Cannes Buzz: Sleeping Beauty, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Restless

Cannes Buzz: Sleeping Beauty, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Restless

May 12, 2011

Yesterday we brought you the Cannes Buzz on the fest's opening night film, Woody Allen's Midnight and Paris, and we also let you in on ten Cannes Festival films that you'll be talking about later this year. Some of those ten films have screened during the fest's first couple of days, and so we're back with the early word on three of them: Sleeping Beauty, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Gus Van Sant's Restless.

Sleeping Beauty stars Sucker Punch's Emily Browning as a University student who pays her way through school by becoming a certain kind of prostitute who takes drugs to fall asleep while other people ... do things to her. Advanced word says there's tons of sex and nudity, but not much else.

-- You will go to sleep; you will wake up. It will be as if those hours never existed.” That quote from the Australian feature Sleeping Beauty is part of the job description of an emotionally detached young woman who drifts into high-end prostitution involving no actual sex. Regrettably, it could also describe the experience of watching the movie." -- The Hollywood Reporter

-- "It is awkward, meandering and pretentious, and the artistic approach here is incredibly badly thought out. And, how dare they make Emily Browning’s nudity anything but profound." -- Film School Rejects

-- Greeted with diffident, muted applause at Cannes—where it was instantly vaulted into must-see territory the second it arrived in competition despite being the debut effort of a first-time director—“Sleeping Beauty” is a film that seduces and repels, that flickers between a come-hither smoldering gaze and dead-eyed passive aggression. This is, in many ways, the kind of film you only get at a major festival, a hothouse flower, beautiful and delicate and yet surprisingly hardy and potentially toxic." -- The Playlist

We Need to Talk About Kevin features Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly as parents who must deal with the aftermath of a school shooting. Problem is, their son is the shooter. Advanced buzz is strong for this meaty, haunting drama.

-- Cinema's worst ever case of post-natal depression is the subject of this compelling psycho-horror nightmare from Lynne Ramsay, adapted from the novel by Lionel Shriver. It is a movie which is a skin-peelingly intimate character study and a brilliantly nihilist, feminist parable: what happens when smart progressive career women give birth to boys: the smirking, back-talking, weapon-loving competitive little beasts that they have feared and despised since their own schooldays?" -- The Guardian

-- Adapted from Lionel Shriver’s 2003 novel, this immersive look at a high-school shooter and his grief-stricken mother avoids sentimentality and constructs a sensationally moving evocation of the ultimate dysfunctional family. ... Tilda Swinton delivers a breathtakingly fragile performance as Eva, whose 15-year-old son Kevin (Ezra Miller) sits in jail while she lives in the shadow of his murderous act." -- indieWIRE

-- "The film is about one character yet takes place entirely in the mind and world of another. Seldom has a son and a mother been more unknown to each other than in this drama, which is as perplexing as it is intriguing." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Restless comes from director Gus Van Sant (Elephant, Good Will Hunting), and stars Mia Wasikowska as a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy with his own somber issues. Van Sant isn't the most consistent of directors, and advanced buzz is not surprisingly mixed.

-- "The picture (which opens the festival’s Un Certain Regard sidebar) is so fluttering and tender, so guileless, that you almost can’t believe it was made by an old hand like Van Sant. Then again, maybe you can." Movieline

-- "The most banal and indulgent of Gus Van Sant’s periodic studies of troubled kids, this agonizingly treacly tale comes off like an indie version of Love Story except with worse music. Gullible teen girls represent the target audience for this Sony Pictures Classics release, as most people of voting age will blanch at such a cutesy depiction of adolescent angst." -- The Hollywood Reporter

-- "Van Sant continues to be the king of describing youth on-screen, and the injection of more conventional heart (perhaps from producer Ron Howard?) creates a whole new viewing experience for his fans." Film School Rejects

Categories: Features
Tags: Restless
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