Only two Cannes ’17 films have really stood and delivered in exceptional, world-class terms: Andrej Zvyagintsev‘s Loveless and Ruben Ostlund‘s The Square, and even the latter didn;t end as well as it could. Two others — Jonas Carpignano‘s A Ciamabra (Director’s Fortnight) and Kaouther Ben Hania‘s Beauty and the Dogs (Un Certain Regard) — merit honorable mention. But by the criteria of truly startling art cinema, delivered with commendable discipline and impressive follow-through, only Loveless has made the grade.
Robin Campillo‘s BPM (Beats Per Minute) was initially overpraised, and this didn’t help once calmer, less invested voices began to weigh in. Michael Haneke‘s Happy End has been dismissed as a Haneke rehash. Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing Of A Sacred Deer has its fans, but many (the majority?) found it cold and repellent. I didn’t see Hong Sangsoo‘s The Day After but no one has been doing cartwheels. Noah Baumbach‘s The Meyerowitz Stories is decent enough as far as it goes, but the general response has been on the muted side. Redoubtable fared well with some, but it’s just as didactic as Godard became when he threw caution to the wind and went off the cliff in ’68. Bong Joon Ho’s Okja is a well-directed megaplex movie for kids, and cliche-ridden like a sonuvabtich. For me, Todd Haynes‘ Wonderstruck was so staggeringly simple-minded and generally disappointing that I still haven’t recovered. I missed Kornél Mundruczo‘s Jupiter’s Moon but again, no one to my knowledge has been doing handstands.