Festival de Cannes 70: James Schamus, 1997

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

Good writing, really good film writing, can surpass (or aid) the talents of an actress, actor or film director. The character actions, where the story takes you, the spoken words. The screenplay. Ang Lee’s never-to-be-forgotten gem The Ice Storm is a tale so full of promise and innocence that in the end runs effectively cold as the array of characters collide with wrong side of their emotional climate. The coming of age cliche more then proficiently lands itself with the adults too, who at times seem clueless and lost, as the kids make their own mistakes, so naively eager to explore their futures in a hurry. So subtle and mellow is the touching drama on offer here, I suspect there are few out there that have forgotten how much of a classic AMPAS omission this was. Sure, Lee has been rewarded twice by Oscar since then (both as Director with no Picture win), but as well as the buzz Sigourney Weaver was getting the whole awards season that year, James Schamus‘ screenplay was one of the best that year – and deserved a mention. The Cannes jury, however, made a great call among some other exceptional personal stories in competition – Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth and Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter can’t have been far off.

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