I am reliqishing today's report to my petite chien, Mimi, who, in addition to her other virtues, has unexpected gifts of observation.
MIMI DOES DEAUVILLE
Although I, Mimi, a Bichon Frisee ( that means curly-haired lap dog in Francaise, for those of vous who are not international) arrived at Deauville too late to catch my great love, George Clooney-- (there's still time-I'm a young dog, and so is he,) reports about his new film,Michael Clayton, are OUTstanding. Less radiant is the word about Brad Pitt's The Assassination of Jesse James: a bitch who got there before me said she could hardly wait for the coward Robert Ford to get it over with. And the locals were a bit en colere that Brad and Angie made their exit from the ville so vite (Six hours. One French journalist described him as une etoile filante: (a shooting star.) Matt Damon, there for Bourne (La Vengeance dans la Peau-- sounds meaner in French), was courtois (polite) and accessible, so was liked by all.
The Deauville Film Festival( this is the 33rd) is deliberately known as American, (Festival du Cinema Americaine.). Not as screamy or as pushy as Cannes, the weather far more chill (it is Normandy, the Northern coast of France, facing La Manche( and September) and the people less hysterical than their cousins to the south, lining up respectfully behind the gates to await and ogle, when indeed it would be easy to storm the barricades or even walk around them, the entire staff being open to conversation and wheedling, the festival has an elegant air. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was the center of this year's hommage to Sidney Lumet, the most luminous presence among the older set except for Marlon Brando, whose ghost hung over the proceedings via a brilliant documentary from Turner Broadcasting with Canal 1, a very long but riveting demonstration that Brando dead is still bigger than most people alive.
Ira and Abby is Woody Allen manque,(not quite up to the freckled one), but funnier than the Ben Stiller would-be comedy The Heatbreak Kid, Bonneville offers a still hypnotically gifted Jessica Lange with the always amazing Joan Allen and Kathy Bates in a road saga more literate than Kerouac's without so many words, and Waitress shows up just as dear on this side of the Atlantic. Zoe Cassavetes makes her directorial debut with Broken English with a nice personal assist from mama Gena Rowlands, both in the picture and at a press conference.
Terrible surprise of the festival is Teeth, from director Mitchell Lichtenstein about a sweet young thing with vagina dentatum, every unsure man's imagined nightmare. It shouldn't happen to a dog. Moi-meme, I had to stop watching about the time the third thing got bitten off.
My personal favorite was The Dead Girl, a series of powerful vignettes concerning all the women touching on the finding of an anonymous woman's corpse, featuring some of our most brilliant actresses: Toni Colette, Marcia Gay Harden, Piper Laurie, still in powerful fettle voice-wise; a gallery of your favorites whose names you might not know, but should. My amie du voyage, Suzie, an Apricot poodle, hated it. But then, she loved Teeth, proving once again, chacun a son gout.
But turns out I was right! Dead Girl won! Mimi, LA CRITIQUE!!!!