Cannes Film Festival 2013: 19th May Reactions Part 2 (‘Tip Top’, ‘Death March’, ‘Blood Ties’, ‘The Last of the Unjust’)

Guillaume Canet

Guillaume Canet

The second of today’s Cannes roundups. How many will queue in the pouring rain for Lanzmann’s epic? Canet’s Blood Ties is co-scripted by  James Gray, so I’m curious as to how that will play. Some critics are still playing catchup; be sure to keep checking the other posts for updated reactions and reviews.


Henry Barnes, The Guardian

“Bozon’s shaken up genres before. His last film, La France, made a musical of the first world war. But there’s so much thrown into Tip Top that nothing stands out.”

Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

“Shot in precisely composed frames, with recurring visual motifs and an eye-pleasing color palette that accentuates blue hues, Tip Top is commendably ambitious in its Godardian attempts to deconstruct the police thriller format, but it’s only partially successful.”

Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

“Visually, the film has a clean-cut comic-strip quality to it, Céline Bozon’s photography suggesting touches of Aki Kaurismäki and ‘80s Godard. But the knowingness rarely comes off as much more than clever but arch cinematic dandyism.”


Adam Cook, Cinemezzo

Serge Bozon’s TIP TOP is a surprising and altogether strange film—with a wildly fun performance from Isabelle Huppert!

Glenn Heath Jr., Press Play

TIP TOP (B+/A-): Utterly batshit. The ultimate anti-procedural, deeply political in its themes of social outrage repressed.

David Jenkins, Little White Lies

TIP TOP (Bozon) A work of mad-eyed genius. A lopsided policier like you’ve never seen. Huppert & Kibberlain are off the chart.

Bozon >> Ozon

Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

TIP TOP – facetious, arch French meta-thriller, with Huppert overdoing it wildly. Yes, she can do that too. A resounding ‘Bof’.

Blake Williams, Indiewire

TIP TOP (6.0): Huppert a total riot; Bozon’s senses of composition & humor 1st rate; weak dramatic structure allowed only surface pleasures.


Justin Chang, Variety

“Banzon’s black-and-white imagery does occasionally mesmerize, and the actors show an impressive intensity of commitment. But by the time it grinds its way to an inevitably bleak conclusion, “Death March” has long since exhausted its ideas and the expressive potential of its daring but ineffectual stylistic devices.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Attractively shot in black-and-white on artificial sets with actors generally grouped in tight formations that combine with slow-motion and a dense soundtrack in aspiring to a kind of hallucinatory claustrophobia, director Adolfo Alix Jr.’s film can be theoretically admired for trying something different, but the repetitiveness and tedium soon take over.”


David Poland, Movie City News

I survived Death March (40% of audience did not)


Ryland Aldrich, Twitch Film

“While he takes his time getting there, Canet tells an enjoyable story — and if nothing else, it’s clear the director can execute a complex vision.”

Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon

“Canet does a great job establishing his characters, it’s just that at only two-and-a-half hours he doesn’t have enough time to give them room to breathe.”

Xan Brooks, The Guardian

“I’m not convinced that this hoary, hackneyed old cop-opera is entirely to be trusted either, although it is served with such relish that the fun proves infectious.”

Scott Foundas, Variety

“Most of Canet’s filmmaking energies seem to have gone into affecting a convincing period feel, from the plethora of wide-body sedans in varying shades of rust to the finely cultivated sideburns and mustaches and a double album’s worth of choice soul and rock tunes.”

Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

“There is a different and possibly shorter edit of this movie that is probably much better, but the film is still compelling and watchable, if only because the main thrust of two brothers inevitably caught in each other’s various spirals is fascinating. But ultimately, the final result can’t help but be a disappointment.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“The visual scheme is ordinary and sense of pace lacking in this lethargic, needlessly extended drama.”


Ryland Aldrich, Twitch Film

BLOOD TIES may not get it all right, but strong perfs and solid (tho lite) plot find it doing justice to criminal/cop bros subgenre.

BLOOD TIES is so filled with 1970s nostalgia that the color brown burned out on our projector about halfway through.

Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties: my first fest miss. Overlong, pastichey thriller with cast regularly upstaged by soft furnishings

William Goss, MSN Movies

Blood Ties: co-writer James Gray sticks with NYC cops, criminals, family, betrayal, redemption w/ this sturdy but unremarkable drama

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

BLOOD TIES: Good cop, bad con bros, ’74 Brooklyn, fine clash Crudup/Owen but story same-old & runs 2:24. Who shot the editor?

Guy Lodge, Hit Fix

BLOOD TIES (C+) “Tonight, Matthew, I shall be James Gray.” “But isn’t he right beside you?” “Oh. Scorsese, then.” I should like this less.

Shaun Munro, Film School Rejects

Opinions on Blood Ties? Liked it enough but too damn long

David Poland, Movie City News

Blood Ties is an art student’s tracing of a lot of great NYC cop dramas. Canet superior to that. The great Cotillard went an accent too far


Daniel Kasman, MUBI

“The distance spanned in the film seems immense, Theresienstadt so removed and so fantastic sounding, this specially built and run illusion populated by and condemning real people, as to almost appear, dangerously, as a myth. Which is what makes Lanzmann’s tenacious resurrections of his interview with Murmelstein, the Elder Jew’s testimony, and the director’s insistent trips to and entrance into today’s places of history at once cinematic invention, turning inward, and cinematic intervention, exploding outward.”

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“Lanzmann’s approach isn’t always easy to endure… Yet “The Last of the Unjust” rewards those willing to invest in Lanzmann’s pensive technique with a complex tale that’s alternately sad, enlightening, unexpectedly witty and ultimately exhausting, but carried along throughout by Lanzmann’s commitment.”

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“The forcefulness of Murmelstein’s personality carries the audience through some longeurs in a powerful, often painful revisitation which is bound to unleash new debate on the role of Jews who worked for the Nazis. Its historical interest and importance should guarantee limited release in Europe, the U.S. and festivals around the world.”


David Jenkins, Little White Lies

LAST OF THE UNJUST (Lanzmann) Presents the “necessary” side of Jewish-Nazi collaboration, but subject too formidable even for CL

David Poland, Movie City News

Lots of well-warned love in the room for Claude Lanzmann. But his new film feels more like a DVD extra to the great Shoah than a stand alone

Blake Williams, Indiewire

Will spare everyone my thoughts on THE LAST OF THE UNJUST because that was one giant vegetable I had for dinner last night…in my opinion.

Shield of Straw (Takashi Miike) – IN COMPETITION
Omar (Hany Abu-Assad) – UN CERTAIN REGARD
Blind Detective (Johnnie To) – SPECIAL SCREENING
As I Lay Dying (James Franco) – UN CERTAIN REGARD
A Castle in Italy (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) – IN COMPETITION
The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino) – IN COMPETITION

The Summer of Flying Fish (Marcela Said) – DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
Me, Myself and Mum (Guillaume Gallienne) – DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
The Last Days on Mars (Ruairi Robinson) – DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
You and the Night (Yann Gonzalez) – CRITICS’ WEEK
Los Dueños (A. Toscano & E. Radusky) – CRITICS’ WEEK


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