More Than A Minute: Cannes Diary, Day 9
Stumbling out of the theatre and into the bright daylight, I had to grab onto a railing to steady myself. Don’t faint don’t faint don’t faint, I chanted as my vision vibrated and I attempted to slowly pick my way down the stairs. Walking carefully, shaking with each step, I made it to a shop to grab some takeaway water and food. Can I sit for a second? I asked the girl, gesturing vaguely to a chair close by. At her concerned look, I realized I must be quite pale. Head pounding, I made it back to the apartment, forced water and bread down my throat, and lay on my bed. I think I’m just dehydrated, I told my roommate… either that or that 3-hour French lesbian film really got me.
Now I don’t want to complain about anything here at the Cannes Film Festival, because I seriously love every second and completely have an attitude of gratitude… BUT if I can maybe just point at one thing I wish I could change, it would be the water situation. As you enter any of the theatres or the Palais des Festivals where the pressrooms are, your bag is searched and body is swiped with a metal detector. I’m so used to it I fear when I walk through any door from now on I will automatically show the person to my right the contents of my bag, and hold my arms out for swiping to whoever may be in front of me. If you have food or drink, you have to throw it away. I understand the reasoning behind this, and it is really nice to not hear incessant munching of popcorn throughout each film; but when not much water is provided, you can’t have snacks, and you see a two-hour film followed directly by a three-hour film, it gets to be a problem.
The movies themselves though, were great. This morning kicked off with Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’. Payne gave us wine country in California with ‘Sideways’, Hawaii with ‘The Descendants’ and now the Midwest of America shown in black and white. The story is about a son, David (Will Forte) trying to help his father Woody (Bruce Dern), who is old and confused and thinks he has won a million dollars through one of those phony sweepstake competitions. His mother and brother are not pleased when David agrees to drive him to Lincoln, Nebraska to pick up his winnings. Along the way they stop off at Woody’s old hometown, and news that he is “rich” spreads quickly. ‘Nebraska’ is a sweet, slow-burner about family and getting old, and the ending will touch you unless you’re dead inside… or don’t wish to be touched. Some of the acting did feel stilted, and I thought that was because Payne had cast some non-actors in the background roles, but a quick perusal of IMDB tells me they are all veterans! So I’m not quite sure what that was, unless it was a particular directing choice like the black and white - which I think he uses to create a sort of nostalgic feeling. It’s lovely and very satisfying. And the old father, Bruce Dern, he really got me. Sniff.
Straight out of ‘Nebraska’ I walked into ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’. Actually I had to do a teeny bit of pleading to get in, and never thought I would make a ‘yes!’ motion when admitted entry to a 3 hour French lesbian drama, but I guess that’s what Cannes does to you. I’m so glad I got in though. I’m not sure how it did it, but this movie had me enthralled for the entire duration. Perhaps because the acting is so real and the story is so simple, speaking to truths about love and sex and sexuality. Basically it takes place over a number of years (it’s actually two films, Part 1 and Part 2, which we saw back to back) and centers on a young girl called Adele (played masterfully by Adele Exarchopoulos) who falls for a girl (her first) when she’s 17. Emma (Lea Seydoux, seen in ‘Midnight In Paris’) is slightly older, has blue hair and is a fine arts student. The two fall in love, live together, and eventually are torn apart through jealousy.
I can’t say enough good things about Adele’s performance. She is everything. So beautiful and raw. She blushes when she’s supposed to, cries real tears so hard snot comes out of her nose, is passionate, and shy, and you believe every second. Lea is also excellent and extremely believable. It’s also refreshing to see lesbian love portrayed on the big screen with the same care and sexiness as hetero love often is. The sex scenes are intense, and after the first lengthy one the whole audience burst spontaneously into claps. Then giggles. Then eventually shhhhsssses. Jury President Steven Spielberg was in attendance, which was kind of like watching a sexy film with a father. I tried to sneak a peek at him throughout, but he was blocked from my view. Not sure where or if ‘Blue Is The Warmest Colour’ will be played near you, but it is an incredible film so if you get a chance… just say yes.
Waking up from a nap I opened my eyes and discovered… I felt better. Hurrah! No more headache, or shakes, and I smiled as I thought Cannes, you haven’t beaten me yet! …then almost fell as I got out of bed. Better take it easy tonight, I told myself, because I have to make it to the 10:30pmscreening of that Robert Redford film I’m sick of hearing everyone rave about (not really) ‘All Is Lost’. Hopefully I won’t get seasick.