We’re entering Week 2 of Cannes, and as people eagerly await Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” strong reviews continue to roll out of the festival, including for recent premieres “Bergman Island” and “Drive My Car.”
“Bergman Island” from director Mia Hansen-Løve turns out to be very Swedish, drawing much of its energy not just from legend Ingmar Bergman, but also a dance sequence set to ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All.” The film follows Tim Roth and Vicky Krieps as American filmmakers who travel to an island where Ingmar Bergman shot many of his iconic films, but as their screenplay develops, their own sense of reality and fiction begins to blur.
Krieps and Roth decided to give one another the finger during their photocall, as you can see below, and on Monday they briefly discussed how they constructed their characters by sharing slices of pizza.
“Bergman Island” was picked up by MUBI in the UK and IFC Films in the U.S., and Anne Thompson of Indiewire predicts that the film could be an arthouse hit later this year. See TheWrap’s review here, and see some more reaction to the film below:
the beautiful poetic vicky krieps and tim roth bergman island cannes photocall footage pic.twitter.com/U46Thqz3TE
— annabel (@hollyhuntr) July 12, 2021
BERGMAN ISLAND: Well of course I’m going to like a movie that has Vicky Krieps *and* an ABBA dance sequence
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 12, 2021
Mia Hansen-Love’s summer married writers’ idyll Bergman Island, starring magnetic Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth in one story and Mia Wasikowska and #Cannes breakout Anders Danielson Lie (Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person In the World) in another, could be arthouse hit for @IFCFilms.
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) July 12, 2021
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) July 11, 2021
“Drive My Car” Rolls Along
As one critic pointed out, at nearly three hours long Hamaguchi Rayusuke’s “Drive My Car” is 72 times as long as The Beatles song that shares its name (and definitely not as upbeat), but that didn’t change the enamored reaction to the film playing in competition, an interpretation of a Haruki Murakami short story.
“Drive My Car” is the story of a stage actor and director who, two years after the death of his wife, is unable to fully cope but accepts an offer to drive to Hiroshima to direct a play. When a reticent woman is assigned to become his chauffeur, he finally begins to confront the mystery of his wife’s death.
The Playlist’s Gregory Ellwood called it the best film he’s seen in competition at Cannes thus far, writing that it’s “sort of amazing when a three-hour film with Uncle Vanya themes can keep your attention so masterfully. A must-see.”
TheWrap’s review was a little more muted, noting how the film rolls its opening credits 40 minutes into its run time but never seems to capture the energy of its prologue after that.
“It’s a wonderful impulse that works beautifully in the film — perhaps a little too beautifully, however, because the prologue outshines everything that comes next,” TheWrap’s Ben Croll wrote.
See some more reactions below:
Choice excerpts from Murakami’s short story “Drive my Car.” It reaches GERTRUD (1964) levels of stone-cold directness about the terror and mystery of surviving. Revisited it today in preparation for the Cannes premiere of Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s adaptation of it, tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/nCvty4ZnFb
— Carlos Valladares (@cvalladares0896) July 10, 2021
DRIVE MY CAR: Hamaguchi’s three-hour Haruki Murakami adaptation is a head-on collision between two wildly different sensibilities (with Anton Chekhov riding shotgun). A total blast.
my #Cannes review: https://t.co/PHW3Tvoc83 pic.twitter.com/YF8U6HS0up
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) July 11, 2021
Cannes keeps delivering: Ryusuke Hamaguchi's DRIVE MY CAR is an exquisite Murakami adaptation that deftly rebuilds the source text while honouring its voice. It's not that you don't feel its three-hour runtime; it just feels right. My review: https://t.co/qkiCH40gVz
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) July 11, 2021
the best film at #Cannes I've seen in competition is Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car. sort of amazing when a three-hour film with Uncle Vanya themes can keep your attention so masterfully. A must-see. My review: https://t.co/86KrmJsn9y
— Gregory Ellwood – CANNES – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) July 11, 2021
DRIVE MY CAR – Based on a Murakami with a fascinating and paced unravel of its story. (Opening credits at 40 mins is a thing!) Filled with interesting ideas and beautiful turns. So much more than just a ride in the car. Really loved. 🚗 #Cannes #Cannes2021 pic.twitter.com/3DgOCVd9nh
— TT @ Cannes… sort of… (@timetomorrow) July 12, 2021
Cannes fun fact: The Japanese competition title Drive My Car has a runtime of two hours, 59 minutes, making it more than 72 times as long as the Beatles song of the same name.
— Nate Jones (@kn8) July 11, 2021
Jodie Turner-Smith Victim of a Jewel Thief
“After Yang” and “Queen and Slim” star Jodie Turner-Smith was the victim of a shocking jewel heist from her hotel room on Sunday – which included her mother’s wedding ring.
Turner-Smith, who was staying at the Marriott hotel on the Croisette, was at breakfast on Friday when thieves broke into her room and stole jewels worth several tens of thousands of dollars, including her mother’s wedding ring, Variety reported.
Turner-Smith was moved down the Croisette to the Majestic hotel and assigned a security detail, especially since the actress has her one year old daughter with her as well. She had been photographed wearing Gucci couture and jewels while on the red carpet.
“Didn’t think i would be spending 2.5 hours in the police station on my final day in Cannes, but here we are,” Turner-Smith wrote.
didn’t think i would be spending 2.5 hours in the police station on my final day in cannes, but here we are… 🥴
— Jodie (@MissJodie) July 11, 2021
MUBI Takes “Great Freedom”
The streaming service and distributor MUBI acquired the North American rights as well as other territories to “Great Freedom,” a film from director Sebastian Meise that premiered in the festival in the Un Certain Regard section, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.
The film is Meise’s second feature and represents the first major deal for MUBI out of the festival, but the art house streaming service was already active prior to the festival, striking pre-screening deals internationally for movies like “Bergman Island,” “Lamb” and “Cow.”
“Great Freedom” is set in post-war Germany and follows a man who is consistently imprisoned for being gay at a time when homosexuality was outlawed and whose only real relationship in his life is with his cellmate, a convicted murderer.
“Memoria” Drops a Trailer
We told you before that Tilda Swinton has a busy festival ahead of her, and one of her five movies at the fest is “Memoria,” the latest film from Palme D’or winning director of “Uncle Boonmee” Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His latest film will be released by Neon later this year, but it just released its first teaser trailer ahead of its premiere.
The movie is described as “bewildering drama” following Swinton as a Scottish woman who hears a loud bang and suddenly begins experiencing a mysterious sensory syndrome all while she’s on a trip through the jungles of Colombia. Check out the trailer below:
Oh yes, and Anderson’s “French Dispatch” premieres tonight.
Read original story Cannes Report Day 7: ‘Bergman Island’ Dances to ABBA , ‘Drive My Car’ Keeps Festival Rolling At TheWrap