Cannes Report, Day 6: ‘The Lighthouse’ Shines, Tarantino Begs for No Spoilers

Terence Malick also returns to form with debut of his film “A Hidden Life”

The Lighthouse Willem Dafoe Robert Pattinson
Photo by Eric Chakeen

No sooner than fans on the internet were signing petitions demanding that Robert Pattinson never play Batman, the former “Twilight” star took to Cannes to remind everyone how brilliant of an actor he can be with a crazed performance in “The Lighthouse.”

Robert Eggers’ film, his follow-up to the indie horror classic “The Witch,” stars Pattinson opposite Willem Dafoe, with Dafoe playing an aging lighthouse keeper in the early 20th century in Maine. The two lock horns in a tense psychological battle that has the two screaming at each other amid the film’s dark comedy and supernatural horror touches. And that doesn’t even begin to describe the half of it.

TheWrap’s Ben Croll wrote: “A richly textured portrait of two men on the far edges of society intensifying each other’s descent into madness, “The Lighthouse” lulls like a sea song, knocks like a wave and had an absolutely hypnotic effect on audiences at the Cannes Film Festival.”

“Imagine a version of ‘There Will Be Blood’ starring two Daniel Day-Lewises who never stop screaming at each other,” the New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan wrote about “The Lighthouse.”

“Robert Eggers’ ‘The Lighthouse’ is like if Melville or Poe reimagined ‘The Shining’ as an odd couple comedy where both protagonists are Jack Torrance,” Little White Lies critic Adam Woodward tweeted.

“The Lighthouse” premiered on Sunday but is playing out of competition. A24 is releasing “The Lighthouse” worldwide later this year.

Quentin Tarantino Begs for No Spoilers

Quentin Tarantino pulled a card out of Marvel’s playbook by posting an open letter to his Instagram ahead of the premiere of his ninth film, “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood,” which begged festival goers at Cannes not to reveal the surprises his film most definitely has in store.

“I love cinema, You love cinema. It’s the journey of discovering a story for the first time,” Tarantino wrote. “The cast and crew have worked so hard to create something original, and I only ask that everyone avoids revealing anything that would prevent later audiences from experiencing the film in the same way.”

Sony Pictures is releasing “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in a story set in Los Angeles in 1969 around the time of the Manson Family murders. It opens in theaters July 26.

Terrence Malick Returns to Form

Both audiences and critics have been unkind to Terrence in the years since he released his opus “The Tree of Life.” As the director has become more prolific, critics have grown disillusioned with his overtly spiritual style and cinematic reveries.

His latest film, “A Hidden Life,” which clocks in at just under three hours and premiered Sunday in competition, was feared to be more of the same. But critics have celebrated it as easily his best film since “The Tree of Life” played at Cannes back in 2011. The film is about the life of the Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, who during World War II was a conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Nazis. Though it’s certainly about themes much greater than just World War II history.

“Obviously his best film since ‘The Tree of Life,’ but also a powerfully graceful portrait of defiance, and a provocative challenge to “Silence,” Indiewire’s David Ehrlich wrote.

Charles Bramesco at The Playlist wrote in his review that his “return to form will renew your faith in his cinema of purity.” And the LA Times’ Justin Chang said that the film “pretty much wrecked me.”

See more reactions to the film below: