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[Cannes Film Festival 2018] – Day 1 & 2 – Highlights

 

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Posted May 11, 2018 by

 
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There is always something special about landing on the Croisette and having the expectations build up the night before the opening of the festival. And this year, there was a wind of change around the good old Palais Des Festivals.

Starting with official ban for Red carpet selfies and changes around the programming, that include the official premiere being moved to the night before the press screening as opposed to after, mark the beginning of a new era for the festival. Following the #MeToo campaign, led by many Cannes patrons, the festival issued an official phone service for potential sexual harassment victims, offering support 24/7.

Among the highlights that everyone was nervously trying to get a glimpse of, was the Competition Jury with president Cate Blanchett and the opening night film, Everybody Knows (Todos lo samben) by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, bringing to the red carpet an all-star cast led by Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Although not Farhadi’s best venture so far, the film is yet another example of his unique family drama style, where character development and emotional engagement are the hardest bets. Cruz and Bardem manage to get you on board with their chemistry and dynamics balance, but the story fails to deliver originality and to keep a linear pace, with a rather long 2 plus hour swing between the uneasiness of the family melodrama and the attempts to play with social realism.

 

The opening film of the Critics Week (Semaine De La Critique), Paul Dano’s debut feature Wildlife, stole a good round of applause at the press screening yesterday morning, confirming the positive reviews of the film from Sundance earlier this year. Paul Dano, who attended the festival alongside Paolo Sorrentino for his role in Youth and with Netflix’s Okja at last year’s festival.

In this captivating period drama, Dano follows the story of fourteen year old Joe (Ed Ocenbould) in a remote American town, whose life was relatively turbulence-free until his father (Jake Gyllenhaal) goes away to work with the local fire brigade and Joe is left with a mother (Carey Mulligan) whose lust for life and the early abandoned American dream, return to challenge the life path she chose fourteen years back. With an astonishing character development and a great performance from Mulligan, Dano jumps on top of the list in the first Cannes reviews to come out.

Paul Dano attended the American Pavilion this morning as a guest for the first In Conversation session, speaking in length about Wildlife and his collaboration with Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal, the process of transforming from a successful actor to a first time filmmaker. In the meantime, Carey Mulligan was the first invitee at the Women In Motion panels presented by Kering, where she spoke about her career, women in the film industry and her role in the film. (Full review of the film and coverage from In Conversation with Paul Dano @ the American Pavilion coming soon, watch this space).

 

And, because Cannes without parties is like a desert without sand, the American Pavilion opened the festival last night, celebrating their 30th anniversary on the Croisette. SingularDTV marked their presence in Cannes this year with an opening cocktail at Annex Beach, promising interesting panels and networking opportunities around the NEXT, UK and American pavilions at the Marché du Film.

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