Festival In Cannes

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Festival In Cannes

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Without all the shots of southern French scenery set to Golden Age French pop, Henry Jaglom's Festival In Cannes would be a much shorter movie. Without the scenes of self-conscious yammering, it would be no movie at all. Set amid a Cannes film festival adorned with posters for The Thomas Crown Affair and EDtv, Jaglom's latest brings together an ensemble cast and lets it couple and uncouple, with much dialogue but little logic, before sending it on its way. Playing an actress who wants to direct, Greta Scacchi gets the ball rolling by hooking up with a fast-talking, credential-free film financier (Zack Norman) who expresses an interest in her as-yet-unwritten screenplay about an middle-aged woman who finds herself. After deceitfully scoring a meeting with aging Euro beauty Anouk Aimée (A Man And A Woman), Norman attracts the ire of high-powered producer Ron Silver, who needs Aimée to secure Tom Hanks' participation in his new blockbuster, which might be directed by Aimée's ex-lover, Maximilian Schell. And so on. The business machinations of Jaglom's film make little sense, and the emotional machinations even less, no matter how much time Jaglom's characters take to explain their way through wildly uneven performances. Scacchi and Silver work well within Jaglom's heavily improvised style, but others, particularly Schell and Aimée, seem lost. Still, none of them appear as lost as dewy-eyed first-timer Jenny Gabrielle, who plays an overnight acting sensation presumably gifted with skills beyond Gabrielle's own two-tone palette of mousy reserve or shrill hysterics. But even when better members of Jaglom's cast make connections, the atmosphere remains one of dull chaos. In scenes as loosely connected as they are repetitive, characters fall in and out of love, reveal secrets about themselves, and then drift off again, as Jaglom unlooses yet another shot of the sun setting on the Riviera, and yet another bittersweet song.

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