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Cannes Film Festival Critical Wrap-Up: Day 9

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By Craig Hubert | Cannes is almost finished, and things are only getting weirder: Leonard DiCaprio is auctioning off trips to space as his wingman, while Shirley Bassey is “urging Cannes Festival luminaries to pull out their Goldfingers,” which sounds gross. The awards are this weekend, but right now, everybody is talking about Arnaud des Pallieres’s “Michael Kohlhaas,” a revenge story starring Mads Mikkelsen (star of NBC’s “Hannibal”), and James Grey’s “The Immigrant,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cottilard, which many are already claiming is a masterpiece on par with the films of Francis Ford Coppola and Elia Kazan. Below, the snap judgements of critics.

Arnaud des Pallieres’s “Michael Kohlhaas”

“It’s a film you don’t even remember you saw. And I just watched it an hour ago.” — Wesley Morris, Grantland

“The setting is unquestionably spectacular, and the use of natural light brings out the mustardy tonalities of the setting, though too often the reliance on sunlight casts faces in darkness while the ground looks resplendent. In the rare interior scenes, a torch or two wouldn’t go amiss.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety

The film “provides a few quick thrills and some beautifully photographed landscapes, but never really convinces as an intellectual’s swords-and-horses period piece.” — Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

James Grey’s “The Immigrant”

“Enhanced by a splendidly atmospheric recreation of the Lower East Side, the intimately focused work is anchored by another superior performance by Marion Cotillard, which, one can be sure, The Weinstein Company will spotlight to build the often downbeat, slightly off-kilter film into a draw in specialized release.” — Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“The Immigrant becomes a stifling opera of unhappiness, at an oppressive andante tempo, trudging onwards through its own heavy weather.” — Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

“I won’t soon forget the storm of emotion that overcame me upon the film’s sublime final fade-out: The shock of the old made new, a miracle achieved, a great movie rising before me—like a delusion, like a dream.” — Keith Ulrich, Time Out NY

Image: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

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