UPDATE: My spies say “Flag Day” played very well, getting a hearty standing ovation. “Everyone liked it a lot,” says my observer. “Dylan Penn acquitted herself well.” One person who was in the Palais said they had to run to the bathroom and ran back they were so eager to see what happened.
Reviews in the UK papers are very positive. MGM should be very pleased. A summer released will be a solid hit. Reviewer Peter Bradshaw says online “Sean Penn…has still got it!”
Variety: “the movie hits such a universal nerve.” Owen Gleiberman seconds it, with a very positive review.
Steve Pond: “The film is messy, not seamless, but it finds a way to work. And for Sean Penn the director, it’s both a family affair and a return to Cannes that is also something of, yes, a return to form.”
IndieWire: “In her first major lead role, Dylan Penn delivers a hard-edged performance steeped in a blend of frustration and simmering rage that eventually gives way to confidence as her character grows up…The movie has few tricks on offer but above all, delivers a solid reminder of Penn’s filmmaking talent, and welcome evidence that it runs in the family.”
Tonight at 10pm in Cannes, Sean Penn brings his latest directorial effort, “Flag Day,” to the Croisette. It’s the first time he’s directed himself in a movie, and his co-star his his daughter with Robin Wright, Dylan Penn.
MGM will release “Flag Day” in the US next month. The movie is based on the memoir “Flim Flam Man,” by Jennifer Vogel, who is played in the movie by Dylan. Sean plays her father, John Vogel, a notorious counterfeiter. They couldn’t use that title for the movie because there’s a really famous 1967 film called “The Flim Flam Man.”
Penn has nothing to prove as a director. His past accomplishments include “Into the Wild” and “The Pledge,” and “The Indian Runner,” all highly respected still watchable indie films. He had one dud, called “The Last Face,” but no matter: the two time Oscar winning actor is a quick study and knows how to make a good movie.
So we’ll be waiting at 6pm Eastern to see how the Palais audience responded to “Flag Day.” As I wrote this, there is a contingent of around 70 people who worked on the movie sitting through the premiere, so the applause will be loud no matter what!