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Arts & Life

What To Watch For After Cannes Film Festival

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Oh, to be a movie critic in the south of France about now. Sounds glamorous, though I gather the Cannes Film Festival is hard work, so they say. Kenneth Turan is taking a quick break from all the screenings, and he's on the line to talk to us.

Hey, Ken. How's it going?

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: I'm hanging in there, Rachel.

MARTIN: Yeah? Tough work, man, tough work.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: So what have you seen thus far at the festival that should be on our radar?

TURAN: There are a couple of films that I really like. The main one is called "The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)." It's a family story by Noah Baumbach. And it stars Dustin Hoffman as a kind of impossible father, and he has two sons. Ben Stiller plays one, but the real story - really, one of the big stories of the festival - was the emergence of Adam Sandler who plays the other son. Known for these kind of wacky comedies...

MARTIN: Yeah.

TURAN: ...He really gives a subtle, kind of really deeply felt performance here.

MARTIN: Interesting. And this is a Netflix film, right?

TURAN: Yeah. You know, and that's been one of the big stories of the festival because Netflix doesn't believe in a theatrical release the way the studios do. And - but they - Cannes accepted their films. But in France, the theater owners are a very powerful force, and they really resisted this, so much so that Cannes had to say - in the future, you know, they're not going to allow anymore Netflix films into competition.

MARTIN: All right, so what else is out there? What else have you liked?

TURAN: Well, there's a really unexpected film called "Wonderstruck." It's directed by Todd Haynes, who's an adventurous director. He once starred Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan. And this is a family film, which is kind of the last thing you expect from Todd Haynes. It's from the children's book written by Brian Selznick. And it's got an unusual structure, which must be what attracted him. Half the story is told as a regular color film set in the 1970s. But the other half of the story, set in the 1920s, is a black-and-white silent film. So this film goes back and forth between both periods and both styles.

MARTIN: Interesting. So you have been going to Cannes for a long time. How do you start to differentiate these things? Anything that sets this year's festival apart for you?

TURAN: Well, there are a couple of things, you know. And understandably, the security here has been just ultratight. Every time you have to go into a screening, it's like you're boarding an airplane. You go through a metal detector. You're wanded. There's more security than it's ever been before. And you know, on a personal level, you know, this year, I had the opportunity to do a one-on-one onstage interview with Clint Eastwood. The French really love...

MARTIN: Wow.

TURAN: ...Eastwood. And he was here. The fans went crazy, and it was just really kind of moving to talk to him about things like his childhood. You know, he's a child of the Depression. And he talked really very movingly about what growing up in poverty had done to him and done to his career. And, you know, Cannes is not just about new films. It's not about the hot new films. It's really about the past. It really respects the tradition of film. That's one of the things that makes it great.

MARTIN: Kenneth Turan - he reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times. And he is at the Cannes Film Festival right now.

Hey, Ken. Thanks so much.

TURAN: Thank you, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.