Editor’s Note: The following capsule reviews are part of our coverage of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. For more information please visit www.festival-cannes.com/en or follow the Cannes Film Festival on Twitter.
Sleeping Giant (2015)
Dir. Andrew Cividino
Andrew Cividino turned his award winning short film Sleeping Giant into a feature of the same name, which also marks his feature film debut. With the participation in the Critic’s Week sidebar, Cividino’s film is the only Canadian feature competing at the festival this year. The coming of age story concentrates on a trio of young teenagers and takes place in a remote, small town in Thunder Bay, Ontario and is set during the summer break.
Riley (Reece Moffett) is visiting his grandmother and cousin Nate (Nick Serino) for the summer and the two rebellious cousins befriend the rather shy and introverted Adam (Jackson Martin) who is also on vacation with his family. Out of boredom and curiosity, the trio meets up for any sort of mischief, including smoking pot, stealing alcohol, throwing eggs at houses and reckless cliff jumping. The teenagers, especially Nate and Riley also engage in violent acts, not only do they wrestle heavily with each other but they set living insects on fire and defile dead animals. When a well-kept secret is suddenly exposed, the trio has to deal with the events that follow and live with the consequences of their actions.
Sleeping Giant reflects on the confusion of growing up and highlights repressed feelings and general insecurities. It further suggests repressed homoerotic feelings between two of the friends, that might complicate the dynamics of their friendship. Due to the genuine and spot on performances of the three main actors, Sleeping Giant is carried by its believable and relateable characters, mainly because of their casual interaction with one another. It offers an interesting, although not completely new, take on growing up .
Dir. Gaspar Noé
One of the most talked about features is the 3D feature film Love, an arthouse porn drama written and directed by Gaspar Noé. The film had its premiere as part of the Midnight Screening sidebar and split the critics after its first screening.
Love follows Murphy (Karl Glusman), an American filmmaker who lives in Paris as he remembers Electra (Aomi Muyock), a former girlfriend, and their intense relationship. The film opens with a long sex scene between Murphy and Electra but then cuts to Murphy as he wakes up next to his wife Omi (Klara Kristin), a different women as the one we have seen in the opening scene. He listens to his voicemail and a message Electra’s mother had left. His ex-girlfriend had disappeared and her mother is worried she might have hurt herself. This leads to Murphy reflecting on his previous relationship with Electra that had been dominated by passion, excess and betrayal. The 134 minute long feature offers various, very explicit and detailed sex scenes such as mutual masturbation, a passionate menage à trois with Electra and Omi, a visit to a swinger club and another threesome with a male transvestite for example. Despite the artistic set-up and framing of most of the film’s sex scenes, Love does not provoke its audience with anything that hasn’t been done before (Lars von Trier’s Nymphomanic for example) and gets repetitive and dull quite early on. Why this film was shot in 3D remains a mystery.