Cannes Diary 10 – A Mouse In A Maze, And A Wish List

Posted on June 6, 2017


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The Safdie Brothers’ (Josh and Benny) Good Time is about a bank robbery gone horribly wrong — the chaos of life doing what it does to best laid plans. Robert Pattinson is excellent as Connie, whose motivations are never really explained — we only see how devoted he is to his developmentally challenged brother Nick (Benny Safdie). The first half-hour is fantastic, a welcome dose of adrenaline during the last days of the festival. But slowly, the film begins to vacillate unconvincingly between the grand design of a Michael Mann heist movie (replete with a throbbing score and street-poet philosophies) and something more intimate, like Dog Day Afternoon. Good Time never finds a balance, and the emotional beats get lost in the genre architecture.


Sergei Loznitsa’s Krotkaya (A Gentle Creature) doesn’t deal with names. The heroine, Vasilina Makovtseva, is credited in the programme brochure as simply “une femme douce,” a gentle creature. This anonymity is part of the film’s design. She isn’t just nameless, she’s also faceless — just one of the many victims of Russia’s soul-crushing totalitarianism. In an early scene in a very crowded bus, she rests the package in her hand on the floor. It annoys the woman standing beside her, who complains (loudly) that her feet are being used as a shelf. A man nearby asks this woman to show some consideration. Another woman joins in, and it’s soon a symphony of disgruntlement. But our gentle creature doesn’t utter a word.

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Posted in: Cinema: Foreign