10 items from 2013
Paulo Sorrentino's magnificent return to form sees him reteam with Toni Servillo for a lush, classical tale of middle-age hedonism and lost love
Paolo Sorrentino has returned to Cannes with a gorgeous movie, the film equivalent of a magnificent banquet composed of 78 sweet courses. It is in the classic high Italian style of Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Antonioni's La Notte: an aria of romantic ennui among those classes with the sophistication and leisure to appreciate it. The grande bellezza, like the grande tristezza, can mean love, or sex, or art, or death, but most of all it here means Rome, and the movie wants to drown itself in Rome's fathomless depths of history and worldliness.
La Grande Bellezza is a return to Sorrentino's natural form and cinematic language, after his uneasy English-language picture This Must Be The Place, which starred Sean Penn as a swirly-haired rock star. The »
- Peter Bradshaw
Rome in all its splendor and superficiality, artifice and significance, becomes an enormous banquet too rich to digest in one sitting in Paolo Sorrentino’s densely packed, often astonishing “The Great Beauty.” A tribute to, and castigation of, the city whose magnificence has famously entrapped its residents in existential crises, the pic follows a stalled author gradually awakening from the slumber of intellectual paralysis. Very much Sorrentino’s modern take on the themes of Fellini’s “La dolce vita,” emphasizing the emptiness of society amusements, “Great Beauty” will surprise, perplex and bewitch highbrow audiences yearning for big cinematic feasts.
With a narrative that feels more like a line of dashes than a continuous stroke, the film is certain to give indigestion to some, who may dismiss it as a work of cinephile posing rather than genuine depth; never mind that the same censure was leveled at “La dolce vita” 53 years ago. »
- Jay Weissberg
Before I even begin considering the offerings in the field of eighteen Main Competition items, it’s the composition of the jury members (team of nine lead by Steven Spielberg) where my dissection begins. While I’d be tempted to brand/make the bogus remark that cine-folk Spielberg, Daniel Auteuil and Ang Lee votes would go towards the formulaic and/or conventional, I’m more inclined to say that it’s slightly more obvious to gauge how provocateurs such as Lynne Ramsay, Cristian Mungiu and Naomi Kawase might direct their vote intentions: towards the aesthetically daring, narratively challenging material. I’m including bold actress Nicole Kidman in this group – as her best perfs are found in the audacious, darker micro films that garner little coin, but plenty of critical praise. Last year we had what was probably a unanimous consensus choice with Amour winning the Palme, though I would bet »
- Eric Lavallee
Cannes 2013 jury Steven Spielberg was named the president of the Cannes Film Festival 2013 jury a few weeks ago. Earlier today, festival organizers announced Spielberg’s fellow jury members. It’s a star-studded international cast: Asian Film Award nominee and Indian Film Academy winner Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture), Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Naomi Kawase (The Mourning Forest), Academy Award winner and three-time nominee Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, Rabbit Hole), and BAFTA winner Lynne Ramsay (Swimmer, We Need to Talk About Kevin). Also: Cannes Film Festival and two-time César winner Daniel Auteuil (The Eighth Day, Girl on the Bridge, Jean de Florette), two-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi), Cannes’ 2007 Palme d’Or and 2012 Best Screenplay winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; Beyond the Hills), and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained). Those listed above will select the winners »
- Anna Robinson
More than the first cuckoo, the announcement of the Cannes competition list is the first sign of spring; always an exciting moment and even more so as in recent years Cannes has consolidated its primacy among the film festivals of the world. There look to be no major or startling omissions: Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac is reportedly not ready, although I was disappointed not to see Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave. There are, in fact, no British entries in competition, but Stephen Frears's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – an HBO project about Ali's opposition to Vietnam – has a Special Screening slot. (A small footnote here: young British film-maker Ana Caro, from the National Film and Television School, has »
- Peter Bradshaw
Steven Spielberg’s jury will have no shortage of Hollywood talent to sift through on the Croisette this year. Heralding a strong showing for American auteurs, Palme d’Or laureates Steven Soderbergh and Joel and Ethan Coen will square off with Alexander Payne and James Gray at the star-packed 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, announced by delegate general Thierry Fremaux and president Gilles Jacob at a Paris press conference on Thursday.
In light of earlier announcements – that Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” would open the festival, that Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” would kick off Un Certain Regard, and that Spielberg would serve as president of the main competition jury – it comes as little surprise that this year’s lineup is so top-heavy with U.S. and English-language fare, even as it reflects healthy strains of international filmmaking, especially from Europe and Asia.
The Coen brothers, »
- Justin Chang
Gist: The story of an aging journalist, Jap Gambardella (Toni Servillo, the man behind the Andreotti mask in Il Divo), who bitterly recollects his passionate, long-lost youth. A portrait of today’s Rome.
Prediction: Without question, this will be in the Main Competition. Thierry has been a major supporter of Sorrentino’s uniquely slick brand of stylized politickin’, showcasing his work (2008′s Grand Jury Prize winning Il Divo) even when he bring forth such oddball efforts as This Must Be the Place. And without any other major Italian candidates this year, you can pretty much just go ahead and take this one to Vegas.
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- Blake Williams
The countdown to Cannes is on, and we'll soon know what films will be making it to the south of France, and which we'll have to keep waiting for, but it looks like Paolo Sorrentino's "La Grande Bellezza" will be one of them. Already a movie we're expecting to see, a brand new teaser trailer has arrived and it looks like something totally fresh from the filmmaker. After breaking out with the political drama "Il Divo," and moving sideways into the Sean-Penn-is-a-goth road movie "This Must Be The Place," the director returns to his native Italy for 'Bellezza' and seems to be channeling Terrence Malick. With soaring opera and a camera practically making love to Rome, the film is led by Toni Servillo and is apparently a Fellini-esque tale of a journalist looking to recapture his youth in the city. It certainly seems as if it's going to be something of a sensual experience, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
From Page To Screen | Bradford International Film Festival | Belfast International Film Festival | Italian Film Festival
From Page To Screen, Bridport
Curated by novelist Joe Dunthorne, this festival of literary adaptations takes in everything from Patricia Highsmith thrillers (Plein Soleil, Strangers On A Train) to comic-book films American Splendor and Ghost World, and films based on plays, like new vampire flick Byzantium, which comes with a masterclass from producer Stephen Woolley. Dunthorne introduces Richard Ayoade's adaptation of his own Submarine, and its key influence The Graduate, and there's a special screening of Kubrick's The Shining at the precarious, disused Burton Cliff Hotel.
Various venues, Wed to 14 Apr
Bradford International Film Festival
Bradford is rarely the first city that springs to mind when you think of British cinema, but it's home to our National Media Museum and is a Unesco City of Film, no less. And its festival is an embarrassment »
- Steve Rose
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Writer(s): Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
We give credit where credit is due – Paolo Sorrentino might have ceremoniously belly-flopped with his last feature, This Must Be the Place, but we’d be hard pressed to completely dismiss this revenge film oddity. On the flipside, his previous political epic Il divo is gold. La Grande Bellezza (English translation would be The Great Beauty) sees Sorrentino reteam with Toni Servillo in what is said to be Fellini-esque venture.
Gist: The story of an aging journalist Jap Gambardella (Toni Servillo) who bitterly recollects his passionate, lost youth. A portrait of today’s Rome.
Release Date: An April release date is set for Italy – so this logically will be included in the Cannes Main Competition. »
- Eric Lavallee
10 items from 2013
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