Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Guess Kathy Griffin Really Wants an Oscar…

This alarming image comes from Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming This Must Be the Place, starring Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, and (um) Judd Hirsch. One of a number of films screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it sounds utterly insane: Penn basically appears to be playing an aging rock star-cum-potential Nazi hunter. Advance word suggests though that the film is closer in feel to the director’s breakthrough film The Consequences of Love -- which is a masterpiece, but a very understated, mournful one.

Perhaps needless to say, I am full of anticipation…and fear. If anybody currently working can pull off this kind of tonal balancing act, it’s Sorrentino. You can read a borderline-embarrassing gush for Vulture penned by yours truly a couple of years ago over here.

But we’ve all witnessed that tragic phenomenon of the super-talented international auteur whose career crashes on the rocks of an ambitious English-language film, often their first. Lukas Moodysson with Mammoth, Tomas Vinterberg with It’s All About Love, Ingmar Bergman with The Serpent’s Egg (and to a lesser extent with his earlier film The Touch), Emir Kusturica with Arizona Dream (a work that I personally love), and so on and so forth.

Sorrentino’s English isn’t very good, so I’m concerned. But he’s also a fucking amazing filmmaker, so I’m hopeful. Plus, duh, it’s possible for a film to be savaged by critics and still be awesome. (Like I said, I love the aforementioned Arizona Dream.) I won’t be at Cannes, so I’ll have to find a way to spend the next few months ignoring these critics, most of whom are probably predetermined to hate it.

That said, who the hell releases a still like that??

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