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Inside the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Day 8: Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown

If there is anything especially hopeful in this bleak, off-putting in the queasy kind of way portrait of a serial killer is the assured hand, moody translation of the material from first time helmer Justin Kurzel. If the Critics’ Week has such a rich 50 year history, its because the sidebar has managed to uncover several golden nuggets in the less than a dozen features it selects each year. Snowtown answers the question: what occurs when you’re in need of a role model and that same person happens to murder off the neighbors. With a charisma equal to the best time share sellers of the planet, Daniel Henshall’s character is, in one stance, a seducer who finds a family and then protects it with the aggressiveness of a pit-bull. Newbie actor Lucas Pittaway’s character, the single mother’s son left to fiend for himself, goes from bambi-like innocence to idolizing his idol, and instead of receiving a film that glorifies the murders, we receive a complex depiction of how naivety turns to complicity and trustworthiness. Much like what Chopper did for fellow aussie man Andrew Dominik’s career, this film with its crisp, yet gloomy aesthetic from Animal Kingdom‘s Dp Adam Arkapaw is a must see — but it’ll be hard to like it.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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