'Loving' Stands Out At Cannes Film Festival, Our Reviewer Says
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Let's catch up now on a few of the movies getting attention at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Critic Kenneth Turan is in the south of France and on the line to talk to us about some of his favorites. Ken, hello.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Hey, Renee.
MONTAGNE: The festival - it's been going on for several days now. Talk to us about one of the recent standouts.
TURAN: Well, a film I really liked is "Loving." It's based on a famous Supreme Court case, Loving versus Virginia, which in 1967, struck down laws banning interracial marriage. But it's really not about the court case, but about the people involved - the white husband, the black wife and how this case impacts their lives. They're played by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, really marvelous performances.
And really standing out also is the direction by Jeff Nichols, who's a really, really terrific young director. "Midnight Special" was his last film, but he also did "Mud" and "Taking Shelter" (ph). He understands emotion. He gets emotion in his films, but they're understated. They're low-key. Nothing is pushed too hard, and I find that very appealing.
MONTAGNE: The next movie, Ken, we went talk about - why don't we tease it, play a little bit of the trailer first?
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BFG")
RUBY BARNHILL: (As Sophie) It was the witching hour, when the boogeyman comes out. The girls say the witching hour arrives at midnight. I think it comes at 3 in the morning when I'm the only one left awake...
(SOUNDBITE OF CAT MEOWING)
BARNHILL: (As Sophie) Like now.
(SOUNDBITE OF GLASS BREAKING)
MONTAGNE: Wow, the witching hour.
TURAN: (Laughter) Well, as you might be able to guess, this is from "The BFG," Steven Spielberg's new film. It's from the Roald Dahl book. And BFG means Big Friendly Giant. And he befriends a young orphan girl. We hear her in the clip. And they kind of unite to stop his less friendly giant brothers from eating small children, which is a bad thing.
And the giant, you know, in this case is played by Mark Rylance who just won an Oscar for Steven Spielberg for "Bridge Of Spies" as best supporting actor. And he does just marvelous work. You know, if you know him, you know how great an actor he is. But he really surprises you. And they use special effects in such a way that he really looks like he's a giant. It's kind of an amazing thing to watch.
MONTAGNE: And Ken, I hear you spoke to Spielberg about this film there in Cannes.
TURAN: I did. I did. You know, he said he's known about this book since 1988. He's read it to all his children. He's always loved it, and his children have always loved it. And it's just a personal treat for him to be able to turn it into a film.
MONTAGNE: Well, finally, what else - and then there's so much at Cannes - but what else have you seen that excited you?
TURAN: (Laughter) Well, I want to mention two things. There's a new film and an old film. The new film is "Neruda." It's a film by a Chilean director named Pablo Larrain. It's about the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and kind of a cat-and-mouse game he played with a state policeman who wanted to arrest him for his politics. It's a very beautifully made film.
But, you know, Cannes also has old films. And there's a new restoration of "Howards End," which was a big Oscar movie. They're going to re-release it. So they brought it to Cannes to kind of publicize it. And people who saw it again, including me, were all surprised at how well the emotions held up on this film. There's Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins - just wonderful acting and strong emotions. And, you know, we always talk about the new films at Cannes. But Cannes really loves to celebrate what's the best in old films as well. And this was a great example of it.
MONTAGNE: Ken, thanks for talking to us again from the Cannes Film Festival.
TURAN: Thank you, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.
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