Saturday, May 18, 2019

Cannes 2019: Pedro Almodovar and Elton John Kick Off Festival

A lot of films have already premiered, but two have dominated the early conversation. First is the Elton John biopic Rocketman. It ended with a standing ovation, but the overall reviews have been mixed to positive. There have been no outright bad reviews. Right now, it is ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody in the critical game. If it can inspire a similar love, it could ride to Oscar, particularly Taron Egerton as Elton. It is apparently a good time, with lots of music. The first thing out of many critics' mouths: Golden Globes bait.

The other major debut so far is Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory. There are a few that are mixed, but there are just as many that love this film. Of course its Almodovar, who has never made a film that wasn't at least slightly divisive. I have always admired Almodovar, although the last film of his that I thought was brilliant was Volver. I am looking forward to this one, based on the cast and personal nature of the story. It is tracking ahead of most of his latest films, so it could end up being a contender as the season goes on. Almodovar is an Oscar winner, and the growing international presence in the Academy only helps his chances.

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