Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 4

Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 4

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by Alexa Dalby

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Sorry We Missed You

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

The I, Daniel Blake director raises his game yet further with this gut-wrenching tale of a delivery worker driven to the brink. Director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty have come storming back to Cannes with another tactlessly passionate bulletin from the heart of modern Britain, the land of zero-hours vassalage and service-economy serfdom – a film in the tradition of Loach’s previous work and reaching back to Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves. It’s fierce, open and angry, unironised and unadorned, about a vital contemporary issue whose implications you somehow don’t hear on the news…

But I can only say that the European Union is the modern-day nursery of employment rights, and outside it is where working people will find more cynicism, more cruelty, more exploitation, more economic isolation and more poverty. This brilliant film will focus minds. – Guardian

Over more than half a century of prolific socially and politically engaged filmmaking, Ken Loach has trained his clear-eyed, compassionate gaze on the everyday struggles of the British working class. At age 82, he’s doing some of his strongest work in Sorry We Missed You, a drama of such searing human empathy and quotidian heartbreak that its powerful climactic scenes actually impede your breathing. – Hollywood Reporter

Full DAW review to follow.

Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria)

Banderas dons Almodóvar’s signature spiky hair as film director Salvador Mallo, struck by writer’s block in a role superficially akin to Marcello Mastroianni’s in 8½. But Pain and Glory lacks the showiness that became Fellini’s trademark in his post-neorealism years. Instead, like 2016’s Julieta, this is a muted, exquisitely plotted and sometimes deeply serious late-period work from Almodóvar, which paces itself mysteriously but never puts a foot wrong, unravelling until its last frame in a twist that encapsulates an entire career of self-expression in a magnificent flourish. This is perhaps the director’s most outstanding work since his peerless fin-de-siècle diptych of Talk to Her and All About My Mother. – The Film Stage

Full DAW review to follow…

The Climb

It’s an epic tale of a toxic bromance, divided up into several chapters, and each one appears to unfold in one or two continuous takes… first-time feature director Michael Angelo Covino, also playing one of the leads, fills his scenes with life and detail, and doesn’t forget the value of good comedic timing. – The Upcoming

The Climb is a fantastic film about frenemies, bringing craft and intelligence to what easily could have been a hackneyed, boring bit of cringe comedy. – Slash Film

Sorry We Missed You and Pain and Glory premiered in the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2019. The Climb premiered in the Un Certain Regard section.

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