At Cannes, a Broad Menu, Plus Critical Indigestion

John Powers

hide captionVogue film critic John Powers also writes for the LA Weekly and The Village Voice.

Fresh Air's critic at large went to the Cannes Film Festival this month — and today he reports back on the celebrity-chasing, the political posturing, and oh yes, the cinema he saw.

Powers says this year's movies weren't half bad — even the geopolitical polemics, he says, were at least interestingly made — but with U.S.-based movie critics being laid off in droves, the festival had a gloomy, fatalistic vibe, at least for American attendees. He tells Terry Gross about these dynamics, about the festival prize winners and about the movie that didn't take an award — Steven Soderbergh's 4-and-a-half-hour art film Che, a $65 million "folly" that Powers says has an unmistakable artistic integrity, but which is "almost unreleasable" as presented at Cannes.

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