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Cannes: 'Drag Me to Hell' & 'In the Beginning'

Laura Neiva in Adrift

At Firstshowing.net, Alex Billington on À Deriva / Adrift (above, with Laura Neiva), screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar:

“I think I stumbled across a big Cannes sleeper hit. From the beaches of Brazil comes Adrift, known as À Deriva in Portuguese, the third film from Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia. I'm going to say right up front – following in the footsteps of City of God director Fernando Meirelles, Dhalia is the next great Brazilian filmmaker on the verge of breaking out. Adrift is his calling card, a gorgeous family drama about a beautiful young girl and her parents. It's not a masterpiece, but it is definitely one of the better films I've seen here that offers so much to fall in love with, whether it be the actors, cinematography, or story.”

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Sam Raimi
Drag Me to Hell by Sam Raimi

In Time, Richard Corliss on director-writer Sam Raimi (above, top photo) and co-writer Ivan Raimi's Drag Me to Hell:

“After a while, Raimi's attentiveness to genre formula becomes almost reassuring. You know This Awful Thing is next on the agenda. But I'm obliged to confess that, when the first image of the demon flashed on screen, I got a jolt to my nervous system that was more than a seismic shiver — it felt exactly like a deep electric shock. Kudos also to the Raimis for saving their one plot twist until the end so that people leave the movie wondering who the hero-victim will be in the all-but-inevitable Drag Me to Hell 2.”

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Xavier Giannoli
A l'origine with Francois Cluzet, Emmanuelle Devos

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert on À l'origine / In the Beginning (above, with François Cluzet, Emmanuelle Devos):

“I think I may have just seen the 2010 Oscar winner for best foreign film. Whether it will win the Palme d'Or here at Cannes is another matter. It may be too much of a movie movie. It's named À l'origine, by Xavier Giannoli [above, top photo], and is one of several titles I want to discuss in a little festival catch-up. Based on an incredible true story, it involves an insignificant thief, just released from prison, who becomes involved in an impromptu con game that results in the actual construction of a stretch of highway. …”

“This is one of those movies that catches you in its spell. It's a hell of a story. There's a difference between caring what happens in a movie, and merely waiting to see what will happen.”

 

Photos: Courtesy Festival de Cannes

 

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