Brogen Hayes looks at Rust and Bone and more at the 65th Cannes Film Festival 2012

Thursday saw the screening of Marion Cotillard’s latest; Rust and Bone. Audiard’s latest film is a beautifully shot romance, which captures the look and feel of the French Riviera magnificently. There are stellar performances from the two leads, but the two hour running time leaves the film feeling bloated, and there are some scenes that will leave the audience cringing.

Cotillard took to the Red Steps in the evening, looking fantastic in an off the shoulder gown, and was joined by Eva Longoria, Jackie Chan – who is in town with his new film Chinese Zodiac – and last year’s darlings Berenice Bejo and Michel Hazanavicius; the star and director of The Artist. Also wandering around the Croisette were David Walliams, David Schwimmer and Melissa George at a party celebrating Women in Film.

We spent the afternoon watching movies; including Student and Paradise: Love. Student is based on Dostoevsky’s classic novel Crime and Punishment. It is no mean feat to say that your film is based on such a revered novel, and this statement loads the film with a layer of audience expectation. The film tries to address contemporary problems that contribute to the student’s actions; capitalism – which states that the weak disappear and the strong survive – and post-modernism. The trouble with this film is that it feels incredibly uneven. 

Paradise: Love is an uncomfortable and often frustrating look into one woman’s search for love, but the film is also surprising and challenging and definitely worth watching, even if it does feel every minute of it’s two hour running time.

Harvey Weinstein caused a stir in the Marche – where films are bought and sold by distributors and festivals – by being poised to acquire Code Name Geronimo. This is the second film to be made about the US Marine operation to capture Osama Bin Laden – the first being Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty – and while the film is not finished, Weinstein has secured the film for a potential release in September. This means the film would be screened to US audiences before the Presidential election, a move that is being criticised as being overly political. 

Friday’s proceedings kicked off with Reality, the new film from Matteo Garrone, which centres on an Italian man and his quest to be selected for Big Brother. Reality is a fascinating look into paranoia and obsession and the lengths that people will go to in order to realise their dream, even of it means that their family, livelihood and sanity will suffer. Reality may not be a strong contender for the Palme D’Or, but it is a welcome distraction from the challenging films screened at Cannes so far.

Next we braved the rain to queue for the screening of Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted. The things we do for a movie! Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted takes familiar characters who have already proven that they are audience favourites, and places them into a fun, silly and heart warming adventure. The voice talent shine through the film and the visuals are just gorgeous. The cast – including David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jessica Chastain and Ben Stiller – held their press conference this afternoon and talked about the joy of working together. They then took to the Red Steps this evening for the official Out of Competition screening of their film. 

Elsewhere on the Croisette, we literally ran into Chris Noth (AKA Sex and the City’s Mr. Big) in the International Village and Gael Garcia Bernal looked gorgeous at the Director’s Fortnight screening of his film No, which chronicles the referendum that led to Pinochet’s downfall in Chile.

Tomorrow morning we are up bright and early for the screening of John Hillcoat’s new film Lawless, which stars Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf as a pair of hooch running brothers in Prohibition era America. Lawless is one of the most eagerly anticipated films on the Croisette, we can’t wait!