Opinions are running hot over Antichrist. Cannes isn't really an accepting film festival. They booed and hissed Synecdoche, New York for goodness sake. There are plenty of people outraged at the content of Antichrist, with its hate-filled characters, and depressing everything else, but there are those who were at least entertained while being bummed out and scared witless. What people had to say about the film:
Jeff Wells says "there's no way Antichrist isn't a major career embarrassment for co-stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and a possible career stopper for von Trier... it's an out-and-out disaster, one of the most absurdly on-the-nose, heavy-handed and unintentionally comedic calamities I've ever seen in my life."
Variety believes fans of past von Trier works "will find this outing risible, off-putting or both."
TheWrap thought the film turned "into The Shining meets Evil Dead with green politics, torture porn..." and decided that they "loved it, but might have been blind-sighted by the sheer audacity of its twisted conception."
And sometimes on-sometimes off everyman's critic Roger Ebert says "von Trier is not so much making a film about violence as making a film to inflict violence upon us... this is the most despairing film I've ever seen."
Heavy stuff. Sounds like controversy. Whether its an overreaction from the snoot and snib Cannes goers, or the film is that much of a mind-bender, its all up in the air until anyone outside of this select circle of viewers has a chance at it. Others in the audience deemed the film to be worthy of the hardest NC-17 ratings money can buy, and there's talk of laughter over a talking fox. I wanted to have a talking fox in one of my shorts...
Francis Ford Coppola wanted to make a small, personal film, out of competition from the rest of the films because it was just too indie for you too handle, Cannes audience. It would have blown your mind in competition! I was one of the first to say Tetro looked very 'meh', and I'm pleased to know I was right. Nothing personal against Coppola, but his ship sailed in the 70s. The reports:
Variety feels that "Coppola lacks the writerly flair to make the big scenes soar or resonate with multiple meanings or dimensions. Rather, they more often than not seem abruptly crutailed and somewhat unsatisfying."
The Hollywood Reporter says the film has "style to burn, eye-catching acting... and a story that harkens back to many literary classics... striking visuals, music, dance and classic drama... yet somehow the piece comes off as derivative but also original."
And Indiewire proclaims Tetro is "neither complete misfire nor triumphant return to form... if a first-time filmmaker had directed this... it might gain some notice for suggesting great things to come. Instead, on its own terms, the movie is only a mildly interesting entry in Coppola's thirty-plus years of work."
So, the film is made out to be pretty good, but a tired effort on the directors part. Good. My presumptions exactly. I've wanted Apocalypse Now-era goodness coming out of Coppola since Apocalypse Now, but he just never re-caught his stride. Let his offspring handle the heavy lifting, I suppose.
- Eric T. Voigt, Back to Be Home