Film Miss N

The Cannes Diaries – Of Mud and Men

Jeff Nichols’ Mud was a good note on which to end my 2012 Cannes Film Festival experience.

The movie’s themes of love and family and young-teenage boys falling for older women (a seemingly re-occurring motif at this year’s event) resonated in the atmospheric drama featuring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon (oh, and a not-enough-dose of Michael Shannon).

Matthew McConaughey arrives for the Mud press conference
Reese Witherspoon signs a few autographs in Cannes

Last night, before a little boogie at the American Pavilion where The Paperboy director Lee Daniels was DJing, I managed to catch the much-buzzed-about Holy Motors. What a fantastical, puzzling, fabulous piece(s) of cinema. Really entertaining but it generates much conversation about what exactly it all means for hours afterwards.

Before the big prize – the Palme d’Or – is awarded tomorrow night, there have been a few honours handed out so far.

Ben Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won a grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, screened as part of the Un Certain Regard sidebar and was named the best film by FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics), and it also received an Ecumenical Jury mention. Can’t believe I missed it again this time around!

Meanwhile, Chilean director Pablo Larrian’s political drama No took the top prize of the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal who helps topple the Pinochet regime. A Swedish colleague of mine said it truly was an excellent historical film.

Also, the Un Certain Regard jury, headed by Tim Roth, gave its top prize to Michel Franco’s After Lucia.

Walking the steps of the Grand Theatre Lumiere for early morning screenings with Aussie journo Alicia Malone

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