How to win a performance award in Palm Springs
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That leads to a crucial question: are films' aim to enlighten the performances, or it is rather the acting department's agenda to serve as Trojan horses by which movies can articulate their thematic schemes? But since cinema is not of Christian domain, as the director would remain God's favourite son, his acting followers cannot always been seen as the direct incarnation of his holy image.
As expected, our jury's deliberations over what was the best film were shorter than the ones about who should be the festival's prom couple. The number of contenders was narrowed down to four, for obviously various reasons: one of them was Stolen Eyes (Otkradnati Ochi) Vessela Kazakova, who plays a teacher forced to deal with a Bulgarian soldier who's presumably holding information about her missing brother (based on the actual 'bulgarianization' of its Turkish minority in 1985). Kazakova managed to maintain a constant tension between her character and the soldier (who will eventually fall in love with her) but it seems that she got overshadowed by the many exaggerated twists and turns that her character has to deal with.
The other was Deborah François' Sonia in the Dardenne's The Child (L'enfant), one of the film's vital elements who hasn't got recognition. Mrs François doesn't have much screen time, but she's part of the film's overhauled first sequences, forcing her childish boyfriend's front door to recollect her belongings. She also signed up during the film's major turning point, in which her character had to deal with one of the most unbearable situations a mother can experience. At the end, she suggested that some healing can occur between Sonia and her remorseful boyfriend during a visit to prison. This may be François' breakthrough performance, just like Émilie Dequenne's Rosetta, but it's fair to say that the other actors got all the meaty parts of the film, leaving her in the backseat most of the time.
© 2007 Charles-Stéphane Roy