Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cannes Day 3: Struggle to Find Hot Movie as Press Boos Ryan Reynolds Thriller


As Tom Petty once sang, the waiting is the hardest part. In Cannes, everyone is waiting for a really good film in competition– or anywhere at this point. Wedneday’s opening brought an excellent performance by Nicole Kidman in a not great movie called “Grace of Monaco.” Thursday introduced us to Mike Leigh’s very personal take on the painter JMW Turner in “Mr. Turner,” an awards magnet that will find love with the NPR crowd and maybe fans of “Downton Abbey.”

Today, spirits really sagged. Atom Egoyan’s “The Captive” was met with boos from the press of every country. Usually it’s just the French who express themselves this way. But “The Captive” is an atrocious waste of good efforts from the celebrated Canadian director of “The Sweet Hereafter.” Egoyan’s last film, about the West Memphis Three, was pretty bad. But this one really is shocking in its total lack of focus, thought, originality.

Egoyan did himself no favors with actors like Ryan Reynolds and Scott Speedman, not exactly the Redford and Newman of their generation. On top of that, Egoyan throws away the uber talented Rosario Dawson. Everything is wrong with this movie, starting with the hackneyed music and culminating in a plot that becomes a carbon copy of ten different bad movies.

The big day here won’t come until Monday when there are back to back screenings of what could be important films– Bennett Miller’s long awaited “Foxcatcher” and David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars.” Until then it’s all about deals for films which may never happen, a lot of announcements, and high end networking.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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