Michel Hazanavicius’ Return of Comedy at Cannes 2022

What’s better than a film about filmmaking to open the Cannes Film Festival 75th edition? Well, a movie about making a movie with zombies too. After a unique and restrained COVID-19 edition held last year, the festival returned to its usual space in May and enjoyed attendance like the good old days. As an opening-night out-of-competition pick, Final Cutting an exhilarating comedy that leaves fans with no halfway through the story before revealing an unexpected second action.

Director Michel Hazanavicius, best known for The Artist, had the difficult task of starting Cannes on the right foot, and he did it with his usual style and irony. For the occasion, he directed and wrote a comedy in his vein OSS 177 movies. While Hazanavicius ’film draws well from its source, the ultra-low budget A Cutting of the Dead, it definitely entertained fans for 111 minutes of it. Hazanavicius knows how to play with his audience, flashing the source with small details, including the enrollment of veteran actress Yoshiko Takehara in the same role she portrays. Shin’ichirô Uedaoriginal film.

The plot involves a crew having to shoot a low-budget zombie movie in an abandoned factory. During the filming, part of the crew starts to behave strangely, as if they are the real living dead. On set, Director Rémi Bouillon (Romain Duris) faces all the troubles to end the project, including last-minute flaws, strange actors, bossy producers, drunkenness, and more. The story progresses along the line to the middle of the film, where it suddenly flashes back to reveal the origin of Bouillon’s project. In fact, producer Mme Matsuda (Takehara) hired Bouillon to shoot and live-stream the French adaptation of a Japanese zombie film that was a box office hit in her country.

The film draws metanarrative power from Hazanavicius ’cast choices, including the director’s wife, Bérénice Bejo, and his daughter, Simone. Surprisingly, Bejo portrays Bouillon’s enthusiastic wife, Nadia, while Simone acts as the director’s daughter. Future Finnegan Oldfield performs well as Raphael, the tough lead actor. Matilda Lutz as Ava performing without embarrassment and admiration.

On the mark of the always elegant Alexandre Desplat, the first half of the film makes the viewer wonder what happened because it seems to be watching the most disparate zombie movies. In fact, some people left the screening after they were deceived into believing it was an amateur film that used shaky cameras and a dozen fake blood, which only Jonathan Ricquebourg’s lush cinematography seemed to show. However, the film really kicks off at the start of the second half, presenting an original perspective and clarifying the many pending questions from the first half.

Hazanavicius ’remake is very faithful to the original-even in plot, Bouillon has to remain faithful to the original Japanese project. If you are looking for a traditional zombie movie, Final Cutting not the right choice for you. However, if you enjoy a metanarrative reflection on the intrinsic value of films and art and a love letter to the purest of filmmaking, where the budget is small, but the passion is high, then you won’t be disappointed.

Points: 7/10

As in ComingSoon policy review explains, a score of 7 equals “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment worth a look, but it won’t appeal to everyone.

The critic attended the press screening at Cannes 2022 for ours Final Cutting review.

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