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Well…it was a mixed bag again today.
First off, I saw ELLES – a new, sexually charged film starring Juliette Binoche. The movie is about a woman who is quite busy being a housewife…but is also a journalist. For her latest story, she is interviewing 2 young ladies who have become prostitutes in order to put themselves through college. While writing the story, she revisits her interviews and begins to question her marriage, her position and her own sexuality. If you’re thinking BELLE DU JOUR (with Deneuve), so was I. Though not as strong or provocative, I do like that it makes us think about how we perceive women. The photography is good, and Binoche is always a treat to watch. There is no clip or trailer available, so all you get is the photo above.
Next I saw a film I’ve been dying to see. The new film directed by Madonna – W.E. The movie concerns 2 stories – The relationship of Wallis Simpson and King Edward…and a contemporary story about a woman who is obsessed with the early 20th century romance. (Though Madonna was in town for the premiere yesterday, she did not attend this 2nd screening.) I went into the screening with a negative vibe. I was prepared to be disappointed – as early criticism from Venice was mostly negative. Then the movie started. Though there were some visual choices that I didn’t care for, I was ready to stand up again the naysayers! Andrea Riseborough – who plays Wallis Simpson – is absolutely spectacular. The costumes are fantastic, the sets are divine. Though camera work was a little unsettling, I was entirely engaged…for the first hour. Then begin some moments that are simply inexcusable. It’s really too bad…there’s a good film here, it just needs to be cut. I’d be more than willing to offer my services. This film needs 3 scenes cut…and overall about 20 minutes taken out…and it would be at the very least, a good film. Below are a couple images of Riseborough and a scene from the film.
Lastly, I saw the latest film from Whit Stillman – who hasn’t made a film in more than a decade. DAMSELS IN DISTRESS is CLUELESS for the college set. I thought it was a scream. Stillman, lead actress Greta Gerwig (who you might remember as the best part of GREENBERG), Adam Brody, and a couple other damsels were at the screening. It’s the funniest movie I’ve seen at this year’s festival, and I think it will certainly develop a following. Below is a clip – but by no means the funniest part of the film.
4 Films tomorrow…need to be up by 6:00 one last time. Thus off to bed.