Asghar Farhadi‘s “Everybody Knows” opened the 71st Festival du Cannes in France.
The Iranian director presents his first Spanish language film, which stars Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The official synopsis from IMDb reads:
Carolina, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her Argentinian husband and children. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.
Festival goers at Cannes were the first audience to see the film. They immediately flooded Twitter with their reactions after the screening ended. Here are some of the initial responses:
Asghar Farhadi knows how to tell a beautiful story full of painful emotion and intrigue, and found the perfect vehicles for his complicated roles in Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. A great opener for #Cannes2018 #EverybodyKnows
— YortJansen (@yortjansen) May 8, 2018
— SimónDSantiago (@Simonsds) May 8, 2018
Lo mejor de #everybodyknows es la capacidad de Farhadi para mostrar la España profunda aún siendo iraní. Todo al servicio de una historia ni mucho menos redonda pero sí más que interesante gracias a unos estupendos Bardem y Barbara Lennie, entre otros #Cannes2018
— Lara Malvesí (@LaraMalvesiBXL) May 8, 2018
Microsoft translated this tweet as: “The best ofis Farhadi’s ability to show deep Spain while still Iranian. Everything in the service of a story or much less round but more interesting thanks to some great Bardem and Barbara Lennie, among others.”
Not all of the reactions were glowing. Here are a few from less impressed viewers:
#EverybodyKnows is the first time #AsgharFarhadi's plot construction feels like formula. Has its merits — chiefly the performances — but compared to his other girl-goes-missing film, #AboutElly, this one's an unconvincingly soapy, layerless melodrama #Cannes2018 @FilmCompanion
— Baradwaj Rangan (@baradwajrangan) May 8, 2018
Translation: What a disappointment. Empty direction, flat staging. The actors do what they can. Farhadi uses the same processes as his previous films again and again, but without trying anything new. Forgettable.
Farhadi wrote and directed the film. Some of his previous works include “About Elly,” which centers around the disappearance of a teacher. His film, “A Separation,” won both an Oscar and a BAFTA. His 2016 film, “The Salesman,” won the Academy Award for Foreign Language Film. “Everybody Knows” is his follow up to that award winner.
Penélope Cruz won an Academy Award for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” in 2008. She was also nominated for “Volver” and “Nine.” She recently received rave reviews for her portrayal of Donatella Versace on the FX series “American Crime Story.”
Javier Bardem won his Academy Award for his terrifying Anton Chigurh “No Country for Old Men” in 2007. He was also nominated for “Before Night Falls” in 2000 and “Biutiful” in 2010.