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There are not that many comedies that play at the Cannes Film Festival every year, only a few good ones slip in. The World is Yours, titled Le monde est à toi in French, is the latest feature film made by acclaimed music video director Romain Gavras. The film is a comedy about a small-time drug dealer from Paris who as aspirations to get out of the drug world once and for all, and settle down selling Mr. Freeze ice pops in Morocco. The biggest thing in his way - his own mother, who actually is one of the top gangsters in the city, and still has a steady hand on all of his money. This film plays like Snatch meets Spring Breakers with some serious French attitude, a mobster "coming-of-age" for the new age that is so much ludicrous fun. It's about time Gavras breaks out and gets the attention he deserves as a talented, always-fresh filmmaker with spunk.
Looking back on Cannes this year, everything did turn out pretty well. No disasters, nothing bad happened, no big complaints, they actually let us bring in water to the cinemas this year (they didn't last year). At the start of the festival, I wrote about how they were entering a new era and starting out by making some major changes - and who knew how this would all affect us. Now that the 71st Cannes Film Festival is finished, the awards handed out, looking back on the experience - it was a great year. It went smooth, they showed a ton of outstanding films, plus a few bad ones. Even though it wasn't exactly perfect, they seemed to actually be making some good progress getting into a new era and slowly setting a precedent for the next few years. Dare I say, they're making the right steps. Little by little, they're cleaning up their act and still remaining relevant - even without Netflix films (for now). Don't listen to the naysayers, Cannes is as important as ever.
"That's what it's all about - winning." Universal has debuted a teaser trailer for a new racing documentary titled Born Racer, from New Zealand filmmaker Bryn Evans. The film is a profile of the New Zealand team Chip Ganassi Racing, and it's a "story of the will to win in the words most visually arresting and dynamic auto sport." It's not just about racing and the people who are dedicated to the sport, but about what it takes and how rare it is to be so "driven" that you push things further than they've ever been before. "A powerful and inspirational story of dedication, danger, fear, and the rare 'will' some of us have to defy all personal limitations." The first teaser is timed with the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday, of course.
"The truth is elusive, evasive, polymorphic…" An early festival trailer has debuted for an indie drama titled Shooting in Vain, the feature debut of Jared Januschka. This film will be premiering at the Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles in June, and this is an early trailer to drum up some buzz in hopes of getting attendees interested in seeing it. Shooting in Vain is a look at the heroin epidemic sweeping America, told through the eyes of a struggling artist who lost the love of his life. Sebastian Gregory stars as Max, who returns to his hometown and re-experiences the memories of falling in love with his high school sweetheart. The full cast includes Isabel Lucas, Diana Hopper, Alexandra Park, & Maria McCann. Check it out.
"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day." Disney has debuted an adorable full-length trailer for their upcoming Christopher Robin movie, from director Marc Forster, a live-action re-introduction of all the Winnie the Pooh characters. Ewan McGregor stars in this as a working-class family man in London named Christopher Robin, of course. He re-encounters his childhood friend Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life. The main human cast includes Hayley Atwell, Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, and Paul Chahidi. For the voices: Jim Cummings as Winnie-the-Pooh, Chris O'Dowd as Tigger, Toby Jones as Owl, Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, Sophie Okonedo as Kanga, and Nick Mohammed as Piglet. The first teaser didn't show much, but we finally get a look at the story in this is and it looks so heartwarming, and very goofy, and everything else you'd expect from Disney.
"A story of hidden love, challenged faith, and unwittingly shared grief." Strand Releasing has unveiled an official US trailer for a German drama titled The Cakemaker, which played at a number of film festivals throughout 2017. Made by Israeli filmmaker Ofir Raul Graizer, the film is about a talented young German baker who travels to Israel after his secret lover, an Israeli married man, is killed in a car crash. There he searches for his lover's wife and son, but ends up lost in an entirely different world with all kinds of feelings to deal with. Tim Kalkhof stars as Thomas, along with Sarah Adler, Zohar Shtrauss, Sandra Sade, and Roy Miller. The film won various awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and Miami Jewish Film Festival. This looks like a good under-the-radar foreign film to discover - see below.
"People come here to fulfill their dreams." Passion River Films has debuted their official US trailer for a documentary titled The Workers Cup, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year (in 2017) and went on to play at tons of festivals all over the world including CPH:DOX and the Zurich Film Festival. From director Adam Sobel, who spent years in Qatar getting footage, the film profiles the construction of the venues that Qatar is building for the World Cup in 2022. "Inside Qatar's labor camps, African and Asian migrant workers building the facilities of the 2022 World Cup compete in a football tournament of their own." What most people don't know, is that these migrant workers are dying by the dozens (source) trying to complete these facilities, living in terrible conditions - but they still strive on in love for the sport and a desire to contribute something to the world through their hard labor. This doc looks like it's worth our time.
"Ah, beautiful day. Blue skies. Large caliber weapons. I love getting out of the office." Sony Pictures has released a third official trailer for the dark thriller Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the sequel to Sicario, Denis Villeneuve's intense thriller set along the US-Mexico border. Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro return to star in this one, which looks like it has more action and even more intensity than the first film. In Soldado, the drug war has escalated as the cartels have shifted to trafficking terrorists across the border. Del Toro seems to take the lead as the point man running the latest intrusion into the cartel scene in hopes of cleaning it up. Also starring Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Catherine Keener. This is looking very good, but it's an easy sell with all the action and Brolin being badass as always.
"There's nothing for you to worry about… you're perfectly safe here." The first official trailer has debuted for a film playing at the Seattle Film Festival coming up this summer, titled Susu, the feature directorial debut of Chinese writer/director Yixi Sun. This "psychological thriller with a stylish international twist" is about two Chinese girls who take a film transcription job located in a heritage English countryside mansion. Discovering entangled family secrets about the Kunqu Opera star Susu, they find it almost impossible to escape, physically and emotionally. It was actually shot at historical sites, including a 16th century English mansion and the old house of Charlie Chaplin and his mother. Susu stars Zitong Wu, Lin Zhu, Frederick Szkoda, Steve Edwin, Tom Mannion, Laura June Hudson, Roslyn Hill, and Junjie Mao as Susu. This looks extra melodramatic and a bit campy, but I quite like the intertwining of old cinema and thriller.
"Never stops being awesome." BH Tilt has debuted a second official red band trailer for the sci-fi action film Upgrade, the latest film from Australian filmmaker Leigh Whannell, co-creator of Saw and Insidious. This has been described as a "thrilling and hyper violent vision of the future" and it looks totally badass, these trailers are the best way to get people excited for this film. Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem. Logan Marshall-Green stars, along with Betty Gabriel, Michael M. Foster, Harrison Gilbertson, and Benedict Hardie. I really can't wait to see this! I've been hearing nothing but good things, and it looks like a brutally good time.