A Recap of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival
By seeing just as many movies as I got hours of sleep, the 2022 Cannes Film Festival proved to be an exciting and eventful time.
With a bevy of international auteurs showing off their newest cinematic offerings, it's time I ran down each one and give my quick thoughts.
Stars at Noon (2/5)
Stars At Noon is a rare instance of nothing working as well as it should, especially for such a skilled and revered director as Claire Denis. Because of its down-to-the-wire production timeline, all non-Cannes viewers may benefit from the film being possibly re-worked before general release. But until then, Denis' return to the prestigious film festival after all these years has resulted in a hugely disappointing and slightly embarrassing work that wastes a wonderful opportunity to combine the talents of all those involved.
Showing Up (2.5/5)
Not many could carefully tell the uplifting and heartbreaking friendship within First Cow, and while Showing Up tries to find a similar vein, it doesn't deliver the same refined fulfilling message about the way unforeseen people and circumstances shape our lives. Unlike Lizzy's clay creations that start as wet messes and end up as fully formed creations, Reichardt's work stops just short of the kiln and ends up feeling more like a shallow puddle of good ideas.
Showing Up won't win Reichardt any new fans, but it could potentially offer another helping of what her supporters love so much of her work. For them, Reichardt has supplied the goods; now it's time for them to show up.
Crimes of the Future (3/5)
Crimes of the Future feels as if its the middle entry in a trilogy. Necessary supplementary information feels missing, and ending information given feels as if it will be paid off in a sequel, which, of course, won't happen. Maddeningly mundane, even for all its grotesqueness.
As a filmmaker, Lukas Dhont is both mature and immature. At the young age of thirty-one, he can carefully find the emotional core that unlocks his sweeping coming-of-age stories of love and acceptance. But like many young directors, Dhont takes the emotion hostage as he churns it out with unnecessary furiosity, hitting his audience over the head with it until they either submit or turn away. With a better sense of balance, we may soon have ourselves one of the premier filmmakers on the international scene.
Final Cut (3.5/5)
A fun midnight madness movie that definitely benefited from seeing it in a packed audience full of French cinephiles who were in on the jokes more than I was. Presents a great initial mystery and comedically solves it with some surprising results.
Tchaikovsky's Wife (3.5/5)
Even with an overly simplistic message told over and over again across 2.5 hours, Tchaikovsky’s Wife's impeccable cinematography and obviously great music keeps the train steadily on the track. It seems that even independent minds like Serebrennikov can't wholly break free from the rigid biopic formula.
Triangle of Sadness (3.5/5)
Despite being 30 minutes too long, taking the easiest shots possible at the rich, and not having enough Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness is still one hell of a time, especially with a large crowd!
What was more hilarious than the movie was the repeated applause from the Cannes audience, which is largely made up of the people this film skewers.
Armageddon Time (3.5/5)
James Gray has put together a nice little streak with The Lost City of Z, Ad Astra, and now Armageddon Time.
A sweet and simple tale of a boy growing up in New York. Doesn't reinvent the wheel by any means, but has a big heart and has wonderful child performances and a great Anthony Hopkins.
It was scary how similar Jeremy Strong looked and sounded like Ray Romano.
Holy Spider (3.5/5)
Bleaker than bleak, Ali Abbasi's Holy Spider takes a critical look at Iranian religious and critical views, while also delivering a standard cops & serial killer story. It's message may not be all that complicated, but it is delivered in soul crushing fashion, especially at the end.
With a lighter tone and more melodrama, Broker doesn't contain the precision of Kore-eda's previous works, but that lightness still makes for an accessible and emotionally rewarding experience nonetheless.
Decision to Leave (4/5)
Hitchcock directs Phantom Thread in Park Chan-wook's twisty Decision to Leave.
Surprisingly hilarious with a director's assured fingerprints all over the material. Always engaging enough to keep you glued throughout its intricately layered mystery.