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Watching Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at Cannes

Anupama Chopra puts her experience at Cannes Film Festival in numbers - nine days, 13 films, 20 interviews and two parties.

hollywood Updated: May 22, 2019 11:21 IST
Quentin Tarantino,Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,Leonardo DiCaprio
Actors Margot Robbie from left, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes.(AP)

Nine days, 13 films, 20 interviews, 2 parties – my Cannes in numbers! It’s been an incredible week of movies, meetings and experiences. This morning started with Ira Sachs’ Frankie. Critics are divided on the Isabelle Huppert starrer but it worked for me. The film had a deeply felt melancholy and tenderness. I’m a sucker for films about dysfunctional families and this one has the iconic French actress playing an actress who brings her family together at a scenic Portuguese village. Incidentally there are several films at Cannes that feature art or artists – Pain and Glory, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Portrait of a Lady on Fire and even Diego Maradona because the football legend is also an artist on the field.

Two hours of the day went in waiting in line for the hottest title in Cannes – Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was fun overhearing conversations as we waited – two men behind me were wondering which other director in the world could set the festival on fire like Tarantino. They tossed around a few names – Wes Anderson, Spike Lee – but then they concluded that the Tarantino madness is unique.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Daniella Pick, Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt pose as they leave following the screening of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. ( AFP )

It’s been a few hours since I saw the film and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. So much of it dazzles – the terrific performances of Leonardo DiCaprio who plays the fading actor Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stunt double Cliff Booth. Rick is mournful while Cliff is funny. Together they keep you hooked. But the film is overlong and scattered. The electricity ebbs and flows. And there’s little here to trigger emotion. I need another viewing to make up my mind!

The day ended with our last interview on Cannes 2019 – with cinematographer Modhura Palit who has won the prestigious Angénieux special encouragement award. Angénieux is an iconic French company which manufactures high quality cinema lenses. It was founded in 1935. The company instituted the Pierre Angenieux ExcelLens in Cinematography award which is given to a renowned DOP – this year it’s Bruno Delbonnel. Along with this, the company also highlights the work of a young film professional. The Indian Women’s Cinematographers’ Collective sent in information about Modhura who won this year’s award. Modhura will be given the award on Friday. She will also get an opportunity to meet Delbonnel and use Angénieux technology for free in her next project. She said it was like a fairytale come true! It’s wonderful to see young women like Modhura make a mark – especially in such a traditionally male field.

And with that, it’s a wrap on Cannes 2019. I’ll miss the movies and the magic. I can’t wait to return.

Author tweets @anupamachopra

Follow her on Instagram @anupama.chopra

First Published: May 22, 2019 11:21 IST