As the human face of the inhuman “Transformers” films, actor Shia LaBeouf knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a bad review. But does he know what it feels like to write a bad review? Cannes audiences will find out next week, as LaBeouf’s short film about a film critic, “Howard Cantour.com,” makes its world premiere, rather appropriately, in the festival’s Critics’ Week sidebar.
Here’s the official plot synopsis from the Critics’ Week website:
“This is the story of Howard Cantour. A film critic. A warrior. He lives his life vicariously through movies and in movies. But Howard is no sellout. He says it like he sees it. This is the story of his life and how he struggles to review his film hero’s latest directed movie.”
The Critics’ Week festival is the Cannes offshoot dedicated to young and emerging filmmakers. Last year’s Grand Prix for features was given to Jeff Nichols’ “Take Shelter;” the year before that, it went to the war documentary “Armadillo” by Janus Metz. LaBeouf previously co-directed a short film called “Let’s Love Hate” in 2004 and last year he made a Marilyn Manson music video and a short mockumentary called “Maniac” with Kid Cudi, but I suppose he still qualifies as a relatively young and emerging filmmaker, at least behind the camera. As an actor, not so much; in fact, LaBeouf will also make an appearance onscreen at Cannes, toplining the competition selection “Lawless.”
To star in his own film, LaBeouf — who both wrote and directed the short — recruited an impressive cast including Jim Gaffigan, Thomas Lennon, and “Youth in Revolt”‘s Portia Doubleday. Critics’ Week selections – especially short ones — don’t always attract a great deal of press coverage at Cannes, but hopefully a few curious film critics will make time to see “Howard Cantour.com” and weigh in on LaBeouf’s representation of them. We’ll be sure to update you if they do.
[H/T Ion Cinema]