|This Was My Son|
Fatima, Canada’s second feature film at Cannes, has debuted and is receiving largely positive notices on the Croisette. This co-production between France and Canada is directed by French director Philippe Faucon and Canada’s only film in the Director’s Fortnight this year. Fatima has mostly earned praise in early reviews for its sober and realistic portrait of life for immigrants in multicultural France. The Moroccan-born and Algerian-raised Faucon is also earning some notices for drawing out natural performances from Soria Zeroual and Zita Hanrot, although some reviews say that the inexperience of the actors occasionally shows. That’s it for Canada at this year’s fest, though, and a respectable finish... unless one of our films or talents brings home some hardware!
Melissa Bergland and Aaron Poole star in ONEFF opener Relative Happiness.
Photo: Duncan DeYoung
|Jia Zhangke's Platform|
(Canada, 76 min.)
Written and directed by Ryan Mullins
If some journalists fight on the front lines to tell a story, then Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas is amidst a war of his own making. Sometimes a reporter needs to expose the baddies, while other times he or she needs to counterattack with stealthy drones to bring the story into the light. Alternatively, does fighting a battle, rather than witnessing it from a far, ultimately put a journalist on the same plane as a provocateur like Michael Moore?
|Denmark's Oscar winner Helium|
Sicario Director Denis Villeneuve
Robyn Beck / eOne Films
Get ready to scream! The third chapter of the Insidious franchise will have audiences in terror when Insidious 3 opens in theatres June 5 from eOne Films. Answer the trivia below to win tickets to a sneak peek of Insidious 3 in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg!
Wouldn’t it be nice to win free tickets? Beach Boys’ songwriter/musician Brian Wilson gets the biopic treatment in Love & Mercy starring John Cusack and Paul Answer in a dual role as the famous pop star. Love & Mercy opens in theatres beginning June 5 from eOne Films, but readers in select cities may attend a sneak peek! Answer the trivia below to win tickets to see Love & Mercy in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg!
Mad Max: Fury Road
(Australia/USA, 120 min.)
Dir. George Miller; Writ. George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugo Keays-Byrne
Vroom! Vroom! Mad Max: Fury Road puts the pedal to the metal and kicks summer movie season into high gear. School’s not even out for the summer, so a film this crazy might have played even better six weeks from now in the brutal summer heat, but Fury Road is the loudest, wildest, most action-packed bonanza at the multiplex right now. It’s exhilarating escapism.
2015 seems like a slow year for Canada at Cannes after the triple-header of last year (aside for Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario in competition, which we’ll gladly take a bit of credit for if he wins the Palme), but a few voices in the sidebars should be noticed. One such voice is that of Andrew Cividino, whose debut feature Sleeping Giant recently screened in the Critics’ Week section. The film adapts Cidivino’s terrific short of the same name that screened at TIFF last year after debuting at Locarno and went on to earn a spot on TIFF’s annual Canada’sTop Ten list and a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Live Action Short. (Reviewhere.) As Cidivino’s first feature, Sleeping Giant is eligible for the Camera d’or prize at Cannes. Sleeping Giant stands tall given the generally enthusiastic response to the film so far. A few reviews have trickled in and are posted below along with two clips from the feature and the trailer for the short, but the film has additional screenings this week, so there will be more updates on the Canadian films at Cannes!
(UK, 108 min.)
Written and directed by Alex Garland
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
HAL meets Samantha in Ex Machina. This sci-fi by director Alex Garland is the love child of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Her with its musing on artificial intelligence, love, and connection in the days of impersonal communication. Machines are becoming smarter and humans are becoming stupider, so it’s inevitable that the brainwaves of man and machine will outpace one another at some point in time. If Dave asks HAL to open the pod bay doors, then Ava, the AI being of Ex Machina, asks Caleb, the human, to open his heart to her. A heart and the doorway between safety and outer space are the same: they’re both portals to oblivion if humans don’t control them smartly.
Irim Tolentino as Beatriz in A Guerra da Beatriz
This is the part where you win tickets to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, is a coming-of-age tale for film buffs. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl opens in Canada beginning June 12 from +Fox Searchlight, but if you want to attend a sneak peek of the film—with Greg, Earl, and the dying girl in attendance!—you are in luck! Answer the trivia below to win tickets!
While We’re Young
(USA, 97 min.)
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach
Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Horowitz, Charles Grodin
|Ben Stiller as Josh and Naomi Watts as Cornelia. |
Directed by Noah Baumbach. Courtesy of Elevation Pictures.
Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young easily features the best and funniest final shot you’ll see this year. The closer of the film offers a comical two-shot of Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) with their mouths agape, noses wrinkled, and faces seized in panic. They’re not looking a dead body or any other ill fortune: they’re looking at a baby, one of those wrinkly, noisy, smelly poop producers that ruin brunches for some and define success for others. Josh and Cornelia, a fortysomething husband-and-wife duo of New York’s creative set, are frozen in horror as Stiller and Watts create some droll physical comedy with this reaction shot that offers the perfect endnote to Baumbach’s film. “Is this really what we want from life?” their fearful eyes ask as they observe the gurgling little brat as it chomps on an iPhone.