3 items from 2014
Cannes – Friday May 16th
The first title out of the gate at this morning’s 8:30 a.m. showing was the first of three Canadian films in the Main Competition. Snatched up earlier by the A24 folks, starring Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson and Mireille Enos, The Captive landed mostly 2 star notes with our panel, unfortunately making Atom Egoyan’s kidnapping thriller the first misfire of the fest. Winner of the Grand Prix and the International Critic’s Prize by the F.I.P.R.E.S.C.I.for The Sweet Hereafter in 1997, the Canuck has been at the fest’s Directors’ Fortnight for Speaking Parts (1989) and The Adjuster (1991) and found a home in the official selections for six features: Exotica (1994), Felicia’s Journey (1993), Ararat (2002 – Out of Comp), Where the Truth Lies (2005) and 2008′s Adoration.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s over three hour dialogue driven drama occupied a one time showing 3:00 p. »
- Eric Lavallee
Atom Egoyan’s 14th feature tells a tale of lost children and grieving parents unfolding under wintry gray skies, but otherwise we’re about as far removed from the mastery of “The Sweet Hereafter” as we could be in “The Captive,” a ludicrous abduction thriller that finds a once-great filmmaker slipping into previously unentered realms of self-parody. Attempting to meld his traditional preoccupations with guilt and bereavement, voyeuristic technology and achronological storytelling with a “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”-style procedural, Egoyan leaves a strong cast flailing to keep up with a contrived and fatally unconvincing drama that makes the recent “Prisoners” look like a masterpiece in retrospect. News of the film’s acquisition by U.S. distrib A24 broke shortly before its press screening at Cannes, where it was greeted with a smattering of boos; beyond the Croisette, mass indifference rather than contempt seems the likely reaction.
- Justin Chang
Could this be a return to form for Atom Egoyan? Following the announcement of its official selection for this year’s Cannes film festival, the first trailer for Egoyan’s The Captive is online, and it looks like a tense, psychological thriller.
Since hitting his stride in the 90s with a series of multi-faceted, insightful dramas—Speaking Parts, The Adjuster, Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Felicia’s Journey, Ararat—Egoyan has hit a slump in regard to critical acclaim for his more recent work. But hopefully “The Captive” will put the major Canadian filmmaker—and former Cannes winner—back on the map. The plot, which involves the disappearance of a little girl and her subsequent re-surfacing eight years later on an unknown web-feed, seems like a good fit for the veteran director.
- Griffin Bell
3 items from 2014
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