Cannes 2023: Modern Romance Reexamined in 'Simple comme Sylvain'

Simple Comme Sylvain

A taboo question about modern relationships – what is more important: sexual compatibility or intellectual compatibility? That's the core of this smart new romantic comedy film from Quebec titled Simple comme Sylvain (in French) or The Nature of Love (in English). After watching it, I prefer the original French title more. The direct translation is "Simple as Sylvain", or "Easy as Sylvain". The guy she falls for in the film is named Sylvain, and it's a story about how he is both a simple man (translation: not so smart), and also how simple/easy it is to fall for him and fall for his charms and all of that. The Nature of Love is a bit more abstract and doesn't quite have the sharpness of Simple as Sylvain. Though if you haven't seen the film yet, how do you know who Sylvain is? But I digress. This clever film hasn't left my mind since watching, another intriguing Cannes discovery this year that will certainly make a mark within the rom-com subgenre.


 Posted on June 2 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023 Trailer Roundup - Get a Look at Some of This Fest's Films

Cannes 2023 Trailer Roundup

"Can you find the wolves in this picture?" With the 2023 Cannes Film Festival officially wrapped up, the next step for each of these films is to get a proper release. Most of them have distribution set, but not all of them do yet. For one final recap of the festival - below are 18 different trailers for Cannes 2023 films that were at the festival. Not many trailers have been released from the line-up yet, but these are the best ones we could find now (also check out these: The Idol, Jeanne du Barry, Indiana Jones). These trailers should give you a glimpse of the kind of films that played at Cannes this year, and if there is any one of them that looks interesting - add it to your watchlist so you can catch it later. They all deserve to find an audience outside of the festival, and hopefully sharing these trailers will bring attention to even the little ones. Enjoy.

Cannes 2023: 'The Book of Solutions' Teaches Us All About Creativity

The Book of Solutions Review

One of the most delightful experiences at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was Michel Gondry’s dramatic comedy The Book of Solutions, from the Directors Fortnight sidebar. The director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind stayed away from the big screen for eight long years after the painful failure of the sloppy melodrama Mood Indigo (2013) followed with his next low budget comedy Microbe & Gasoline (2015). His only project from the past few years was an incredibly witty, heartfelt TV series called "Kidding" with Jim Carrey as Mr. Pickles, a quirky riff on Mr. Rogers. Gondry's new feature film, Le Livre des Solutions, depicts the ultimate turmoil of the moviemaking process – accumulating all of his passion, frustration & fears in a lighthearted, ironic way underlined by the usual melancholic for which he is known.


 Posted on June 2 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023: 'Perfect Days' in Tokyo are Simple Yet Still Enriching

Perfect Days Review

Everyone knows that famous Lou Reed song that goes, "Oh it's such a perfect day! I'm glad I spend it with you…" This timeless classic tune is where this film's title Perfect Days is from, but it's also an important part of the film - it's one of songs that Hirayama listens to a few times while at home or driving around in his little van. Perfect Days is one of the latest narrative feature films created by iconic German filmmaker Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire), a passion project that he has been working on for years. It just premiered in the Main Competition at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, and the wonderful Japanese actor Kōji Yakusho won the Best Actor prize at the end of the festival. It's without a doubt one of my favorite films from Cannes, and Yakusho absolutely deserves this award. The film reminds me in many ways of Jim Jarmusch's Paterson, one of my all-time fave Cannes premieres - both are poetic and quietly moving, while also being charismatic and nuanced in their deep understanding of the simpler lives of blue collar workers.


 Posted on May 29 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023: The Magical Brilliance of Alice Rohrwacher's 'La Chimera'

La Chimera Review

The tombaroli are my Palme d'Or picks from 2023! One of the best films that premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival is the sensational La Chimera, the latest creation from acclaimed Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher (best known for her previous films The Wonders and Happy as Lazzaro). It's been five years since her last feature film, and it's worth the wait, because it's clear she puts in so much time and effort into meticulously crafting and honing these films that each one needs time to develop into something special. La Chimera is another magical realism adventure, similar to Happy as Lazzaro with plenty of fantasy elements and a vintage Italian feel, but with an entirely different story about a band of tomb raiding archeologists. It's unlike anything I've ever seen, an astoundingly original creation that can't really be compared to much else before. I've already noticed some hasty comparisons to Indiana Jones (also shown in Cannes) but these two movies are so unique. I'm actually still buzzing from the initial high of experiencing La Chimera in Cannes.


 Posted on May 29 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023: 'How to Have Sex' Party Film Doesn't Discuss Anything

How to Have Sex Review

What can we learn and how do we become better if we refuse to have any conversations? One of the biggest disappointments for me at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival is this party film called How to Have Sex. Aside from the fact that this is not what the film is about (more accurately it should be called How to Not Have a Good Time Partying With Your Friends), it's a film that wants to have a conversation that it never does end up having. It seems that they had so much more fun making this than they did trying to create a compelling discussion within this film, and of course this means audiences will have "fun" with it as well. But that's not what the filmmaker is hoping for, there's a much more painful, sad story being told here. And in that regard, she fails at making an engaging, intellectually relevant film. It's frustrating in its blatant stubbornness, and never provides anything worthwhile to consider for viewers of any age, only that friends are bad influences.


 Posted on May 29 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023 Awards: Justine Triet's 'Anatomy of a Fall' Takes Palme

Cannes 2023 Palme d'Or

Winners of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival awards, including the coveted Palme d'Or, were revealed at a glamorous ceremony in Cannes, France this weekend. The awards included many of my favorite films at the festival, though my top pick didn't end up with the Palme. French filmmaker Justine Triet took home the top prize - her new film Anatomy of a Fall won the Palme d'Or this year, following up Ruben Ostlund's second Palme win for The Triangle of Sadness last year. A number of other critics picks also won awards: The Zone of Interest won the Grand Prix (second place) though it really should've taken home the Palme instead. Aki Kaurismäki's delightful romantic charmer Fallen Leaves won the Jury Prize. My favorite win of the night went to the Japanese actor Kōji Yakusho, who is transcendent in the poetic drama Perfect Days. All-in-all a solid amount of best of the fest winners this year. View all the Cannes 2023 awards below.


 Posted on May 28 in Awards, Cannes 23, Movie News | Comments

Cannes 2023: Anh Hung Tran's 'The Pot-au-Feu' is Gastronomic Bliss

The Pot-au-Feu Review

"Eating is not merely a material pleasure… Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship." –Elsa Schiaparelli. This is the first major masterpiece premiere at Cannes that I've encountered this year (so far) after watching 21 films at the festival. The Pot-au-Feu is Vietnamese-French director Anh Hung Tran's latest feature, an exquisite voyage through the world of French cuisine and gastronomy. It's bliss. Food heaven. I spent two hours in heaven and returned to tell the tale. There isn't a single shot in it that isn't perfect composed. There isn't a single scene I would change. It deserves a perfect score - the only one I've given so far in Cannes. The only issues that have come to mind since it ended have been dismissed after further analysis and discussion (will save this for another time as most of it involves spoilers that I won't publish now). This is one of the most magnificent, decadent, delicious food films I have ever seen. An instant classic, instant comfort movie favorite, instant inspiration.


 Posted on May 24 in Cannes 23, Review | 1 Comment

Cannes 2023: Wes Anderson's Desert Trip to Downbeat 'Asteroid City'

Asteroid City Review

I'm not usually a fan of writing a review while admitting that I haven't fully figured out the film and need to analyze and discuss it further. However, I need to get my thoughts out about this one – and something is bothering me about the film anyway that I need to get off my chest. WTF is going on in this film?! I've been a Wes Anderson fan for as long as I can remember, with my personal faves being Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I was not particularity fond of The French Dispatch, which premiered at Cannes 2021, it's just too dense and loquacious for me. Anderson's latest creation premiering in Cannes is a strange sci-fi drama called Asteroid City, set in the 1950s following an ensemble of eccentric characters stuck in this fictional desert town. It has all the usual quaint, delectable Wes Anderson ingredients thrown in – from precise camera movements to distinctly vibrant set design to off-beat characters delivering lines without skipping a beat. However, this one didn't turn out. There's just something oddly dispirited about it…


 Posted on May 24 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023: 'Mars Express' is an Incredible Animated Sci-Fi Creation

Mars Express Review

Every year at the Cannes Film Festival, there's one extraordinary animated film that quietly premieres in one of the side sections. Some of my other favorites from the past are: I Lost My Body (2019), The Summit of the Gods (2021), and Little Nicholas: Happy as Can Be (2022). This year's big animation discovery is a French animated feature called Mars Express, a hard sci-fi creation from director Jérémie Périn. At the fest there's also the animated film Robot Dreams, which I already reviewed and it's wonderful as well, but this one completely rocked me. Both of these films involve robots, which is a bit of a fun coincidence. Mars Express is pretty much a French update on the iconic Japanese anime Ghost in the Shell, featuring a noir story involving androids and artificial intelligence and hacking and robots galore. While it's not as great as GITS, it's as close as anyone has come in YEARS to making another great "what's hidden in the code" movie.


 Posted on May 23 in Animation, Cannes 23, Review, Sci-Fi | Comments

Cannes 2023: Aki Kaurismäki's Simple, Sweet Love Story 'Fallen Leaves'

Fallen Leaves Review

For those that are not already familiar with Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki's films, I will say that they are an acquired taste. His dry wit and minimalistic dead pan style definitely won't work for everyone, and some viewers will be left wanting. I will admit that I'm not a fan of all of his films either - some of them I like much more than others. However, if there's a particular story or something appealing about one of them that interests you - it's worth watching just to enjoy some international cinema that is unique. His latest film is called Fallen Leaves (originally Kuolleet Lehdet in Finnish) and it just premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where Kaurismäki is a regular. He's been attending Cannes (and tons of other festivals) since 1996 with Drifting Clouds. After so many heavy, dark, deep dramas, it's a joy to watch & enjoy something so upbeat and fresh and light. It's also a breezy 81 minutes, which is just the right length for this sweet love story. I can recommend this film to anyone looking for some feel good Finnish romance vibes at the cinema.


 Posted on May 23 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

Cannes 2023: Finding the Truth in Jessica Hausner's Film 'Club Zero'

Club Zero Review

To believe in Club Zero, you must accept that your truth is not the right truth. The truth you knew before is no longer the truth. And you must have faith that you can achieve what you once thought was not possible. This is the way of Club Zero. Don't question it, just accept it, believe in it… Austrian film director Jessica Hausner returns to the 2023 Cannes Film Festival with a new film titled Club Zero, an intriguing thriller about a group of students who join a special program studying with Ms. Novak. She introduces a concept to them called "Conscious Eating" – which they learn is about taking the time to slow down, think about, and closely observe what they are eating, so that they'll eat less, become healthier, more energized, and perhaps save the world in the process (there's just too much eating going on). The students are weary at first, but quickly take to her ideas and slowly come to believe fully in her conscious eating concept. It is absolutely a commentary on religion and cults and brainwashing, but what else is this film digging into beyond just that?


 Posted on May 22 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments



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