It’s a nice surprise to see a pair of films I enjoyed at Cannes find themselves domestic distribution beginning with MaÃ¯wenn’s Jury Prize-winning Polisse, a film I referred to as “a fast-paced, tragic, touching, emotional and occasionally hilarious look at the French police’s Child Protective Unit (CPU).” Outside of most French film critics, I was one of the few critics to enjoy it as much as I did, but at least now there’s an opportunity for stateside viewers to give it a look as Sundance Selects will be distributing it. You can read my full review of the film right here.
Selects also picked up a pair of films I did not see, the first being Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid with a Bike, a film I heard a lot about and tied with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon A Time In Anatolia for the Cannes Grand Prix.
The Kid with a Bike stars Cecile De France, Jeremie Renier and Thomas Doret and tells the story of Cyril, an 11-year-old with a plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children’s home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn’t recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage.
Next, Selects picked up Bertrand Bonello’s House of Tolerance, a film I skipped simply so I would be awake to watch The Tree of Life the following morning and based on what I heard I made the right decision. I didn’t hear a single good thing said about this film, oftentimes even overhearing conversations the following day as people talked about it in disgust. Check out Guy Lodge’s comments on it over at In Contention for an idea on what to expect.
Finally, the film I saw that had the most walkouts during the screening, Snowtown, was picked up by IFC Midnight, which is probably a perfect match for the Australian feature centered on John Bunting (Daniel Henshall), Australia’s most notorious serial killer, and how he manipulated a 16-year-old boy (Lucas Pittaway) into collaborating on a heinous series of crimes. The walkouts I mention, though, weren’t as a result of the film’s quality, but rather concerning the film’s violence, an irony I discussed in my review from Cannes which you can read right here.
One story about this film, though, that I have to share is that while waiting in line early on Wednesday morning before seeing Melancholia, Kevin Jagernauth from The Playlist and I were discussing our thoughts on Snowtown when the film’s screenwriter, Shaun Grant, happened to sidle up next to me and say something along the lines of, “I couldn’t help but overhearing your conversation… I wrote the film.” He then proceeded to hang out and discuss what we liked and didn’t like about the film for about 15 minutes. Very cool guy and even cooler for stepping into the conversation while we discussed the problems we had with the film and not while we were praising it up and down.