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    Cannes Review: Christophe Honoré Sings The Same Old Song In Phony, Hollow 'Les Bien-Aimés'

    As the closing night film at Cannes -- and, as such, lumped in historically with such bland films as "The Tree," "What Just Happened?," "Chromophobia" and "The Age of Darkness" -- writer-director Christophe Honoré's "Les Bien-Aimés" (aka "The Beloved") is already at a disadvantage. Sidelined out of competition, offered up as a final course to cineastes whose metaphorical bellies are already set to burst from an excess of riches, no one was going to think too much about the movie, regardless of its quality. Honoré's film in fact falls short of even the minimal expectations set by circumstance, to be truly tedious, flat and hollow -- a recycled...

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    Cannes Review: Na Hong-Jin's 'The Yellow Sea' An Epic, Pulse-Pounding Thriller

    Director Na Hong-Jin arrived in a big way in 2008 with "The Chaser," an action thriller that made huge waves on the genre film circuit and nabbed a midnight screening slot at the Cannes Film Festival a few years back. For his latest effort, Hong-Jin paired up with his two lead actors from that film ...

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    Review: Sion Sono's 'Love Exposure' A Lengthy, Demented & Highly Original Romance

    "Love Exposure" recently screened in a one-week run at Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Further U.S. engagements are yet to be determined.

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    Cannes Review: Rambling, Ragged 'This Must Be The Place' Isn't Nearly As Bad As You Feared

    The initial first glimpses for "This Must Be The Place" promised disaster, with a pitch of Sean Penn playing a burned-out post-punk rocker on the hunt for Nazis, and advance photos where Penn's jet-black corona of hair and dour made-up jowls made him look less like someone who had imitated The Cure'...

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    Cannes Review: Takashi Miike's 3D 'Hara-Kiri' A Tired Merchant Ivory-Esque Samurai Flick

    The prospect of the first 3D competition film ever to screen at the Cannes Film Festival directed by the ridiculously prolific Japanese madman Takashi Miike sounds too good to be true. And unfortunately, that's the case. "Hara Kiri," Miike's remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film, is the complete op...

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    Cannes Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80s Crime Drama 'Drive' Has A Dark Majesty

    Why is "Drive" -- a seemingly trivial affair about a stuntman and part-time getaway driver, played by Ryan Gosling, pulled into deep and bloody waters on the neon-and-streetlight lit streets of L.A. -- even at Cannes, let alone in competition? It's not merely because of the bloody-but-brilliant background of director Nicolas Winding Refn, whose films (the "Pusher" trilogy, "Bronson," "Valhalla Rising") have demonstrated both an eye for composition and a taste for the jugular. It's not merely because of the film's cinematic roots, with the production seemingly crafted as a clear tribute to '80s-era Michael Mann and other synthesizer-and-faux-l...

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    Cannes Review: 'Bonsai' Is A Chilean Slacker-Romance Of Love & Language That's Small, Swift & Smart

    Cannes, more so than other film festivals, feels like the 10 days of nutrition offered in the hopeful attempt to make up for the other 355 days of dessert modern movie going offers us. Abandonment, murder, suicide, prostitution -- these are the concerns of all too many films in the competition and sidebars here at Cannes. A film like Christián Jiménez's "Bonsái," in the Un Certain Regard selection -- seemingly slight, seemingly light, small in scope and scene -- is exactly the kind of film that whispers when other films shout and gets overlooked in the hue and cry. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't speak the truth, or that what it's sayin...

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    Cannes Review: Lars Von Trier Confronts Depression Head On In The Grim 'Melancholia'

    Two years after Lars Von Trier caused a major stir at Cannes with his contentious "Antichrist," the enfant terrible returns to the Croisette in a much more subdued mood with "Melancholia." Despite the premise, which sounds tailor-made for Von Trier to provoke and prod his audience, the film is easil...

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    Cannes Review: 'Le Havre' Another Hilarious, Humane & Moving Film From Aki Kaurismaki

    The issue of illegal immigration certainly isn't a new one to the film world, but rarely has it been captured with as much humanity, heart and humor as in Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre." A political film that eschews politicking, a comedy with a serious point, and imbued with a deep, emotional core, th...

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    Cannes Review: 'Snowtown' An Uneven But Still Mesmerizing & Disturbing Serial Killer Thriller

    This film was screened as part of the Critic's Week sidebar.

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