Saturday, May 26, 2007

Kustirica Closes Out the Competition

Emir Kustirica is unlikely to win a third Palme d'Or for his ridiculous but amusing "Promise Me This." Charming enough to get by but not funny enough to explain its nonsensical, broad-comedy plot about a young peasant who comes to the big city to fight gangsters and woo a bride twice his age, the film was nevertheless a nice cap to the 22 Official Competition entries, most of which were not what you might call "jolly." The other competing film that screened today, "Mourning Forest," for example, slowly followed a crazy guy and a young woman through the forest for a couple hours. Too much may have been going on in "Promise Me This," but at least it was something.

What will win? Julian Schnabel's excellent "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" has been picking up word—even Chris Bellamy, who couldn't be arsed to see the thing, thinks it will win. My four other favorites are the festival's surprise hit, "4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days" from Romania, Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park," Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men" and Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof." Of those films' directors, only Romanian Cristian Mungui hasn't won the Palme d'Or. Yet.

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