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

Posted on June 6, 2017

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Read the full text on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/cannes-2017-a-mouse-in-a-maze-and-a-wish-list

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.

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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.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Foreign