High confidence and mega-celebrities during Cannes

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in ‘Cafe Society’©Photograph: Sportsphoto/Allstar

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in ‘Cafe Society’

It’s May, it’s France, and a stupidity on a Med is behind again. The mom boat has left out and returned to Planet Cannes, bringing behind a serf famous. Heaven knows — or maybe not even it — accurately what a mom boat does to these people on a outing home. No one ever looks utterly a same on a festival red runner as in their local habitats. This year, for opening night, we had Woody Allen, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg and Blake Lively, here to benefaction Allen’s latest, Café Society. They stood during a tip of a stairs looking during once starry and a small disoriented, meaningful they had been inducted, or were about to be, into European cinephilia.

That is a whole opposite commodity — some-more cerebral, some-more spiritual, some-more keen — from Hollywood’s heated fan-mania. Europeans can demeanour during Café Society’s story, set in a golden age of a American dream factory, with a reduction of supremacy and tip envy. All that out-there glitz and gaudiness. All those dishonest agents (Steve Carell), exposed youngsters (Eisenberg) and two-timing beauties (Stewart), assembly in a Hollywood ballroom of yesteryear as they waltz, change partners and wheeze skeleton to charm a world.

Visually this contingency be Allen’s many gorgeous film yet. It’s like a Great Gatsby finished with taste: for that Europe itself can be thanked. Italian maestro Vittorio Storaro is a cinematographer (35 years after Apocalypse Now). Santo Loquasto’s prolongation pattern boggles a eyes, mixing belle époque glorious with a kind of gilded Ayn Rand retro-futurism. The book itself is a witty story of rags contra riches, punctuating Beverly Hills scenes with cut backs to Eisenberg’s family in his local Bronx.

Sometimes we wish a immature Woody were back, delivering a lines with a zing his immature stars can’t utterly equal. (Nor can a master here, delivering a surprisingly hulking voiceover commentary.) But infrequently a lines are good enough, whoever dispatches them. “Live each day as if it were your last, and one day you’ll be right.”

The awaiting of a three-hour Romanian film following Café Society on to a Palais shade sounded like a ringing of doom. But Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada is an present Golden Palm contender. From a builder of The Death of Mr Lazarescu — a vicious strike in a final large year for Romania-on-the-Riviera, when Cristian Mungiu (himself behind this year with a new film) won bullion with Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days — comes this investigate in patrimonial breakdown. Imagine James Joyce’s “The Dead” reversed to a Bucharest flat. Generations accommodate to weep a defunct paterfamilias and to re-pick aged domestic or dynastic wounds. It’s raw, funny, mordant, moving; during times masterly.

Screened as an early out-of-competition showpiece from Hollywood was Money Monster. George Clooney and Julia Roberts — how’s that for a day-two luminary showup? — play presenter and writer on a TV financial show. Actress-turned-director Jodie Foster (here in Cannes too) shapes a story of a live-on-air warrant crisis. Held restrained in a bomb-vest by a gun-toting studio intruder, Clooney contingency answer for Wall Street wrong as a girl (Britain’s Jack O’Connell) final explanation, if not reparation, for a stock’s recent, life-wrecking plunge.

The thriller tricks are a small corny. Some ancillary performances are even cornier. (Expect villains to whirl invisible moustaches.) But films in that a US financial universe flagellates itself always lift a hearten in Cannes.

Celebrity-wise, I’m not certain I’ve seen a choice utterly like that of this year’s festival. It’s my 44th uninterrupted year during Cannes, and a famous are due in mega-clusters. Still to come: Steven Spielberg, Isabelle Huppert, Sean Penn, Pedro Almodóvar, Charlize Theron, Werner Herzog . . . 

Expect high security. Weeks before a festival a counter-terrorist training practice was conducted on a Palais steps. Make-believe guns, bombs and physique counts. The barbarians might be during a world’s gates, though a Cannes Film Festival is prepared and/or willing. This eventuality hasn’t sealed for business given a finish of a second universe war, detached from a brief hiccup during les événements of 1968. It isn’t about to do so soon. The French take enlightenment seriously. Hooray for them. So should we. Ars longa, barbaria brevis.


Photograph: Sportsphoto/Allstar

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