That this film won the Palm d'Or at Cannes is a real testament to a couple of things: First, that just about any piece of crap can win at Cannes. Second, that people are incredibly gullible and stupid when they're unfamiliar with a subject.
In the U.S., we were force-fed nonstop Columbine coverage for months, so the prospect of seeing Gus Van Sant's film, with a largely unknown cast, filmed in documentary style, sounds to most people about as appetizing as McGriddles. The big question: What kind of interesting perspective is Gus going to bring to this subject matter?
Here's the answer: a gay shower scene. Yes, the only contribution I ascertained from the entire movie was that the killers might have been gay lovers. Unfortunately, this has never been brought up in the news and I know of no evidence to support such an assertion. Gus just thought he'd throw it in there to create a little hubbub. Did Van Sant think that maybe sticking to the facts and providing some perspective might be more compelling? No. What do directors do who don't actually have anything useful to say? That's right. Gay shower scenes.
All the film does is record a day in an average high school from a few different perspectives. Eventually, the killers show up and shoot up the school. It's hardly dramatic at all, which appears to be Van Sant's point. This is Anywhere High School.
Do the judges at Cannes really think that this obviousness constitutes art? That's enough for the Palm d'Or? If that's the case, I bet I can get a Palm d'Or on eBay for under $100 because that's all the thing is worth. I defy anyone to sit through this film and not yawn. It's deadly dull, much like high school (and no pun intended).
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