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Cannes Diary

Entry Ten: Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Day Eight of the Festival
Movies: Cherish, The Kid Stays in the Picture, The Man Without A Past, and About Schmidt

Same drill as usual...after breakfast, I make my way over to the Riviera for my first film of the day.

USA, Directed by Finn Taylor
Riviera 07: 05/22/02: 11:30am
(**) of four
Time slept during: About twenty minutes.

After a fast-paced and rousing opening directed with aplomb by Taylor, the movie slams right into a wall with its contrived "ankle security bracelet" storyline device and never really recovers. Robin Tunney exudes personality and charisma in the lead role (she really needs to start getting some better roles), but it isnít enough. By the end of the movie, it turns into a Run Lola Run-inspired hunt for a killer that seems out of place with the rest of the movie. It will probably appeal to some, but it just didnít do it for me.

With some time to kill and it being a rather quiet day, I spend some time walking around the beach, taking pictures, soaking in the atmosphere. After lunch, I head over to the Riviera to get in line for Kid before my evening premieres.

The Kid Stays in the Picture
USA, Directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen
Riviera 07: 05/22/02: 02:30pm
(*** and 1/2) of four
Time slept during: None.

The best achievement in Burstein and Morgenís superb documentary is how they take a standard "True Hollywood Story" and make it explode with life on film. The pictures swirl and take on new lives around us, the music sets the mood, and the fantastic voice-over by Robert Evans himself takes us far out of the realm of static documentaries. The story achieves real drama and heart when coming out of Evansí mouth and draws the audience deep into the movie. A wonderful example of the potentials of documentary filmmaking. Also, extra points are awarded for including the hilarious footage of Dustin Hoffmanís Evans imitation during the end credits.

The Man Without A Past
Finland, Directed by Aki Kaurismaki
Lumiere: 05/22/02: 07:00pm
(***) of four
Time slept during: None.

A rather hard-to-describe surreal comedy from Kaurismaki that at least isnít much like anything else at Cannes. Opinions about the film will likely vary greatly from person to person--many people at Cannes adored its oddball charm. I enjoyed the movie, but I never felt really sucked into its world. I probably need to give it another viewing, but it just didnít leave me as enthralled as it did many others. Thatís not to say it isnít a good film, though, because it definitely is and its uniqueness is a great part of its appeal. Strong performances lead the way.

About Schmidt
USA, Directed by Alexander Payne
Lumiere: 05/22/02: 10:00pm
(***) of four
Time slept during: None.

Coming off the heels of the critically acclaimed Election is Alexander Payneís newest film, About Schmidt. The movie follows Schmidt, a newly retired businessman feeling out of place in his home and his town. Schmidt is perfectly embodied by Jack Nicholson, who will very likely pick up an Oscar nomination for his work here. The audience falls in love with him immediately, which is paramount to the success of the movie since it stays with him during the entire duration. Kathy Bates also does a wonderful job in her too-small role. With a deliberately slow pacing that fits the movie well, itís another entertaining black comedy in the same vein as Election, but with less vicious bite and a little more tugging of the heartstrings.

With it getting relatively late after About Schmidt ends, I make my way back to the room to grab some sleep.
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More sightseeing eye candy


Wim Wenders at a panel on broadband technology

My host family's pet
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