Oof, someone get Netflix a bottle of Rosé.
One glass for the rough seas of the French Riviera, but another glass to toast the fabulous reviews for “Okja,” Netflix’s original feature film directed by “Snowpiercer” auteur Bong Joon Ho.
The French hospitality doesn’t stop there (this year is like a reverse “Be Our Guest” musical number, where the candlesticks and pots and pans tell you to get out because French theater owners hate you): there’s more poo-pooing selfies, but Jake G. loves his dog and people are buying movies!
After tempers settled, writers turned to their machines and praised the Tilda Swinton-Jake Gyllenhaal story, about giant pigs created by a multinational company to feed millions and rake in profits, and the young girl bent on saving them.
“This exciting, charming, sweet-natured movie gives its audience heartmeltingly tender moments showing us their magical life together in the Korean mountains,” gushed Peter Bradshaw of UK publication The Guardian.
He likened the storytelling “gusto” to that of Roald Dahl, “ET” creator Melissa Mathison and the author of “101 Dalmatians.”
TheWrap’s Steve Pond found it “as playful, uncontainable and messy as its main character, a giant pig who is by turns charming, unruly and touching.”
A smattering of other high-fives, and a ding for language:
OKJA: Big pig and big ideas, but the performances are even bigger, topped by a Jake Gyllenhaal role so flamboyant it can be seen from space
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 19, 2017
OKJA is great. A spirited, weird, poignant plea for compassion and principle. Its closing moments feel like a benediction. #Cannes2017
— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) May 19, 2017
Forgive the temporary lapse into Dad Mode, but Okja's script is liberally seasoned with F-words: a family film it's emphatically not
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) May 19, 2017
— Jason Bechervaise (@Jasebechervaise) May 19, 2017
Okja – Bong Joon-ho's anti-capitalist, anti-meat love letter to animals. Fun action, goofy characters, satire galore, captures your heart.
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) May 19, 2017
Jake’s Puppy Love
During the press conference for “Okja,” the film’s on-screen villain Swinton got heated over the Netflix debate — she is not here to comment on controversy, she is here to wear peppermint power suits and slay these pigs, you guys.
“We didn’t actually come here for prizes,” Swinton told journalists. “We came here to show the film to the Cannes Film Festival. We get the wonderful opportunity and privilege to screen our film on that screen.”
Her co-star Gyllnehaal brought some much-needed levity. When the cast was asked what they had learned from animals over the years, Jake replied: “Napping.”
He also threw in one more “I love my dog,” and we will illustrate why he loves Atticus the German Shepard right here.
— Jada Yuan (@jadabird) May 19, 2017
— Jada Yuan (@jadabird) May 19, 2017
Cannes director Thierry Fremaux famously banned selfies from the Croisette in 2015, calling the practice “ridiculous and grotesque.”
In case you were wondering how the festival feels two years later, please see this button the festival issued with credentials for press, industry and filmmakers:
Over at the Marche …
The Cannes Film Market is chugging along nicely, and not just for A-list packages starring Sandra Bullock. Indies are getting some love as well.
Distributor The Orchard has acquired worldwide rights to Archie Borders’ “Under the Eiffel Tower,” led by “Veep” star Matt Walsh, Cesar Award-winner Judith Godrèche, David Wain, Ryan Eggold and “Casual” star Michaela Watkins.
Walsh plays a bourbon salesman who proposes to his best friend’s 24-year-old daughter. His rejection sparks “a wine-fueled ‘coming of middle age’ jaunt across the French countryside, a surprising friendship with a local footballer (Eggold) and sparks romantic possibilities with a beautiful and independent French woman (Godrèche).”
Orchard VP Danielle DiGiacomo handled the deal with Paradigm, on behalf of the filmmakers.