After a two year absence, Cannes Film Festival was always playing catch-up… and largely… did a damn good job (with exceptions)
Cannes Film Festival 2022 was mostly a blast; pins and ribbons; and an exquisite balance of sparkle and seriousness. Blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick saw mini but mighty Hollywood star Tom Cruise enjoy a surprise fly-past from the French Airforce and Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis had fans hip-swaying and beetle-crushing in the aisles.
There were also darker, heavier moments of cinema. November and Paris Memories both dealt with the traumatic aftermath of the 2015 terror attack during an Eagles Of Death Metal concert at Paris’ Bataclan in which 130 people were killed, were both distressingly memorable.
The moving war on Ukraine documentary Mariupolis 2 by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius, also brought immense emotion to proceedings. Kvedaravičius was assassinated by the Russian offensive for his involvement in this documentary.
Also Sheila Atim in burnt orange Prada, Bella Hadid in vintage black Versace, and the timeless Julia Roberts in Chopard jewellery.
On the ground, there were general accusations of the festival being “lacklustre”.
After a two-year hiatus, it needed to annihilate rivals Sundance, albeit that being largely ‘virtual’ back in January; and also the yet-to-come Venice festival, to be held this September. But in the end it tended to be an annulment for many. Almost like a shy and nervous back to school moment following the pandemic.
There were barrels of profundity in films such as George Miller’s Cannes return with Three Thousand Years of Longing with its earnest sentiment; a far cry from the blood and fire of a ruined future-Earth featured in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road.
Kelly Reichhardt’s film, Showing Up, is, in some ways, her most ready work, has a definiten mainstream quality. Filled with mood – it’s a story of an ambitious artist striving to balance her stark work with even starker family duties.
I was so glad Triangle of Sadness nailed the Palm D’dor prize. The film, directed by Ruben Östlund tells the story of a group of super-rich on a yacht which sinks leaving them stranded on an island, leaving them to cope with nothing but themselves.
I spend a lot of time in Gothenberg, even more at Landvetter Airport check-in, so I have a long-running affiliation with the Swedes, and with Sweden.
Swedes, generally speaking, are both plastic serious and hilariously funny at the same time. Scandis down to a proverbial tee. They’ll be screaming like Abba are back on the scene with this result… oh yeah… Abba are back I hear….
Cannes’ serious intentions, for me always, melts like cheap wax when it comes to ovations. Just over 12 minutes for Elvis is pushing it. At a record-breaking 22 minutes, Guillermo del Toro’s dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth in 2006 made my bladder wince for a bathroom.
But for all the back-slap and chic, 2022 was, on the whole, a jolly good show, as we say in the UK.