Les Misérables – The Cannes Review

Joined by Julien Plante, who’s presenting and producing the Cinemoi Goes to Cannes 2019 show I’ll be appearing on too, as well as Christian Monggaard, film editor of Information in Denmark and Nadia Neophytou from South Africa.

We discussed the blistering new French film Les Miserables which I thought was terrific and tense, a great slice of urban action. Everyone else liked it too: director Ladj Ly making an explosive debut that put him straight into the Competition, telling the story of a long, hot 24 hours in the suburb of Montfermeil to the east of Paris. 

It’s set just after France has won the World Cup (great opening scenes), a brief coming together that’s about to be tested in the melting pot of modern Paris, seen through the eyes of three police, two hard-bitten locals played by Alexis Manenti and Djebril Zonga, and a newbie (Damien Bonnard) on his first day, who patrol the streets and housing estates every day…

La Haine, Do The Right Thing and Training Day are the obvious references but there’s a very modern French flavour to the action, which really hots up. It’s got huge appeal and if it becomes a TV series, Narcos-style, or Line of Duty, I’d watch it.

Bacurau Cannes

Bacurau

We also talked about Brazilian film Bacurau, the work of Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles, set in the north east and the state of Pernambuco, a fictional village located in the sertao, the bush, the outback, the scrubby countryside…where a funeral has taken place and well, visitors from out of town are arriving…

What a strange dream of film this is, one that percolates and gets better the more you think about it and talk about it, which is what we did…

We had some nice choice for their favourite Palme d’Or winners – Christian gave a shout out to Dancer in the Dark, because he’s Danish, but he went for Apocalypse Now in the end; Julien picked Pulp Fiction and Nadia was effusive about Blue is the Warmest Colour – masterpieces all three, for sure.

Listen to the show on its own page , or on the Cannes site.