Cannes 2012 - Thursday 24 May

Posted on May 24, 2012 by Becky Clarke

Categories: Festival Reports

Amazingly after 2 hours sleep we make it to the 8.30am competition screening of The Paperboy. Its a testament to how engaging the film is that, none of us doze off, even for a second. Directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman. It’s quite a strange mix of actors but The Paperboy provides some of the most interesting roles that most of them have had a chance to explore of late. The story is narrated by Macy Gray, who plays the maid and surrogate mother of Jack (Zac Efron), as she looks back over a summer in the late 60’s, where Jack and his brother (Matthew McConaughey), Ward, a journalist from Florida, try and help a man on death row who they feel has not been given a fair trial. It sounds like the standard all-American tale of fighting injustice, but The Paperboy is much darker and haunting than it originally seems, as the prejudices of 60’s American society bubble to the surface of each of the characters and lead to a very noir like conclusion.

The Paperboy by Lee Daniels
Nicole Kidman in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy.

Hoping to stave off tiredness, Simon goes in search of breakfast for us all, as Sarah and I make our way to the queue for the Walter Salles film On The Road. Unfortunately the queue finally defeats us and we don’t make it into the screening. So Sarah and I head back to the apartment as she is leaving Cannes today, and I gather some composure and plan my next move.

After bidding goodbye to Sarah, I head off to a screening of 7 Days in Havana. This is a film made up of 7 short chapters, directed by 7 different directors (Benicio del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Gaspar No, Juan Carlos Tabio and Laurent Cantet) and tries to capture the spirit of the city in a particular moment in time, given the inevitable changes coming to Cuban society in the near future. I’m impressed by all of the shorts, and they seem to knit together well to give you a taste of Cuba and its people at this transitional point in its history.

This is my last day in Cannes, so I decide to round it off with a classic. My colleague Simon and I head off to watch a restored version of Jaws on the beach, and its just as good as we anticipate. There are jumps and screams amongst the audience and at the end some people even brave to go into the water. Not me, I’m suitably terrified once more of what lies beneath, so I head back to our apartment to get ready for my departure in the morning. Bon voyage Cannes, it was a fantastic trip.

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