The celebrities have packed up their tuxedos and designer gowns, the massive yachts have sailed out of the harbor and the jurors have handed out their trophies. The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival has come to an end.
Kyle Buchanan, Vulture's senior editor, just got back from the French Riviera, and he doesn't look that tan — which means he probably spent a lot of time in a dark theater. He sat down with the Frame to talk about winners, losers and other films that stood out at Cannes.
The festival’s awards are often a little unpredictable. The jury this year was chaired by the Coen brothers. What movies that were honored by the jury were deserving, and which picks were a little bizarre?
Yeah, honestly, the film that won the Palme d'Or is a film called "Dheepan."
It's by a terrific French director Jacques Audiard. But nobody was expecting it to take home the Palme. They expected it to go to the runner-up, which was this very challenging, very artfully-directed movie called "Son of Saul."
It's a Hungarian film that takes place in a concentration camp and it's really uniquely shot. It's all shot on a total medium shot of the protagonist as he makes his way through this concentration camp — the atrocity is happening outside of the frame or out of focus, reflecting his single mindedness. It's a technically dazzling film.
The festival has a very European and world cinema bent. But what American films seemed to play the best? “Inside Out”? “The Sea of Trees” was not well-received, was it?
One much better receive than the other — that would be "Inside Out," Pixar's latest.
It's about five emotions battling for control of a little girl's mind — Amy Poehler voices one of them. It was enormously well received; so well received that people couldn't understand why it wasn't in competition, because this a movie that literally and figuratively has a lot on its mind. It if it had been in that competition, it would have made a real run for the Palme.
And then on the other side of the spectrum, we have Gus Van Sant's "Sea of Trees." It's with Matthew McConaughey, sort of putting aside his McConaughey-esce to star in another indie. And I don't know if this is the one he should have picked. There's always a designated punching bag at Cannes, and "Sea of Tress" got those famous Cannes boos as soon as it ended, and really before that — people were laughing throughout.
Cannes is often a good launching pad for some of the earliest Oscar buzz. Were there any movies or performances that you think Academy voters will be remembering early next year?
The biggest Oscar vehicle, or the best primed one in the English language, is a movie called "Carol," a movie that the Weinsteins are handling.
Todd Haynes directed it and it stars Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. It's a period love story — these two women fall in love in the '50s. And both of their performances are very acclaimed. In fact, Rooney Mara shared a best actress award at Cannes.
I think the Weinsteins will be pushing that one. What will be interesting to see is if they see both ladies in the best actress category. There's some thinking that sort of technique could cancel them out — then again, the best actress category is historically slender, so they could both make it in.
A lot of people were talking or, more accurately, complaining, about Gasper Noe’s hardcore and 3D sex movie “Love.” Mindful that we’re on public radio, how would you describe the film and its reaction?
This is a movie that is not afraid to show graphic depictions of "lovemaking," let's say. In fact, the lead actor Karl Glusman in the press conference after said that his very first shot, the very first day he showed up for work, was a close-up of his genitals. So you know what you're getting into with this movie.
What people might not have expected is that it goes on for two hours and 20 minutes and that it's mostly about the disillusion of a relationship, so there's a lot of fighting in addition to the other thing. Sort of like sex with me, there came a point where I thought this has been fun, but let's just end it already.