DOWNSIZING – REVIEW

DOWNSIZING – REVIEW – Jason Bourne is shrunk and it’s almost funny.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is shrunk as a way of saving the planet and also ensuring he has a more economically comfortable lifestyle. This impossible idea of saving the planet – no sacrifices, no pain – is a fantasy that a better satirist than Alexander Payne would have made into a nightmare. As it is there are some laughs and much fumbled social commentary – the latter due to a strange romance between Bourne and a Vietnamese political dissident played by Hong Chau.

The film is one of those oddities that might prove some kind of cult in the future. There really are some quite mad ideas and some great jokes. But despite having been in development for a long time, the final product is messy and occasionally feels random.

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LFF DIARY: DAY 3, 4, 5 & 6

London Film festival



LONDON – The Studio Exec is very sorry that he has been unable to keep everyone up to date with activities at the BFI London Film Festival, this has been due to unforeseen circumstances which will become evident in the diary entries we have now been able to recover. 

DAY 3

Going to see Nebraska. Alexander Payne is NOT a nice person. I met him in the lift at the hotel and he grabbed my hand and slapped me in the face with it repeatedly saying ‘Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself.’ Not the kind of behavior I would have expected from the director of The Descendants frankly. I consoled myself with several bottles of a sweet beer called Newcastle Brown Ale. It didn’t mix well with breakfast. 

DAY 4

One of the disadvantages of Cannes and Venice as film festivals is that they’re in Cannes and Venice. This are the last places in the world to encourage you to go into a darkened auditorium and see an actual film. They’re both on the Goddam beach. Toronto, Berlin and London definitely have this advantage over them. The Coen brothers came to my hotel room while I was out and glued all the furniture to the ceiling. They’ll never forgive me for greenlighting The Ladykillers

DAY 5

I can feel the breakfast go in my mouth, bypass my stomach and get to work immediately clogging my arteries and the ventricles of my heart. I saw Scarlett Johansson in the lobby and in an act of tribute to her performance in Under the Skin fell flat on my face. She took it well. As I got to my feet, she looked over at me sweetly and in a voice no louder than a whisper told me to ‘get out of the f*cking way, you asshole.’ Ah, I still have the magic!

DAY 6

I think my drinking might be getting excessive. I awoke this morning to find my liver sitting on my pillow next to my head. He didn’t say anything but I got the feeling he was silently judging me. Climbing down from my bed (note to self: call hotel manager about getting the furniture put back on the floor) I slipped and sprained my ability to think coherently.  

NEBRASKA: REVIEW

LONDON – As Guy Pearce was unavailable Bruce Dern plays the role of an old man –  who decides he has to collect a prize he’s received through the mail despite the protestations of his family, even if he has to walk to Nebraska to collect it.

Will Forte is his son, who reluctantly decides to accompany his boozy emotionally distant and possibly losing it dad. What ensues is Payne-ful, Alexander Payne-ful! That’s right the giddy young fogey who gave us About Schmidt and Sideways is back with another of his mature, occasionally hilarious and wryly sardonic road movies, where lessons are learnt and complex characters come to self-realization. In order for you not to confuse it with his other films, he’s gone and done it in black and white (post-production by the way, it was shot on color film stock). But to say the road is well-trod would be churlish, when it offers such a good time. Payne’s produced a well oiled and precise machine that delivers up its ‘isn’t life odd’ moments and along with crowd-pleasing scenes, killer lines and generally great acting – Mike Hammer and Saul, the lawyer from Breaking Bad turn up. There are no big surprises and the film does what it sets out to do, though it’s odd to regret it does so with such efficiency.

CANNES DIARY. DAY 6


CANNES – The traditional Lars Von Trier hunt took place today. It started quite early this morning with festival organisers warning that the Danish director could be wearing multiple supplies and was being assisted by Leos Carax who had been spotted driving a derivative limousine.

Spottings were being reported throughout the afternoon but they all turned out to be false alarms. Finally, at Happy Hour in the Estonian pavilion – scheduled daily from 5.15 to 5.17 – Von Trier was caught by Alexander Payne as the comedy director of Dogsville wept into a small plastic beaker.

It was thought that he was going to sell his tears as a cure to leprosy to some sub-equatorial African nation, famous for its imaginative breaches in human rights.

Tonight outside the Majestic hotel, Mr. Von Trier will be ceremoniously burnt in a huge wicker Nazi, in what has become a highlight of the festival since 2011.

CANNES LINE UP INCLUDES MICHAEL BAY AND EMMERICH

PARIS – At midday today in Paris, the line up for the 66th Cannes Film Festival was announced and there were some genuine surprises among the films battling it out on the Croisette.

The inclusion of such American blockbusting directors as Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich and Gore Verbinski will raise a few Gallic eyebrows. Not to mention comedy kings, Frank Coraci and Shawn Levy muscling their way towards the Palme d’Or. 
Click down to read the full list.

IN COMPETITION

Opening Film
Baz LUHRMANN
THE OKAY-ISH GATSBY (H.C.)
1h45
***
Michael  BAY
PAIN AND GAIN
1h44
Frank CORACI
UNTITLED ADAM SANDLER
1h45
Paul FIEG
THE HEAT
2h05
Roland EMMERICH
WHITE HOUSE DOWN
2h
Amat ESCALANTE
WON’T WIN
1h45
Asghar FARHADI
LE PASSÉ (TRANSLATORS DON’T GET PAID ENOUGH)
2h10
James GRAY
THE IMMIGRANT
2h
Mahamat-Saleh HAROUN
GRIGRIS
1h40
JIA Zhangke
TIAN ZHU DING
(I FART IN YOUR MOUTH)
2h15
KORE-EDA Hirokazu
SOSHITE CHICHI NI NARU
(SEE WHAT I CAN DO?)
2h
Shawn LEVY
THE INTERNSHIP
3h07
Takashi MIIKE
WARA NO TATE
(4TH FILM THIS YEAR)
2h05
François OZON
JEUNE ET FRENCHIE
1h30
Alexander PAYNE
NOT AS GOOD AS ELECTION
1h50
Roman POLANSKI
WHAT IS YOUR EXTRADITION POLICY?
1h30
Steven SODERBERGH
LAST FILM EVER (I PROMISE)
1h58
Paolo SORRENTINO
LA GRANDE BELLEZZA
(WE WANT MORE MONEY)
2h30
Gore VERBINSKI
THE LONE RANGER
1h58