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Pixar's 'Inside Out' Gets A Lot Of Buzz At Cannes Film Festival


We have a preview of some of the movies you may well be talking about the rest of this year. Our film critic Kenneth Turan, also of the Los Angeles Times, is at the Cannes Film Festival in France, where he gets to watch these movies before you do. Hi, Ken.


INSKEEP: So what do you like?

TURAN: Well, there's a lot of stuff to like here. Just this morning, "Inside Out" played. This is the new film from Pixar. It's by Pete Docter, who directed "Up." It's a really fascinating, unusual, computer-animated film about what goes on inside the mind of a young girl, the different emotions that hide in her mind, each emotion played by a different actor. It's very funny. It's very inventive. And it's really moving, kind of in the way "Up" was.

INSKEEP: And so you came out of that movie with a smile on your face?

TURAN: I did. I did, and that's never a bad thing, Steve.

INSKEEP: So you're going from film to film there at the Cannes Film Festival, and, of course, there are actors everywhere and directors everywhere attending the screenings of their own movies. And one of the others there is called "Son Of Saul." What's that about?

TURAN: Well, that was a fascinating film, and also the experience of seeing it was so classically Cannes. This is a Hungarian film, first-time director. It's a dramatic film at the workings of Auschwitz, at the workings of a concentration camp. It's as grim and effective a film as I've seen in years and years and years. And because of the dynamics of Cannes, I had to walk out of that film, cross the street and go directly to a press conference held for Piper-Heidsieck Champagne that was talking about how this was the happy champagne of the Cannes Film Festival. And just that stark contrast, the way this kind of festival encompasses anything is one of the reasons people come here from all over the world.

INSKEEP: Now, it's interesting to hear you talk about "Son Of Saul" because this is reminding me, Ken Turan, of "12 Years A Slave," a movie that also was about a period in history that people know something about, but the movie itself was so intense, the experience was so detailed that it was like experiencing the information for the first time. Is that the kind of feeling you got out of "Son Of Saul?"

TURAN: It really is. I mean, it's a concentration camp film unlike any other, and I've seen a lot of them. It's quite a powerful experience.

INSKEEP: Now, you also get to see a movie called "Carol."

TURAN: Yes, this is a new movie by Todd Haynes. This is one of the films that's been most strongly received here. It's based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith. It's set in the early 1950s. It's a love affair between two women, played by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. And it's just beautifully made and impeccably acted. It just kind of had critics swooning here because the level of craft and filmmaking skill is so high.

INSKEEP: So you're having good experiences there. And I want to learn a little bit more. You mentioned the champagne and so forth. What is it like to watch movie after movie with cast members or directors or other key people involved in making the film right in the audience there with you?

TURAN: Well, sometimes it's extraordinary. There's a film I saw called "My Golden Years" by a French director named Arnaud Desplechin. It's a very warm, evocative story about his teenage years, and the audience just loved it. After the film ended, they all stood up unmasked. It was like 10, 12 minutes of consistent, rhythmic applause. The cast was in tears. The director was hugging everybody. It's a kind of extraordinary, live experience that's really so rare, even at film festivals. And again, it's one of the things that marks Cannes as distinctive.

INSKEEP: Can we expect that many of these films you've mentioned will, in fact, be opening in the United States?

TURAN: Oh, they all will. And I think there's one other I want to mention. There's a very fine documentary about the singer Amy Winehouse called "Amy," the great British singer who died tragically at age 27. This is a really detailed look at her life and her music. That's going to be coming and that's also not to be missed.

INSKEEP: Ken, thanks for the preview.

TURAN: Thank you, Steve.

INSKEEP: That's Kenneth Turan of MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.


AMY WINEHOUSE: (Singing) My tears dry on their own.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.