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Best of Cannes 2013: Some Films To Look Out For

BY SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival was a festival of few highs and few unsuccessful lows. The festival projected a steady diet of good or mediocre movies from the global film community. Thankfully, there were a few standout films

What did you make of the programme – and the prizes? Which films were you most looking forward to?

At the wrap on the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival, the jury awarded the Palme d’Or to La Vie d’Adele – Chapitre 1 & 2 (“Blue is the Warmest Colour”) by Abdellatif Kechiche (France). We also weighed in on the pictures that left the strongest impressions. Check-out:

Inside Llewyn Davis

The story deals with singer Llewyn Davis who struggles for success in the 1961 Greenwich Village scene in New York City. The Coen brothers’ sorrowful deadpan comedy, winner of Cannes’ second-place Grand Prize is a wonderfully melancholy character study that paints the character’s state of spirit with half shadows, gorgeous folk music and a grayish cinematography to tell an insightful story.

LE PASSÉ (THE PAST)

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has pulled off the dysfunctional family mystery which yields the most unexpected and moving results: all of the characters, each of the events, each of the spaces fluently reveal terror and beauty, brilliantly. Ali Mosaffa, powerfully portrays an Iranian man who comes to France in order to, finalize his divorce with Marie, who is now living, with his new partner. Farhadi ends this film on the most prolific note and is probably one of the most acroamatic yet satisfying and exhilarating shots of the cinematic year. Berenice Bejo (Best Actress winner at Cannes) was as amazing as she could be.

Like Father, Like Son

While watching the film, you can’t help but feel absorbed in the lives of everyone involved. Ryota is a wonderful character made even better by the phenomenal performance by Masaharu Fukuyama. Easily avoiding earnestness and reforming as a deeply affecting movie, the plot tells us the story of a young couple and how their lives get altered when they find out that their son, has been swapped at birth.

La Vie d’Adèle (Blue Is the Warmest Color)

Winner of the Palme d’Or, the film contains graphic depictions of sex, and it is not a voyeuristic exercise but a complex, deeply intense film that elevates one young woman’s personal struggle into a drama of universal relevance. Director Abdellatif Kechiche exquisitely captured a warm and compassionate ode to the vagaries of the heart.

La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s lengthy (142-mins,) visually imaginative, intriguing, complex movie follows the reflections of former novelist, Jem Gambardella (Toni Servillo), as he contemplates and observes, deep philosophical treatises, rich symbolic meditation on aging, mortality and precious time wasted. The Great Beauty is neo-realism at its best.

Nebraska

The melancholic black-and-white setting of Alexander Payne’s new film, is a sad yet endearing road trip film that becomes a sort of modern Don Quixote influenced story where a regret filled, dementia gaining father (a wonderful Bruce Dern, winner of Cannes’ Best Actor prize) resembling the infamous dreamer Quixote resiliently chases the remnants of a thin dream accompanied by his affably neutered son serving as the loyal Sancho Panza.

Only Lovers Left Alive

The balance between emotive writing and gentle quiet spaces within the script is total perfection. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleton’s alabaster pale, rocker cool, ritualistically tender-vampire-love spans eras, and while this film is a bit of a narrative hot mess, director Jim Jarmusch’s languid theme and visual compendium breathe a new and intriguing life in this cinema. What’s striking, and unexpected, and sort of wonderful about the movie is how well the ideas fit into the vampire mythos.

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