If one thing can be taken away from Cannes with any certainty, it is that when a film gets booed it is probably pretty good. One of the highest forms of disrespect one can give to a film, booing seems an almost routine demonstration at Europe’s biggest film festival.
Given that so many of the jeered movies go on to win many major awards, one could certainly argue that ‘boo’ is the French ‘bravo’. This year alone two stalwart directors had their latest projects vocally condemned:
Paolo Sorrentino – whose last film ‘The Great Beauty’ (La Grande Bellezza), was winner of the best foreign film Oscar – was booed for his latest offering ‘Youth’ starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. And yet this is at complete loggerheads with most reviews.
Gus Van Sant – nominated for two best director Oscars for ‘Milk’ and ‘Good Will Hunting’ – was on the receiving end of some particularly vociferous condemnation for ‘The Sea of Trees’ starring the Mighty McConaughey and Naomi Watts.
And they are certainly not the only eminent directors to endure such treatment along La Croisette over the years.