The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My Cannes 2008 Ratings

Cannes 2008 can be best remembered as a rainy year, and a deceiving one. Many high-ranking directors had much anticipated films, but most of them turned out to be illusory.


3 films have marked me this year.
Three Monkeys, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's much awaited feature, hits hard. It's as good as he ever was.
Delta was a surprise. The scenery and the music alone are worth it. Add to that the magnificent acting of the actress and you get such an elegant film
Tulpan is such an honest film. The Kazakh steppe is mind-blowing. And the actors are very good.

The Surprises

Other wonderful surprises include Gomorra which I loved, considering I am not that much for mafia films that we have seen over and over and over. But the five stories mingle well together and you stay hooked until the end. The animation feature Waltz with Bashir left me perplexed when I got out of it. But then I thought it over and over and that's when it clicked. The fact that it does have to deal with a Lebanese issue that is the massacres of Sabra and Chatila during the 1982 Israeli invasion does not change the fact that it's a striking film.
Lebanese Hadjithomas and Joreige's Je Veux Voir is their best yet. And the good thing is that Catherine Deneuve is not the real thing in this road-to-the-ruins movie.

The Good but Disappointing

I was mostly disappointed by La Mujer Sin Cabeza. This was THE film I wanted to see most, and yet it failed to grab me as it should have. Martel's own touch is still there, but the film is not.
Then there is Dernier Maquis which is completely what I wasn't expecting after Zaimeche's powerful 2006 Bled Number One. It's completely different and while I liked it well, it failed to meet my expectations. His usage of the pallets' though is striking enough.

The Simply Disappointing

Salt of This Sea is 'sweet.' Too much clichés sprinkle Jacir's much awaited first feature (Yafa's oranges and olives to name a few). Her powerful shorts and documentaries are far more appealing than this crowd-pleaser.
Lorna's Silence is a film that we have seen elsewhere, MANY times. Save the fact that we have seen this film in the directors' previous works.
As to Il Divo, and as my colleague said this perfectly, if you are not Italian, you cannot understand the movie. And that's why I couldn't get into the story of Guilio Andreotti because there are hundreds of characters surrounding him.

The Bad

Maradona by Kusturica. While it's still Maradona, I wish we could see him at least as much as we see Kusturica. And because we know that Maradona does not shoot films, you cannot confuse who is shooting whom. But for god's sake! It's the one and only Maradona! Use him!
Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the lamest excuse to shoot in Barcelona with an A+ cast that borders the ridiculous. If this film has a star and a half in my ratings, it's because Penelope Cruz cannot but be gorgeous on the screen.
I promised myself not to watch French films this year, and I almost made it, had I not seen on the day before the last a dreary atrocious film that is called Voyage Aux Pyrénées. I have nothing to add on this.

Here are full my rankings:

5 *****

Üç Maymun / Three Monkeys / Trois Singes
by Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Turkey
Official Competition
Winner: Best Directing

by Kornél Mundruczó – Hungary
Official Competition

by Sergey Dvortsevoy
Un Certain Regard
Winner: First Prize Un Certain Regard

4.5 ****-

Waltz with Bashir / Valse avec Bachir
by Ari Folman –
Official Competition

Gomorra / Gomorrah
by Matteo Garone – Italy
Official Competition
Winner: Grand Prix

4 ****

I Want to See / Je Veux Voir
by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige – Lebanon
Un Certain Regard

Er Shi Si Cheng Ji / 24 City
by Jia Zhangke – China
Official Competition

3.5 ***-

Il Resto Della Notte / The Rest of the Night
by Francesco Munzi – Italy
Directors' Fortnight

La Mujer Sin Cabeza / The Headless Woman / La Femme Sans Tête
by Lucrecia Martel - Argentina
Official Competition

Adhen / Dernier Maquis
by Rabah Ameur Zaimeche –
Algeria / France
Directors' Fortnight

by Lisandro Alonzo – Argentina
Directors' Fortnight

by Steven Soderbergh – USA
Official Competition
Winner: Best Actor (Benicio del Toro)

3 ***

Milh Hadha Al Bahr / Salt of this Sea / Le Sel de la Mer
by Annemarie Jacir – Palestine
Un Certain Regard

Lorna's Silence / Le Silence de Lorna
by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes – Belgium
Official Competition
Winner: Best Screenplay

2.5 **-

Il Divo
by Paolo Sorrentino – Italy
Official Competiton
Winner: Jury Prize

La Sangre Brota / Blood Appears
by Pablo Frendrik – Argentina
Critics' Week

2 **


by Atom Egoyan
– Canada
Official Competition

Maradona by Kusturica
by Emir Kusturica – Serbia
Official Selection – Out of Competition

1.5 *-

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
by Woody Allen – USA
Official Selection – Out of Competition

Vse Umrut A Ja Ostanus / Everybody Dies But Me / Ils Mourront Tous Sauf Moi
by Valeria Gai Guermanika – Russia
Critics' Week
Special Mention Camera D'or

1 *

My Magic
by Eric Khoo – Singapour
Official Competition


Le Voyage Aux Pyrénées
by Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu – France

Directors' Fortnight



Blogger S.Rengasamy said...

There is an interesting review of UZAK with a philosophical and spiritual touch by an young India reviewer at

5:41 PM, July 25, 2008  

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