The View From Here

What's hot from this year's Cannes Film Festival

Michael Bonner

For your future consideration, here are Uncut's Top 10 movies from this year's Cannes Film Festival...

CONTROL
Terrific and moving biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, elegantly directed in crisp monochrome by former NME photographer Anton Corbijn. A star is born in Sam Riley, who's magnificent here as Curtis.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Bloodthirsty adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel by Joel and Ethan Coen. Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem star in an elemental thriller about drug money and vengeance on the bleak Tex-Mex border. Very dark, with a dash of Peckinpah and echoes of the Coens’ brilliant debut Blood Simple.

SICKO
Michael Moore’s latest controversial doc-buster is a more solid piece of work than Farhrenheit 9/11, laying out the case against America’s profit-driven health insurance system. Moore idealises foreign healthcare models too much, including the National Health Service, but the film’s headline-grabbing assault on Guantanamo Bay is both moving and hilarious.

THE EDGE OF HEAVEN
Excellent multi-plot drama from Fatih Akin, the German-Turkish writer-director of Uncut favourite Head On. A modern-day tale of revolutionary terrorists, divided families and untimely death. In the spirit of Babel, but more poetic and less bombastic.

PARANOID PARK
Director Gus Van Sant follows Elephant and Last Days with this freeform novel adaptation about a murder among the teenage skater boys of Portland, Oregon. Beautifully shot by legendary cameraman Chris Doyle.

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERLY
True story of a Parisian socialite who was paralysed by a massive stroke at 43 but still managed to dictate a best-selling memoir just by blinking. Shot with enormous panache by bad-boy artist turned director Julian Schnabel.

DAYS OF DARKNESS
Black comedy from Denys Arcand, the Canadian writer-director whose last film was the Oscar-winning Barbarian Invasions. Suburban everyman turns to fantasy to escape mounting despair, failed marriage and Kakfaesque job. Very funny and bittersweet, like a French Canadian twist on American Beauty.

YOU THE LIVING
Only the third feature in 20 years from Swedish director Roy Andersson, a symphony of tragicomic vignettes where Monty Python meets Ingmar Bergman. Melancholy, hilarious and utterly unique.

CHOP SHOP
Classic social drama, drawn from real life, about an orphan child living and working in a gigantic shanty town of car workshops in Brooklyn. Director Ramin Bahrani cites Ken Loach and Mike Leigh as key influences.

THE BAND’S VISIT
Culture-clash comedy about an Egyptian police band accidentally ending up in a nowhere town in Israel. Very sweet and moving, with a universal message about mutual tolerance.

** Uncut’s Cannes Consolation Prizes go to Tarantino’s extended version of DEATH PROOF, a revved-up homage to 1970s car-chase movies, which is highly uneven but not as bad as some reviewers claim.
Also to Harmony Korine’s MISTER LONELY, an offbeat comedy about an eccentric community of celebrity look-alikes, which contains flashes of genius but too much irritating whimsy.
And finally to Abel Ferrara’s GO GO TALES, a commendably barmy but barely comprehensible screwball farce set in a Manhattan pole-dancing club.

STEPHEN DALTON


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