Cannes 2021: Plus, Léa Seydoux’s “France” gets booed, and Neon and Magnolia each make sales
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How busy has Tilda Swinton been this Cannes? She’s got five movies in the festival, she became an Internet meme along with her “French Dispatch” co-stars, and on Friday she picked up the coveted Palm Dog Award.
The prize is a makeshift award created by journalists in 2001 to celebrate the best canine performers in the festival.And Swinton was on hand this year to accept her Palm Dog “collar.” Turns out Swinton stars alongside her own trio of spaniels in Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir Part II,” which premiered in the Directors Fortnight section. And in accepting her prize, she even welcomed Hogg to the stage by calling her through FaceTime on her iPhone.
Sean Baker, director of “Red Rocket,” also accepted a prize for the Palm Dog on behalf of a dog named Sophie that appeared in the film. Sophie was originally from Galveston, TX but has since been adopted and lives in Los Angeles in a new forever home. A sheep dog named Panda from Valdimar Jóhannsson’s “Lamb” also won an award, and the director was at the mini ceremony to accept the prize.
But Swinton also earned added praise for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria,” which is the Thai director’s first film set outside of his native country, in Colombia. Swinton in the film plays a Scottish woman hearing strange sounds in her head who traverses the jungle and the country in order to determine what they mean.
The film is meditative slow cinema that the “Uncle Boonmee” director does like no one else. Critics praised its ethereal, mesmerizing journey through time and space and its “long-lasting, soul-expanding impact.”
“’Memoria’ is a film from another planet, a cinematic vision unlike any other in the Cannes running and unique because of its filmmaker’s philosophical long takes,” TheWrap’s Jason Solomons wrote in his review, adding that Swinton seems to channel David Bowie in “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” See a few more online reactions below.
Léa Seydoux’s “France” Booed
Well at least she wasn’t there to hear it. Festival crowds booing at Cannes are not unheard of (particularly at press screenings), but we haven’t heard much in the way of damning boos or walkouts at this year’s Cannes, maybe because of a strong festival overall. But the premiere of “France,” the fourth film that starred Léa Seydoux at this year’s festival, was met by “a chorus of boos,” as TheWrap’s Ben Croll put it after the film’s screening. Seydoux however has been forced to miss the festival after testing positive for COVID-19.
“France” comes from director Bruno Dumont and is seen as a departure from the director behind “Li’l Quinquin.” His latest film is a satire of fame, celebrity and the news media, casting Seydoux as a hot-shot TV anchor who also stages war zones as a means of boosting her credibility.
Croll wrote that the film got a big laugh early on when “France” included a cameo of sorts from French president Emmanuel Macron and Seydoux could be seen pantomiming a jerk-off motion just behind him. But the film gets “painful” from there.
“Dumont devises a bizarre distancing aesthetic – even name-checking Bertolt Brecht along the way – that casts the subsequent goings on in the harsh light and popping colors of a television studio. Cranking up the contrast and exposure and bathing each and every frame in cold luminescence, “France” wants to make the point that for its mega-famous lead, all the world’s a set,” Croll wrote in his review. See some other online reaction below:
Neon Buys “The Worst Person In the World”
Cannes may be winding down, but the sales have not been. Neon has acquired the U.S. rights to “The Worst Person In the World,” the latest film from Norwegian director Joachim Trier.
“The Worst Person In the World” is playing in the main competition for the Palme D’Or. The film is a romantic dramedy and rounds out the director’s “Oslo” trilogy, which began with “Reprise” in 2006 and continued with “Oslo, August 31” in 2011. The film is about a woman navigating her love life and her career choices in Oslo, forcing herself to take a look at who she really is along the way.
“The Worst Person In the World” also stars Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie and Herbert Nordrum.
Neon already has out of the festival the Tilda Swinton drama “Memoria,” Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” and the anthology film “The Year of the Everlasting Storm.”
Magnolia Falls For “Anais In Love”
Magnolia has also acquired the U.S. rights to “Anais In Love,” one of the films playing in Cannes’ Critics’ Week. The film is the directorial debut of Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet and is a French-language comedy starring Anaïs Demoustier.
“Anais In Love” is the story of a young woman who falls in love with the wife of the man with whom she’s having an affair. Critics have said the film combines the feel of movies and words by both Eric Rohmer and Greta Gerwig.
Also starring in “Anais In Love” are Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Denis Podalydès, Jean-Charles Clichet, Xavier Guelf, and Christophe Montenez.
Check out TheWrap’s digital Cannes magazine issue here.
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