuvre and found the core of truth. And that is a story worth telling, no matter how old the characters are, no matter how young."
  • Not all the reviews are positive, Xan Brooks of The Guardian was particularly critical:
    • "In the meantime, I’m sticking with my gut feeling that Moonrise Kingdom is neither especially funny, or soulful, or even cute, exactly. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play the pre-teen lovers who light out along the old Chickchaw trail like a pint-sized Lewis and Clark while the adults (Willis, Bill Murray, “Tilda Swinton as Social Services”) play hapless catch-up behind them. Yet the whole affair feels mannered and makeweight, and I could never shake the sense that Gilman and Hayward were acting for the director as opposed to talking to each other"
Rust & Bone is the next film for Un Prophet auteur Jacques Audiard. The initial reaction is that while it may not be as brilliant as Un Prophet, it is still a well-made film with some stunning performances, particularly Marion Cotillard, who some think will receive Oscar attention for the role. The one negative thing I have heard is that it will most likely not satisfy American audiences. Its conclusion is not satisfactory enough, and its hardened title does not convey the fact that the film is actually a heartstring puller.

  • Eric Kohn of Indiewire gives it a B+ praising Cotillard, while also having concerns about the film overall:
    • "The filmmaker achieved the apotheosis of this focus with 2009's "A Prophet," in which a lower-class criminal finds his catharsis in religious transcendence. "Rust and Bone," Audiard's latest effort, never reaches those same heights, although it concerns the same fundamental trajectory. Satisfying for what it is, the movie merely confirms Audiard's skill with engaging actors in the potent theme of retribution."
  • At The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy describes the film as solid, with good performances:
    • "Ultimately, Rust and Bone emerges as a study of human frailty and strength, the habitual tendancy toward the latter and the unexpected assertions of the latter. The polarities of Audiard’s storytelling and visual approach have been crafted to reinforce this dualty, with the film gathering focus and power in the second half...With overt histrionics having been largely bridled by the director, Cotillard and Schoenaerts give heavily internalized performances marked by sporadic physical outbursts involving athletics and sex. Cotillard’s loveliest moments come late, as, emboldened by the beginnings of a physical and emotional reawakening, she wordlessly expresses Stephanie’s growing awareness of a potentially positive future for herself.  For Ali, it takes a major trauma to penetrate his thick skull and turn his attitude around."
  • Finally, Sasha at AD calls the film "a beautifully rendered, deeply felt film." She also admits that while, "not everyone will connect with Rust & Bone...those who do the film will burrow deeply in."

No comments:

Post a Comment