Cannes 2022 – Day 2: Supersonic Tom Cruise, Tchaikovsky’s Wife opens the competition

Pierre Lescure, Tom Cruise and Thierry Frémaux at Cannes 2022
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Every day, between the film, the interview and the fact of the day, the hot spot live from the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

Movie of the day: Tchaikovsky’s Wife by Kirill Serebrennikov

The Palme race got off to a strong start. For his third participation in the competition, Kirill Serebrennikov gratifies us with a hell of a slap, while showing his ability to renew himself without losing any of the power of his staging. After the black and white rock universe of Letoafter then the feverish and surreal trip of Petrov Feverhere he is at the helm of an impossible and therefore tragic love story: the union between Piotr Tchaikovsky and Antonina Milioukova to which the composer of the Swan Lake consented in 1877 in an attempt to hide his homosexuality which was beginning to tarnish his reputation. Through her, Serebrennikov signs a masterful portrait of a woman, in love to the point of unreason, ready to endure anything to stay with a man who, cowardly, asks his relatives to do everything to keep him away. The actress Alenina Mikhailova deploys a fascinating intensity and ability to embody the multiple and contradictory facets of this Antonina. She sets the bar very high in the race for the prize for female interpretation.

Tchaikovsky’s Wife brilliantly opens the Cannes competition [critique]

Star of the day: Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise to the rescue! While the entire film industry, undermined by the Covid, the rise of streaming and an international context not conducive to fooling around, is shaking on its foundations (a malaise witnessed by the opening ceremony of the 75th festival of Cannes), who to come to his aid? Tom Cruise, of course. The biggest superstar in the galaxy was back in Cannes, thirty years later distant horizons. It was welcomed as it should be, as the absolute incarnation of a star-system that is also declining, but which, thanks to him, we could believe to be eternal: projection of the euphoric Top Gun: Maverickmaster class punctuated by pretty punch lines (“Why am I doing stunts? It’s like asking Gene Kelly why he was dancing!“), overflight of the Palais des Festivals by the Patrouille de France, and a special Palme d’or to wrap it all up. Tom Cruise can go back to polishing his next blockbusters, phew, we breathe, the stars still shine, the cinema continues to make dream Mission accomplished.

The joke of the day

While Tom Cruise takes spectators to seventh heaven and the Patrouille de France roars its F-18s (or a model in that style) light years away from the din and the chrome spectacle on the Palace side, a much more rural atmosphere , indie and politics at the Directors’ Fortnight. After a venerable speech (for the maintenance of cultural exception and against the omnipotent reign of platforms), the representatives of the SRF hand over the golden coach to Kelly Reichardt, filmmaker of slowness, serenity and americana . A beautiful bucolic and contemplative clip to sum up her career, and presto, the filmmaker takes the stage. She thanks her collaborators, and continues: “Above all, this award gives me the opportunity to tell a story. When I was 16 or 17, as I was about to leave Florida to live my life as a director – without really knowing what that meant – my mother saw a book whose cover represented a woman who a camera. She gave me this book, writing on the flyleaf: ‘maybe one day this woman’s story will be yours too.

Pause, translation, applause.

This book told the life of Leni Riefenstahl” (the director of the 3rd Reich, editor’s note).

Tomorrow in Cannes

Big day in competition: we will first discover Armageddon Timethe new film by James Gray, which returns to Cannes in autobiographical mode, nine years later The Immigrant. Then the new Jerzy Skolimowski, Hi Hanwhich tells the journey of a donkey changing owners throughout its life – at the Random balthazarthe road movie should be a pretext for painting human failings…

We will also monitor RodeoLola Quivoron’s first film at Un Certain Regard and Huntthe Korean thriller directed by the star of Squid GameLee Jung-Jae, in midnight session.

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