Frankie, Ahmed and other guys and girls from Cannes (with Sintra in the background)

Frankie, Ahmed and other guys and girls from Cannes (with Sintra in the background)

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The American Ira Sachs, the Belgians Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu and the French Céline Sciamma entered the competition.

You'll love it: the tram, the mountain and the horizon, Peninha and Regaleira, the fog and legends of Apple Beaches and fountains - these are two New York screenwriters, Ira Sachs and Maurizio Zacharias, writing for a “Actor” for whom they were fascinated: Sintra, Portugal.

Interpreters from the US, France, or Ireland may see something of the frailty about this piece of tour guide, a paradise so oh so typical. As if the scenario gave them no alternative. Some are inexperienced & nbsp; - the youngest, who make the "children" or friends of the children of a foreign family who spends a summer in Portugal. Others have placidity, abandonment, and wisdom among their techniques that allow them to traverse the theatrical duration of the planes and contribute to the feeling that everything that happens on the screen is fragile because it depends on their movement; is suspended by their desire. This is the case of Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleason, Pascal Greggory, Jérémie Rénier, Marisa Tomei or Greg Kinnear, the matriarch, her husband, ex-husband, son, friend and ex-boyfriend, respectively.

Three generations are trying to reunite as a family, far from New York that has closed their movements (but, it turns out, New York continues to look at Sintra in Frankie, film by Ira Sachs, Franco-Portuguese co-production photographed by Rui Poças, and the first time the director of Love is Strange - Love is a Strange Thing is in competition in Cannes).

This is the family, which has been summoned by a complicated movie star, with the classic difficulty of being softened by feeling (Huppert is Frankie). And someone who has a plan: is dying, wants to leave matters closed.

Frankie's admittedly Rohmerian inspiration is often overshadowed by this postcard and the fact that the characters seem to be giving tourist directions. Sign that the film has no option for tourism. Although here and there - with the characters of Huppert and Tomei, in particular - rehearsing forest trails.

At such times, the fog hides the postcard. And as he climbs the mountain of Sintra, Frankie actually rises. Huppert leads his pack, becoming more seraphic (someone in the movie, exaggerating, says she's a Greta Garbo, which is a lie, obviously, but on top of Sintra Mountain, when the sun goes down, it looks like a icon and there we called it a memory, exaggerating, of course, the end of Queen Christina). This is Frankie's elegiac ending, and this shift from tourist to mythological complicates the easy stowage of this movie. It's just that, for example, there's no plan in Terrence Malick's new, A Hidden Life, as beautiful as this one.

However, in the 72nd edition competition, Le Jeune Ahmed, of the Belgian Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (winners of two Golden Palms), Frenchwoman Céline Ciamma's Portrait de la jeune fille en feu Cannes, the Director's Fortnight and Un Certain Regard section, but now “rises to the competition”, and La Gomera, from Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu (already winner of a Golden Chamber, first prize in 2006 with 12 : 08 East of & nbsp; Bucharest).

The Dardenne intercepts the character of a 13-year-old wrapped in his imam's ideals and a fanatical interpretation of the Koran. Decides on a plan to eliminate the teacher, who believes to be unclean. If you read what the Dardenne wrote as a note of intent for this film, which they say wants to take into account radicalism but not do social psychology about it, it seems that they are writing about Rosetta, the character of the film that in 1999 gave them their first Golden Palm: as they write, an inscrutable figure that does not allow the film to slow down, immune to any dramatic construction on the part of the screenwriters to deflect their resolve. This, in fact, was true of Rosetta, a character played by Emilie Dequenne, who would kill to pursue her goals and thus determine the life of the film. In the case of Le Jeune Ahmed, it is above all the film that “writes” its effects on young Idir Ben Addj, a Belgian of Moroccan origin and Muslim family who plays the character. It is a pocket version of Rosetta.

Poromboiu's case with La Gomera is that of a director who goes from micro-realism, one of the signs that identified a Romanian school, to the archetypes of film noir. Then he climbs a few steps, abstraction and cinematic ghost, and leaves in the texture of the film marks of grandiloquence, of some cynicism until dealing with the characters and getting rid of them.

Céline Sciamma, on the other hand, is very fair and subtle in the “feelings movie” format, but what we would have expected from her, as she did in Tomboy (2011) or Gang of Girls (2014), is that Portrait of the jeune fille en feu, period film, portrait of a woman's love and desire, film about portraiture, also, about the painter's gaze on his model and what the model imposes in this relationship, to take with him expectations - for example what they did François Truffaut, Jacques & nbsp; Rivette or Abdellatif & nbsp; Kechiche & nbsp; - for their own territory. But no, it's as if the “period movie” & nbsp; - & nbsp; is the eighteenth century & nbsp; - & nbsp; it had been a vest for a filmmaker so keen to document and intervene about her time. It would not be unheard of. But that does not erase what is forged between Noémie Berlant and Adèle Haenel, the former playing a painter called to portray a young rebel leaving the convent to marry but who refuses both her husband and the possibility of sitting for the portrait. - is Adèle Haenel, who has been filmed for ten years by Sciamma, whom she was a companion, which leaves in Portrait de la jeune fille in feu more than an affective possibility of vertigo.

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