‘The Seed Of The Sacred Fig’ Review: Mohammad Rasoulof’s Searing Indictment Of Modern Iran [Cannes]
The Playlist | Reviews
by Gregory Ellwood
2d ago
CANNES – After screening “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” a world premiere at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, one has to breathe a sigh of relief that director and screenwriter Mohammad Rasoulof is safely out of Iran. A victim of a politically motivated jail sentence for supporting the 2022 Masha Amini hijab protests, Rasoulof‘s latest feature will likely anger the Iranian government even more. Especially considering how brilliant “Sacred Fig” is at deconstructing the rampant injustice in the totalitarian state ..read more
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‘Atlas’ Review: Jennifer Lopez’s Hackneyed Sci-Fi Thriller About A.I. Trust Is Utterly Dire & Disposable
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by Rodrigo Perez
3d ago
It’s been a rather dreadful year for big Netflix original sci-fi films in 2024 (see “Rebel Moon,” for one), and “Atlas,” the big event science-fiction dystopian thriller from director Brad Peyton (2015’s “San Andreas” and “Rampage”), won’t change that narrative in the slightest. Set in a conventionally bleak dystopian future—aren’t they all?— “Atlas” is rote and routine, using the concept of sci-fi and artificial intelligence in the most obvious way: A.I ..read more
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‘Beating Hearts’ Review: Gilles Lellouche’s Stylish Thriller Descends Into Clichés [Cannes]
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by Gregory Ellwood
3d ago
CANNES – A very popular actor in his native France, Gilles Lellouche has dipped his toe into filmmaking co-directing one movie and helming another over the past 20 years. Nothing he’s directed previously would prepare anyone for the impressive visual authority he welds over the camera in “Beating Hearts,” which debuted at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. There’s actually very little in his first collaboration with cinematographer Laurent Tangy, 2018’s “Sink or Swim,” that would hint at this level of cinematic creativity ..read more
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‘Filmlovers!’ Review: Arnaud Desplechin Pays Tribute To The Miracle Of Cinema On Enchantingly Personal Docufiction [Cannes]
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by Carlos Aguilar
4d ago
Trite as it certainly sounds, the saccharine label of a “lover letter to cinema” applies all too precisely to French director Arnaud Desplechin’s enchanting docufiction effort “Filmlovers!” (“Spectateurs!”). But even with that obnoxiously overused denomination hanging over it, this multifaceted personal essay succeeds at rekindling or reaffirming one’s own relationship with the miracle of this young art form that we so often take for granted ..read more
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‘Marcello Mio’ Review: Chiara Mastroianni Stars In A Meta Love Letter To Her Father [Cannes]
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by Gregory Ellwood
4d ago
CANNES – The term “Nepo baby” gets thrown around a lot these days for reasons both justifiably good and bad. It’s one thing to be the daughter of a successful Hollywood actress and a popular comedy film director. It’s arguably even tougher to be the daughter of one of America’s greatest living actors. Now imagine you were the daughter of two of global cinema’s greatest acting legends. Effectively, if both Meryl Streep were your mother and father ..read more
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‘Parthenope’ Review: Paolo Sorrentino’s Portrait Of An Italian Diva Coming Of Age [Cannes]
The Playlist | Reviews
by Gregory Ellwood
5d ago
CANNES – If we know anything about Paolo Sorrentino it’s that he adores his hometown of Naples, Italy. His last directorial effort, “The Hand of God” was a love letter to the port city and, in something of a surprise, he taps that well once again for “Parthelone,” a title in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. A movie that chronicles a woman’s long and unexpected journey from a captivating young goddess to a respected academic ..read more
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‘The Shrouds’ Review: David Cronenberg Digs Into The Core Of How Messy Grief Can Be [Cannes]
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by Rafa Sales Ross
5d ago
Grief is rotting Karsh’s (Vincent Cassel) teeth. It’s been four years since he lost his wife, the beautiful Becca (Diane Kruger), to a violent form of bone cancer that ate away at her body until her brittle frame could no longer sustain life. The loss changed Karsh’s life in more ways than one, the former producer of vaguely described industrial videos taking a sharp turn to become the sleek-looking CEO of the aptly named high-tech burial company GraveTech.  ..read more
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‘Anora’ Review: Sean Baker’s New York Cinderella Story Arrives With A Russian Twist [Cannes]
The Playlist | Reviews
by Gregory Ellwood
6d ago
CANNES – The “Anora” in Sean Baker’s latest creation is actually the birth name of Ani (Mikey Madison), a private dancer who works in a pretty nice strip club in New York City. Sure, the hours ain’t ideal, and there’s that long subway ride back to the rundown duplex she shares with her sister in Brighton Beach, but she’s not complaining. She likes her job, even if one of her co-workers is a jealous b**ch (there’s always one ..read more
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‘The Apprentice’ Review: Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump? It Works! [Cannes]
The Playlist | Reviews
by Rafa Sales Ross
6d ago
Five years ago, Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi broke out internationally with the Oscar-nominated “Border,” a thorny little beast of a fable about love, complicity, and guilt. His latest prods at some of the same themes, although the thorny little beast at the center of “The Apprentice” is far from a fictional creature of fables.  Abbasi’s newest chronicles the rise of former American president Donald Trump (Sebastian Stan) through his relationship with lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong ..read more
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‘Misericordia’ Review: Alain Guiraudie’s Nerve-Rattling Thriller Is A Dostoevskian Masterwork [Cannes Review]
The Playlist | Reviews
by Ankit Jhunjhunwala
6d ago
An hour into “Misericordia,” there is a scene so shocking that it might leave viewers’ mouths agape in disbelief. Only it is a mere conversation between two people. That exchange of words can be so profoundly disquieting and underscores Alain Guiraudie’s commitment to thrilling audiences the old-fashioned way – with ideas rather than actions. His new thriller film is overladen with mysteries and enigmas, perhaps none so confounding as its absence from the main Competition at the Cannes Film Festival ..read more
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