he 76th Cannes Film Festival has reached its midpoint. And somehow, the most discussed films were shown here out of competition. The first film that audiences in Cannes had the chance to see was "Jeanne du Barry" ("The Favorite"). Director Maïwenn herself played the lead role, enhancing the costume drama with the participation of Johnny Depp, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, and others. Jeanne du Barry is the favorite of Louis XV, who rose from the lowest social ranks and, as Maïwenn claims, was the king's true love.
The film turned out to be controversial: Maïwenn desperately attempted to combine historical cinema with a modern perspective on life at the court of Louis XV. With passion, she constructs scenes in the luxurious interiors of Versailles. Maïwenn also tries to generously season the drama with humor, lavish costumes, and ironic dialogues. However, in the end, it still descends into excessive melodramatic pathos, prolongs the finale, and spoils the initial impression of lightness. And no matter how much the director, actress, and screenwriter strain on La Croisette, they mainly discuss not her film but Johnny Depp’s return to the screen after the boycott due to the trial and his scandalous divorce. Maïwenn fiercely defends her megastar and, when asked why she chose a Hollywood actor for the role of the French king, she responded in a manner befitting the film: “I have to do a lot of kissing throughout the movie, so I was looking for someone sexy.” It can be understood. By the way, cinema and Depp reconciled in the film, and Cannes and Netflix. For several years, movies produced by the company did not participate in the festival. Now, it seems they have reached an agreement.
Another high-profile premiere was the fifth and reportedly the final installment of the story about the archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones. 80-year-old Harrison Ford had to take the whip in his hands again, put on the famous brown hat, and embark on new adventures. In the film “Indiana Jones and the Fate Dial,” his cast included Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who became a star thanks to the series “Fleabag”). James Mangold directed the film. Yes, this is the first film not directed by Steven Spielberg, although he did not wholly disown his brainchild and remained one of the producers. The special effects are impressive. Ford’s “youthful” appearance in the film’s first part amazed even himself. The film’s budget is $300 million, so it must work hard at the box office to recoup the investment and bring in profits.
The film “Killers of the Flower Moon” by Martin Scorsese caused tremendous buzz. The last time his film was shown at the festival was in 1976 with “Taxi Driver,” which received the top prize, the “Golden Palm.” Unfortunately, the film now has no chance, although if the organizers had included it in the competition, it could have been a serious competitor to most movies. Perhaps even the main one. Scorsese tells the story of Native Americans who found oil in their territory. They become wealthy, but this situation does not satisfy many and almost leads to their extermination. In addition, the recently established FBI is conducting its investigation. “Killers of the Flower Moon” is a compelling film from an artistic and ideological standpoint, arguably the most comprehensive and honest film about the genocide of indigenous people in the United States. Also one of Scorsese’s strongest films, confirming his superstar status. Meanwhile, the competition continues, and the winners will be announced on May 27th.