This month, we once again offer a video-fest – our top ten music selection as videos to watch, listen to and just enjoy, plus a post-view of some interesting films from the Cannes Film Festival.
Settle back, switch off and have some early Summer fun…
Top 10 Music:
No 1: Stay with me: Sam Smith
No 2: Waves: Mr Probz
No 3: Dangerous Love: Fuse (featuring Sean Paul)
No 4: I will never let you down: Rita Ora
No 5: Extraordinary: Clean Bandit (featuring Sharna Bass)
No 6: All of me: John Legend
No 7: Summer: Calvin Harris
No 8: Only love can hurt like this: Paloma Faith
No 9: Hideaway: Kiesza
No 10: Nobody to love: Sigma
Film: Cannes Film Festival
This is how John Powers of Vogue described the 9 best and worst of Cannes this year:
“1. Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Some filmmakers are content just to have a film at Cannes. Others are clearly trying to win the Palme d’Or. One who’s obviously been running for the Palme is this superb Turkish director, who clearly wants to knock your socks off. After finishing second in 2011 with his masterful Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, he finally nabbed top prize with Winter Sleep, a Chekhovian tale about a rich, self-absorbed actor, his disaffected wife, his skeptical sister, and his poor, Islamic tenants. Filled with spiky, tense conversations, it runs way too long at 3’16”, but at least Ceylan’s theme is worthy of such size: He’s exploring the divided soul of a present-day Turkey that’s at once rich and poor, worldly and insular, secular and Islamic.
2. Julianne Moore
It’s hard to know whether she was a winner or loser. Officially, she won Best Actress for her hilarious, full-throttle performance as a crazy, narcissistic Hollywood actress in Map to the Stars. But one wonders if this was some kind of Pyrrhic victory. Moore has spent too many years stuck in this kind of role—she gives great psychological meltdown—and this means she’ll probably have to keep doing it for another five years.
3. Bennett Miller
Now that he’s copped the Best Director prize at Cannes for Foxcatcher, perhaps this terrific American filmmaker will finally become famous for this gripping tale about two wrestling brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, the crazy heir to the DuPont fortune (Steve Carell). Miller’s way of telling a story is low-key, observational, and attuned to nuances of performance. His first two movies, Capote and Moneyball, got Oscar bids for their stars (Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won, and Brad Pitt), and nobody will be surprised if the same happens with his stars here. They were in good hands.
4. Timothy Spall
Few actors are less glamorous than this unprepossessing 57-year-old Londoner, best known for his work with Mike Leigh—and, of course, as Wormtail in the Harry Potter movies. In Mr. Turner, Leigh’s look at 25 years in the life of the great English painter J.M.W. Turner, Spall gets the crowning role of his career, achieving enormous depth and complexity as a character who often communicates with mere harrumphs. From the moment the film screened on the festival’s second day, Spall was the guy to beat for Best Actor. Nobody did.
5. Alice Rohrwacher
What a rollercoaster festival it was for this talented young Italian filmmaker. When Cannes began, people predicted she could win the Palme d’Or for The Wonders because jury president Jane Campion would want to give it to a woman. Then, when it played, most critics either ignored or condescended to her. But she got the last laugh on awards night. She took the Grand Prix, or second place, which made her a true winner: It was a big enough award that she’ll have no trouble making her next movie, but it wasn’t the Palme, which would’ve made her a target.
6. Ryan Gosling
Talk about losing. Not only was his directorial debut, Lost River, memorably bad, and not only did it get terrible reviews, it was also beaten out for the Caméra d’Or for best first film by a movie that was decidedly worse: Party Girl, a badly-made French film about a 60-year-old cabaret hostess deciding to get married, that wasn’t merely dull but indulged virtually every sentimental French cliché about the demimonde and gritty, real-life cinema. Come back, Ryan! All is forgiven.
7. Xavier Dolan
The most precocious filmmaker in the competition—at 25 he’s already made five features! —this cocky Québécois inspired the most rabid disagreement. His film Mommy was seen as either brilliant and big-hearted or as exasperatingly over-the-top (I was with Team Exasperation). Heading into the awards, many people thought he would win the Palme d’Or. This included Dolan himself, who’s never been weighed down by modesty and came to the ceremony armed with the eloquent speech of the night’s big winner. In fact, he shared the 3rd place Jury Prize with an authentic genius, Jean-Luc Godard—they were the young and old version of the enfant terrible. But by losing the top prize Dolan actually won. You see, while he’s undeniably talented, taking the Palme would’ve been too much too soon. After all, those whom the gods would destroy, they first over-praise.
Winner of La Queer Palm, this film by theater director Matthew Warchus brought down the house at the Directors’ Fortnight. Set in 1984, it’s the rousing story of how gay and lesbian activists made an alliance with striking miners against Margaret Thatcher’s rule. In the tradition of Billy Elliot and The Full Monty, this populist tale boasts a crack cast, including the nonpareil Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, and the brilliant Irish actor Andrew Scott (who plays Moriarty on BBC’s Sherlock). Pride was a rarity at this year festival—a genuine crowd-pleaser that you can imagine audiences paying to see.
9. Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz
Purely in terms of awards, Olivier Assayas’s very enjoyable The Clouds of Sils Maria was a big loser at Cannes—it didn’t win a thing. Yet this very entertaining story about an aging actress (Juliette Binoche), her personal assistant (Kristen Stewart), and a rising Hollywood star (Chloë Grace Moretz) will surely have a bigger commercial life than most of the official winners. And it reminds us that Assayas is one of the world’s great directors of actresses. While Binoche gives a skillfully overwrought performance, the movie belongs to Stewart, who hasn’t been this natural, relaxed, and lovely in years, and Moretz, whose every appearance gives the movie a jolt of movie star energy. Prizes be damned—these two were winners at Cannes 2014.”
Happy listening and watching this month!
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