A Film4-backed short directed by Kibwe Tavares and starrnig Daniel Kaluuya
Brilliant black comedy starring Robin Williams in which a diary left behind after a tragic death appears to reveal a personality utterly at odds with the public persona of the dearly departed.
The special pairing of actor Robin Williams with the title World's Greatest Dad suggests a piece of cinema along the lines of Williams' 1999 mush-fest Bicentennial Man ,1998's Patch Adams, or even - the horror - that same year's What Dreams May Come. What a nauseating sugary streak Williams was on back then. If you'd put money on him moving on within four years to the unlikely dark characters he played in Insomnia and One Hour Photo, both in 2002, you'd have collected handsomely on long odds.
Although World's Greatest Dad doesn't exactly see Williams playing a villain, it's arguably a darker film than Insomnia or One Hour Photo, because it plays its brilliantly messed up material almost entirely for laughs, and gets them. If you're familiar with writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait's previous work (see Sleeping Dogs for an exploration of what happens when you take a hitherto platonic relationship with man's best friend to places that relationship should never have gone), you won't be too surprised by the subject matter. It would ruin it to say too much, and, annoyingly, some reviews have done just that, but let's just say that self-gratification has a crucial part to play.
Satires about mawkish outpourings following tragedies aren't new - see classic teen movie Heathers ("I love my dead gay son") and even 2009's Jennifer's Body ("The whole country got a huge tragedy boner") for plenty of fun with posthumous hypocrisy. But this feels fresh, partly because the performances are so great. Williams is blessedly restrained and as ever gives a better performance when he isn't trying too hard to make us like him, while Daryl Sabara as his son Kyle steals the movie. Kyle makes the likes of Stifler from American Pie look like an Edwardian model of comportment and finesse by comparison, and is superbly portrayed by Sabara, who, like Williams, would have been an unlikely bet for this film earlier in his career. It's mildly surreal to hear the star of the three Spy Kids movies saying things like "you have to understand that fucking pussy is virgin shit, alright?" Surreal, but amazing.
A startlingly excellent dark comedy about the power of positive posthumous PR. One of 2010's must-see movies.
For an event that generates so much excitement and carries with it such potential for surprise, it's remarkable how - year after year - the experience of being at the Cannes Film Festival always feels
Film4.com editor Catherine Bray ventures outside the Cannes Competition line-up - although not very far outside, with round ups of two films from the prestigious Un Certain Regard strand... Having no