Film: Stephen Applebaum reports from the Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival would have wanted to start its 70th edition on a high note, and this year’s opening night film, Ismael’s Ghost (**), looked like it had all the right ingredients. A homegrown film from the Cesar-winning director Arnaud Desplechin, starring the cream of French actresses, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marion Cotillard, and the always watchable Mathieu Amalric, it practically oozes promise. In reality, however, the film is a patchy, incomprehensible mess, which comes over like an obscure private joke. It revolves around a film director, Ismael (Amalric), and his lover, Sylvia (Gainsbourg), whose lives are disturbed when Carlotta (Cotillard), the wife Ismael thought had died after going missing years earlier, returns to claim her man.