One of the high-profile premieres at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is The Search, an update of the classic Fred Zinnemann war film starring Montgomery Clift. Although it received mixed reviews, it could have been due to high expectations. The Search‘s director, Michel Hazanavicius, arrived on the world cinema plateau three years ago when The Artist debuted at Cannes. 10 months later, he had a Best Director Oscar in his hand.
While The Search did not receive much critical adoration, it still looks riveting enough to check out when it arrives in theatres later this year. The film stars Bérénice Bejo as an NGO worker who forms a relationship with a young, displaced boy named Hadji (Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev) in Chechnya after Russian troops invaded the country in 1999. The film also has various subplots, one involving Hadji’s older sister, Raïssa, who is searching for him in the wartorn region.
The Search looks like a much more ambitious project than The Artist. Hazanavicius’s Oscar winning film was an enjoyable ode to silent cinema, so switching gears to a bloody, political war film is an intriguing change of pace. Regardless of the mixed response, the trailer looks interesting enough and suggests that this could be one to look out for during awards season – especially if Russia is still making headlines in the fall. (Due to its release in France on November 26, though, The Search would be ineligible for the Foreign Language category).
On another note, critics reported that French audiences booed The Search when the credits started rolling. I find it bewildering that an audience would boo a film. I have sat through many awful movies in my lifetime that audiences did not react to in any way. Is it just part of the programming at Cannes, that one is obligated to boo for a movie that does not meet their expectations? Just wondering.
Check out the new trailer below and let us know if you think this one will be boo-worthy when it hits theatres.