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Haneke's 'Amour' wins high praise at this year's Cannes festival

By 8th day of prestigious Cannes Film Festival, 14 movies have already been screened. Most have been well received by both critics and audiences, especially Austrian director Michael Haneke's 'Amour'

Menna Taher from Cannes, Wednesday 23 May 2012
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Michael Heneke's 'Amour' - Still from the movie
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Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's 'Amour' has been praised by audiences and critics and hailed as an intelligent film about the consequences of old age. The film, highly moving despite its lack of music or sentimentality, depicts a woman's deteriorating health, and its effect on her husband.

It was during three rainy days in Cannes that the film was screened, which only added to the film’s dense mood. There is a large chance the film will win the Palme d'Or or, if not, an award for its superb acting.

The rain, unusual during festival season, led to the cancelation of several events, including the day-after screening of Cristian Mungui's ‘Beyond the Hills,’ another film that has received positive reviews, despite the general view that it failed to live up to his Palme d'Or winner, ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.’

Both ‘Amour’ and ‘Beyond the Hills’ received a ranking of 3.3 out of 4 from Screen magazine’s jury. 

Other films that have received good reviews are ‘Rust and Bone’ by Jaques Audiard, ‘Killing them Softly’ and ‘The Hunt’ by Thomas Vinterberg.

Entries by veteran filmmakers Ken Loach, a Palme d'Or winner, and Alain Resnais have also been positively received, although it seems they will not be receiving awards. Some surprises, however, may yet be seen at the festival.

Iranian Abbas Kiarostami's ‘Like Someone in Love,’ though hailed as an art-house film, left audiences confused with its abrupt ending. Though this was of course intentional, reviewers were puzzled. Many say that the film, which is set in Japan, cannot compare with the director’s films set in his native Iran.

Wes Anderson's opening film, meanwhile, drew diverse but mostly positive feedback, with some seeing it as a bittersweet story of adolescent love, while others opined that Anderson’s 'personal style' had become redundant.

The lowest Screen magazine jury rankings so far have been for ‘After the Battle’ by Youssry Nasrallah and ‘Paradise: Love’ by Ulrich Seidl.

A first in the festival's history are two entries in this year’s selection by father and son. David Cronberg is competing with his film ‘Cosmopolis’ in the main competition, while his son Brandon's ‘Antirival’ is amongst the selection of the Un Certain Regard Section.

Alhough ‘Cosmopolis’ has yet to be screened, critics are already comparing Brandon to his father, detecting a major influence. According to the Hollywood Reporter, however, Brandon revealed at a private event that the only film he had seen of his father's work was ‘Fast Company.’

David, on the other hand, has said that it took him 20 years to get to Cannes, while his son made it there with his first film. “It is both touching and terrifying,” said the father. 

There are only five days left before the festival wraps up. With eight films left to screen in the official competition, expectations are still running high.

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