Cannes Update May 18th 2011

Today we look at ‘The Beaver’ to ‘The Big Fix’ and ‘A Night To Remember’

Bonsoir! have just returned to our castle (well, apartment, but it’s on a hill, that counts doesn’t it?) after seeing Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson walk the Red Steps for the official screening of The Beaver. Jodie Foster looked wonderful in a midnight blue asymmetric dress Mel Gibson – who was booed by the crowd camped at the end of the steps – looked rather tired and he held onto Jodie Foster’s hand.

Peter Fonda, Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell were also on the Red Steps tonight. They were promoting their film The Big Fix, which we were lucky enough to see this afternoon.
The Big Fix focuses on the aftermath of last year’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The film makers present history, conspiracy theories and the real health problem – suffered by Harell Tickell and thousands of other people in the area – as they search for the truth about BP’s clean up after the disaster.

While the film starts well, and talks to the ‘little man’ on the ground that was affected by the spill, it soon drifts off into wider territory as it searches for the reason why oil is still the most acceptable and sought after fuel in the world. The Tickell’s put forward the idea that Richard Nixon’s decision to back the US dollar with oil (as opposed to gold) may be the cause of the bleak economic situation that we find ourselves in today, and damn Barack Obama for doing little to change this.

Overall, The Big Fix is an interesting film to watch, and is presented in a style that is similar to that of Michael Moore; easy to understand, clear and simple, but slightly too simple and a little sensationalised. Judging by the poor show at the screening in the Palais today, this type of documentary is not as popular as it once was, but the film is still interesting and gives a greater understanding as to what actually happened on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20th 2010.

Skoonheid (Beauty) is the second film from director Oliver Hermanus, it tells the story of a South African man whose life begins to unravel after a chance encounter. Skoonheid is interesting in it’s lack of musical score and minimal dialogue, but it paints a bleak picture of middle age and presents the audience with a protagonist who has few redeeming qualities. The film is well paced, well put together and fantastically acted, although the open ending may leave some of the audience disappointed.

Around the festival, we may or may not have seen Frank Langhella sitting on a bench near the Palais and we heard that Gwen Stefani was at the after party for The Tree of Life. We also had to run and quickly buy a new pair of shoes today after we were told that our comfy flip flops were “not good” for access to a screening. Who knew? We do now! We must dash, we are off to watch A Night To Remember on the beach. It’s a hard life…

Words – Brogen Hayes

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