Pablo Larraín’s No has won the Art Cinema Award at the 44th Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. As John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy report in Variety, this “vindicates at least two bold decisions at Pablo and Juan de Dios Larrain’s Chile-based Fabula outfit, which is rapidly emerging as one of Latin America’s most prolific and diversified film producers: To make a large step up in scale after Tony Manero and Post Mortem; and to shoot in period U-matic stock.” We’ve been gathering enthusiastic reviews here.
The Europa Cinemas Label for best European film goes to Algerian director Merzak Allouache’s The Repentant (El Taaib), which, as Deborah Young writes in the Hollywood Reporter, is “a tale about a young Islamic terrorist who takes advantage of a national amnesty to come down from the mountains and return to civil society.” She finds it “promises a lot but lacks conviction, feeling like a case study with a very arbitrary ending.” Cineuropa‘s Fabien Lemercier, though, is more impressed, particularly with the “plot rich in riddles and suspense” set in “Algeria, stumbling under the inherited burden of its civil war in the 1990s, struggling in a complex vortex of forgiveness and revenge…. Under the appearance of a thriller, it gently poses delicate questions that resonate far beyond this country, as suffering, the weight of memories, the desire for revenge, and attempts to forgive and offer peace (to others and oneself) are issues that often haunt many a place and being.”
Hopewell and Keslassy: “Noemie Lvovsky’s Directors’ Fortnight closer Camille Rewinds [Camille redouble], a romantic second-chance movie, nabbed the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers’ SACD Prize, given to a French-language film in the section.” More on that one as reviews come in. Update, 5/26: “When an audience claps wildly throughout all the credits and hoots with joy when the light is turned back on, you know that you chose the right closing film!” exclaims Bénédicte Prot at Cineuropa. “In Cannes, Camille Rewinds, a film by and with Noémie Lvovsky that belongs somewhere between The French Kissers, Profs, and Footloose, took the Directors’ Fortnight audience on an exhilarating, nostalgic journey back to the last era ever, perhaps, to be completely off-the-wall.”
Updates, 5/27: Jonathan Romney for Screen: “Camille Rewinds is essentially a Gallic Peggy Sue Got Married, although what seems like a shameless steal is mitigated knowingly by setting the principal action in the mid-80s, around the 1986 release date of Francis Coppola’s retro romance.”
“Devotees of French cinema will appreciate the sprinkling famous cameos,” writes Stephen Dalton in the Hollywood Reporter, “including Mathieu Almaric as a creepy teacher and François Truffaut’s long-time screen alter ego Jean-Pierre Léaud as a magical watchmaker. Denis Podalydès, one of a duo of comedy film-making brothers with a large local following, also plays a small but significant role. Lvovsky is plainly winking at her French audience here, playing to the gallery. Camille Rewinds is full of such crowd-pleasing touches, mostly well-judged. A wry Gallic twist on Back to the Future or Peggy Sue Got Married, it is hardly the most original or challenging work, but it is effortlessly charming and emotionally engaging.”
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