Cannes 2019: An English worker gets bitten, a transgender actress writes history
Beyond halfway through the festival, a Cannes veteran and a first-time American have set the standard in their own section: Ken Loach's new drama is sobbing, and the heroes of the touching trans love movie are giving a spectacular dance to their sexual and artistic freedom.
There is no director who deals with the problems of the English working class and the lower middle class as deeply as Ken Loach. He has been a regular guest at the festival since Black Jack in 1979, and has won some major awards almost every time, most recently in 2016, I, Daniel Blake received the Golden Palm, and in 2006, the Wind Gone.
Although he is said to have retired from directing after his latest film, he is still in competition with "Sorry We Missed You" for Palm. Even now, his theme has not been dropped, his protagonists are hard-working, honest people, who are being slowly minced by the maze of bureaucracy and endless hours.
Dad (Kris Hitchen) gets a new job as a courier delivery agent. In the 2008 crisis, every man losing his fortune will be part of an oil-operated machine where he will have to pay for every delayed delivery and lost minutes, and he will only see a real profit in one year. The mother (Debbie Turner) circulates among elderly people in need throughout the day, teenage boys avoid school, and a 10-year-old girl tries to maintain family peace in her childish, instinctive manner.
The man's new job brings more controversy and bitterness to the loving family, moneylessness evades the parents, father and son fall for each other, baby girl pisses at night, and mother mocks the family with endless patience. Loach shows you all the details, good and bad, every package that is successfully delivered brings peace of mind, not only to Ricky, but to us as well. Brilliant every moment of pimples where we worry about getting to the address on time, not getting hooked, getting stuck, crashing the expensive gadget you have to work with, and especially the need to calm down and recover family peace. The 82-year-old director once again proves that there is no more heartbreaking than the bitter, stripped down reality of working life. If you can believe the speculations of the international press, he'll be a big winner at Saturday's awards ceremony.
In addition to the Palms section, the Un Certain Regard selection deserves at least as much attention as this year, where an American independent film marks another milestone in Cannes' history: the female protagonist of Danielle Lessovitz's Port Authority, Leyna Bloom, a transgender black actress. Last year, the story of the boy-born ballerina, The Girl, was celebrated by everyone, and this year they will continue to try to roll the walls. Not only that, the Port Authority is a special addition to the program - a classically constructed romantic drama that is made unique by the 'vogue' that is largely unknown in the country, especially in queer communities.
In the mid-1990s, vogue dance became famous for its hit Madonna Vogue and became a key symbol of the underground gay community. Dance has become much more diverse since then, but its revolution has not changed: demanding hands and feet that celebrate freedom of sexual identity, the LGBTQI community are thrilling, sweeping, and excitingly blurring gender boundaries.
Paul (Fionn Whitehead), 20, comes to New York without money and friends. At the bus station (the iconic Port Authority station), his eyes catch on with Wye (Leyna Bloom) dancing alongside his friends along the way. The boy pulls himself up in a Harlem shelter and gets a job, helping the local heavy boy in evictions. He soon finds Wye in the neighborhood, with whom he has a mutual affection, and through his adopted family, sexual and artistic freedom takes him on paths to confronting his friends and his own prejudices.
Danielle Lessovitz premiered in Cannes with a sensitive, intimate, glittering film, and it is no coincidence that Martin Scorsese, as producer, supported this brave plan. After the positive reviews, the film crew gave an improvised dance performance on the red carpet and official photography, which became one of the most memorable moments of this year's festival:
Attila Hartung's first feature film is a close-up of Z-generation members born after the turn of the millennium. Unrestrained party nights in Budapest, Youtube challenges and scandal are the core of Falka, but a video abuse breaks the balance. It is lively, youthful, full of alternative Hungarian bands, talented young faces and some serious lessons.
Who Remained is a soul-lifting, light-hearted and warm-hearted story of the healing power of love in post-WWII Budapest. This year Barnabás Tóth's film represents Hungary in the international film category at the Oscar.