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Cannes Diary

Entry Five: Friday, May 17, 2002

Day Three of the Festival
Movies: The Good Girl, Ode to Cologne, Bowling for Columbine, and All or Nothing


Same old, same old morning routine: painfully early waking, half-asleep walk to the Pantiero, waiting, waiting, waiting, and, finally, tickets. Today’s were for 24 Hour Party People. In line, we got the chance to talk to some producers from Palm Pictures in California--just basically gossiping and picking the movies we were most looking forward to seeing during the Festival. Afterwards, we made some quick stops at the Palais and the American Pavilion before it was off for our first movies of the day:

The Good Girl
USA, Directed by Miguel Arteta
Palais C: 05/17/02: 11:30am
(***) of four
Time slept during: None

Brought to you by the same writer/director team behind Chuck and Buck, The Good Girl is another fiendish comedy tapping the darkest of comedy veins. Jennifer Aniston is wonderful as the small-town cashier who shakes up her life with an affair with a younger co-worker, only have it backfire in worse and worse ways. While the darkness of the comedy may not appeal to all audiences, it’s a refreshing break from more overtly in-your-face summer comedies (such as anything from Adam Sandler or featuring Austin Powers). It’s not quite as good as Chuck and Buck, but it shows that Arteta and writer Mike White are still a team to be reckoned with.


Ode to Cologne
Germany, Directed by Wim Wenders
Riviera 05: 05/17/02: 01:15pm
(****) of four
Time slept during: About five minutes (accidentally--hey, we’ve had a lot of early mornings)

Wenders’ rockumentary about the German band BAP clearly shows the power of a director that handles his craft beautifully. I was worried at first about seeing the movie because I had never heard of the band before and had no idea if I would enjoy listening to them for the first time here. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about at all. Wenders’ direction is fantastic, sending his camera off floating and soaring around with a fluid cohesion that never distracts you from the band or its music. The songs are incredibly catchy and draw you in immediately--especially since Wenders never commits musicas interruptus and lets each song play out to the end. The movie may seem like a throw-away project for the usually more serious-minded Wenders, but he throws his all behind every shot in the movie, drawing you in and never letting go. It was simply such an enjoyable movie to watch that I returned for its second screening a few nights later. I just hope it finds its way to US theatres so I can make it number three very quickly.
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