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Festival De Cannes Sélection Officielle: Sieranevada

The first rule about not being in Cannes is that you can still talk about Cannes.
Cristi Puiu
Romania, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia
Romanian director Cristi Puiu is no stranger to Cannes over the years, was last here with Aurora in 2010, and took the Un Certain Regard prize in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu – but Sieranevada actually marks his Cannes competition debut. Highly regarded in the Romanian realism cinema or New Wave, Puiu delivers fascinating insights into humanity and family life, set amidst a memorial dinner 40 days after the death of a patriarch. Well admired early on, Sieranevada’s inner-apartment location plays its own part, as does the political banter, the tension, the humor. His camera sits, watches, the long takes making the audience a curious observer.
By no means a criticism, the large ensemble cast make it tricky to pick a performance stand-out, but the slow pace, however, maybe patience is a virtue. Absorbing, enduring dramas do well in Cannes. If Best Director is not Puiu, there’s a strong shot at the top three prizes.
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