Regards from an Underwhelming Cannes Festival

The competition isn't fierce but the Romanians are!

On a single viewing, Aurora seems an impressively ambitious experiment—something the competition has in short supply. As always, however, the Cannes schedule is back loaded. Still to come are movies by Alejandro González Iñárritu, former Palme d'Or laureate Abbas Kiarostami, and Nikita Mikhalkov, although the only ones I anticipate with any excitement are Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Doug Liman's Valerie Plame drama Fair Game, and, precisely because it's a first feature by a virtually unknown filmmaker, Ukrainian documentarian Sergei Loznitsa's My Joy. The "Regard," by contrast, has a number of potential discoveries, plus new movies by festival veterans Hong Sangsoo, Jia Zhangke, Lodge Kerrigan, and, of course, Jean-Luc Godard. They say that some performances are bad enough to win an Oscar; Cannes '10 would seem to be stocked with movies that are too good for the competition.

jhoberman@villagevoice.com

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