Cannes Diary 3 – Timelines And Animal Rights, Faces And Places

Posted on June 3, 2017


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The seventies means different things to different people. To some, it’s the nostalgia of the last gasp of a certain kind of artistic Hollywood movie (Altman, Coppola, Scorsese). To others, it’s the Spielbergian mainstream, which would take full flight in the coming decade — the suburbia, the split-up family, the innocence, the wonderment. Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck is set in Minnesota in 1977, and it reproduces the latter with a faithfulness (right down to the shooting star at the end) not seen since J.J. Abrams’ Super 8. This story has to do with a 12-year-old boy named Ben (Oakes Fegley), whose mother is dead. What about the father? That is what he wants to find out.

Haynes has always been drawn to period films — here, he goes after a second era, the 1920s. In this setting, we get a New Jersey girl named Rose (the amazing Millicent Simmonds). She worships a silent film star named Lillian Mayhew (Julianne Moore) and modelled on Lillian Gish. One of the films Rose watches is even named after Gish’s Orphans of the Storm. This one’s called Daughter of the Storm, and we get a scene where Lillian clutches an infant to her chest as the wind howls around her. Hang on to this bit of detail. It’s important.

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Posted in: Cinema: Foreign