The first international trailer for Lynne Ramsay’s new thriller You Were Never Really Here hit online. The film garnered rave reviews when it premiered (in an incomplete form) at the Cannes FIlm Festival, where Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor, and tied for Best Screenplay with Yorgos Lanthimos‘ The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. This is an intense film, and you can be sure there will be blood.
Yorgos Lanthimos released The Lobster last year and kick started one of 2016’s most talk-about art house films. The Greek director is known for his incredibly strange, sometimes hilarious, but always psychologically disturbing movies. In his latest film, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer all that semblance of whimsy one might have found in The Lobster is gone as Lanthimos has gone decidedly darker…much darker.
[divider] The Cannes film festival is a time of celebration for the movie industry as every big Hollywood studio tries to woo fans and press alike with their new releases. But it is not just big budget ventures like Only God Forgives that get a chance to shine in the limelight because Cannes is also a time when the low budget companies get to play. These companies don’t get their fair share of attention in my eyes so here is a list of the top twelve picks from this year’s Cannes. Some are good and some are bad, very very bad but at least they are always interesting to look at.
[tabgroup][tab title=” Abner the Invisible Dog “]
Words escape me on this one. I think I will just slowly walk away from the computer and get some mind bleach to erase the fact I ever set eyes on this awful poster with its over used plot device. What is the fascination with dogs at Cannes this year? This is the second film that has a dog in the lead. Fred Olen Ray, the once master of cheap horror movies, made this and I really think he should have known better.
[/tab][tab title=” Android Cop “]
With a costume straight out of a bargain basement Halo movie and a cover entirely created on computer I am guessing that this is going to be a laugh riot, whether it was intended to be or not. It is hard to see what film the makers are going for here. It seems like Robocop but why bring a Robocop copy out now? This looks bad even for low budget movies.
[/tab] [tab title=” Copposites “]
A washed up cop and a law breaker on the mend do the body swap routine in this supposed comedy. I am guessing there is hilarity to be had with plenty of slightly dubious racial jokes and digs at how bad law enforcement officers are. It is a well known fact that mustaches sell cinema tickets so I am glad that this film has obliged us with one hell of a top lip curler. The body swap genre is not one I ever needed to revisit and I doubt this film is going to change my mind…………Who am I kidding? I will be watching it as soon as it is released on DVD.
[/tab] [tab title=” Dragons 2 “]
Do I know anything about Dragons 1? No, nothing at all but if it looks anything like the sequel then I am happy in my ignorance. I don’t think I have ever seen a cover so cluttered with CGI tat before. It is so crammed in you can barely see what is going on as one colour mixes into another; oh look I think I see a dragon. Why does the Snooki look alike on the front have no neck and such a weird body shape? That is the danger of photoshop overuse and it has really screwed up this poor woman’s proportions. Unless she actually looks like that and if that’s the case I am very sorry. This was not the only dragon film at Cannes either; there are at least two more. I think dragons may be the new low budget zombie for film makers now, a thought that makes me tremble with fear.
[/tab] [tab title=” FDR: American Badass “]
I am a sucker for anything with Barry Bostwick in so I would see this anyway but what is there not to like here? An American president who battles polio but still finds time to get kitted out with a killer wheel chair courtesy of Einstein and the CIA makes me think this is probably not factually accurate. If this image alone is not enough to get you all psyched up then guess who the villains are? Only Nazi Werewolves! Yeah I have seen loads of Nazi zombies but Nazis werewolves only turn up once in a blue moon. There is not one part of this poster I do not like, it is simply stunning.
[/tab] [tab title=” My Dog the Champion “]
When I hear the word spoiled teenager in a sentence I can assume that by the film’s end she will have ditched her selfish ways and become someone that loves all her family and friends. Now add in an elderly grandpa and a dog that needs training for a show and you have this film in a nutshell. If this done to death plot is not enough to put you off, then look at the complete lack of effort that has gone into producing this poster. I can see 7 different photos here, all of which have been thrown together to create this mess. Was it so hard for the actors all to get together to have their photo taken? The dogs must have been free at least. Oh why Lance why did you agree to do this piece of rubbish. You are so much better than this and you know it!
[/tab] [tab title=” Robot “]
No, sorry. This is a guy in silver makeup, not a robot. You are not fooling me with that nonsense. Unless the guy thinks he is a robot and the kid is his mentor. That would be okay but if that is not the case then this is just a really poorly devised robot. That kid really freaks me out to. Why is he so scary looking? The finger pointing to the potential victim (or me, as he is looking right at me) is quite disconcerting. Still it has a rocket launcher in it so it cannot be all that bad.
[/tab] [tab title=” Santa Claws “]
At first I thought this movie was actually one of the many horror Santa flicks that litter the shelves in DVD rental stores near Christmas. But it is actually a kid’s film where Santa does not deliver cats at Christmas because of his allergies. Santa should not be delivering animals anyway in my view, just think of the mess it would make in the sled. Anyway, one child called Little Tommy has been extra good so Santa breaks his own rules and brings him a kitten. It sucks to be Santa though because not just one cat gets in his sack but the whole litter leading to hilarity when the kittens have to deliver the presents themselves while Santa suffers a massive allergic reaction. No news on whether Santa actually survives this attack or even if the kittens can drive a sled. I bet the kittens can talk too; they always talk in these kinds of movies.
[/tab] [tab title=” Sharknado “]
There are a few films on this list that are just plain awful and there are even fewer which actually look like they might be amazing movies. This is one of those elite few. “Enough Said” is the tag line and it has won me over already. It is by Asylum, the bastions of all things ripped off and CGI enhanced, so I cannot wait for this one to come my way. A tornado of sharks is enough to make any cinema goer jump out of their seat in delight.
[/tab] [tab title=” Ultimate Adventure “]
Adventure is spelled wrong in the title but I will let them off as it is a foreign release and maybe that’s how they spell it over there. The reason I liked this particular poster was I had no idea what was going on. A cat ( or it could be a rabbit I guess) that looks a lot like David Tennant as Doctor Who carries a cheering cat (or rabbit) partner while they chase a horrified / excited rabbit across a landscape that has pigs in suits and a crocodile as the villain? Well it has certainly piqued my interest.
[/tab] [tab title=” Voyage “]
Director Scud brings us this Hong Kong treat about a depressed psychiatrist who visits former clients to get some closure. They all apparently live on nudist beaches as this is the only reason I can think for him being in the nip. The director says there is a funny hara-kiri scene in this so that’s something to look forward to. I have no idea what to think of this film. It looks like the male equivalent of the late night erotic thrillers Shannon Tweed used to make or at the very least a more disturbing take on Cast Away. Well they do say sex sells but in this case it really has not worked for me.
[/tab] [tab title=” Zombie Night “]
Why this company even bothered to make this film is beyond me. It covers so many over used horror film clichés it will be pointless watching. It has something sinister happening on Halloween, a zombie hand popping out the ground that we have seen a hundred times before and it is yet another zombie movie. The only way this movie could be saved is if the zombie goes trick or treating for brains. Now that is a film I would like to see.
So that’s it for the round up of Cannes 2013 weird and wonderful movies. Thanks to Total Film and The Guardian for the poster selections. These two sites have a few more gems that I did not have the heart to write about so if you liked this selection then it may be worth checking them out to. I doubt we will hear from most of these straight to DVD movies ever again but if Sharknado and FDR American Badass do not get a release somewhere then the cinematic world will be a lonelier place because of it.
So it’s time once again for next year’s Oscar class to begin the long journey off palm-pressing and baby-kissing in order to get enough critical swagger to garner a nomination. Cannes film festival has kicked off and Movie Drawer has tipped us off to some of the early front-runners. Let’s dissect:
On The Road
This adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s generation defining novel looks like it will definitely be a serious contender. It has the right mix of young stars like Tron 2.0‘s Garret Hedlund, a four-language speaking indie Director in Walter Salles, veteran character actors like Terrance Howard, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi and of course the all important period element, see old cars and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. I’m excited to see this movie as it’s one I can get away with on date night but will still have all the sex drugs and rock and roll you can handle. The biggest problem I see is Kristen Stewart. I applaud her for broadening her horizons and early reports are that she does a fine job but unfortunately like the Manning’s of the NFL she will always have the “Stewart Face” no matter how well she does.
Next up is another period piece based on a novel…
Lawless used to be called “The Wettest County in the World” which was the name of the novel that it is based on but it got Hollywooded up a bit on the way as the producers quickly realized they needed a name that captured the violence of the story and that people would easily remember. This has another great ensemble cast including Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy who will be the hottest thing since sliced toast after The Dark Knight Rises and Guy Pearce who has begun to relish the bad guy role. The only potential stick in the spoke is the lead character being played by Shia LaBeouf. I don’t have anything against Shia personally but I don’t know if he has the depth needed to play a complicated tough guy like Jack Bondurant. Either way I’ve been excited for this movie to drop for a long time now.
Well you can forget about this next one as an Oscar nominee unless it’s in the foreign category because it’s so very French.
Here is the modern tale of a cross-dressing man who wants to become a woman. I guess the twist is that he is in a heterosexual relationship but is still trying to become a woman. It looks pretty compelling and for the lead actor’s sake it’s too bad that it isn’t an American film because cross-dressing drama is Oscar Gold stateside.
Another French film has been garnering a lot of buzz apparently…
I guess this is on of those cases of “you gotta be there to see it” as the trailer doesn’t give away a whole lot except that it’s about aging relationships and the sanity of a crotchety old man.
One more foreign film being heralded as “Scotland’s Full Monty”…
The Angel’s Share
No subtitles on this one but you might need them as the scotch accent is thicker than the guy who tries to sell you the lawn seed. This seems like the classic feel good story of a neer-do-well that does good against the forces of classism. You may remember Director Ken Loach from such films as… well you porbably won’t remember Ken Loach from anything you’ve seen unless you are into the indie circuit but he is a talented and accomplished filmmaker who has surely produced a gem here.
That’s the early rub from Cannes so pick up your wine glasses, turn on your public radio and look forward to enjoying these “indie” films in your local art house not too long from now.