Critics View Blindness With Jaundiced Eye

Several trade reporters attending the Cannes Film Festival observed that Blindness, the, er, dark film that opened the festival Wednesday night, will need to garner some favorable reviews if it is to become successful at the box office when it opens in September. It has received none so far. Daily Variety noted that the film was "applauded at its gala screening, though not wildly so." The trade paper's reviewer, Justin Chang, wrote that Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles may have turned ou t a "slickly crafted drama" but that the tale by Nobel laureate Jose Saramago "emerges on screen both overdressed and undermotivated,scrupulously hitting the novel's beats yet barely approximating, so to speak, its vision." Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Report er commented that while the film may be provocative cinema, "it also is predictable cinema: It startles but does not surprise." Fionnuala Halligan, writing for Britain's Screen Daily, said that "Meirelles never illuminates convincingly the wrenching fear of his source material." Derke Malcolm, writing in the London Daily Mail concluded that the film, "though palpably sincere, is often both repetitive and dull." And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star remarked that the film commands "more respect than love" and predicted that it "won't be a guaranteed multiplex rouser."



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