Final Cut might remake a hit Japanese film but it is another love letter to filmmaking for Oscar-winning filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius.
When you look at his filmography over the years, The Artist continues to stand out. We know the filmmaker more so for his spy parodies over the years. But especially, the Oscar-winning film. What we have here is a remake of One Cut of the Dead. If you haven’t seen that film, there will most certainly be confusion during the first half hour. The first half hour of the film alone appears to be one single take. Don’t worry, you’ll have questions as you go WTF but you’ll get answers during the rest of the run time or in this spoilerish Variety piece right here. But anyway, this is exactly the type of film I would expect from Michel Hazanavicius. It’s a family affair for the filmmaker as the film features his wife, Bérénice Bejo, and daughter, Simone Hazanavicius.
Listen, I don’t watch horror films. However, depending on the right circumstance, I will watch horror comedies. This film is a zombie comedy but Hazanavicius films it in a way to where it won’t trigger nightmares. By the time this review runs, it’ll have been a few months since watching the film ahead of both Sundance and Cannes. So far, nothing yet!
You can kind of tell that this is a pandemic film because of the minimal cast and locations. Final Cut takes place on location at an abandoned warehouse. The abusive director (Romain Duris) is willing to do whatever it takes to finish the film. This includes unleashing an ancient curse. It’s always a curse, isn’t it? You can see fear in their eyes when the cast is on screen. But when we get to the rest of the film, everything is not as it seems. It is more or less falling apart. Actors have to improvise suddenly when the camera isn’t where it needs to be! The only rule is DON’T CUT but this is easier said than done.
I can understand why Hazanavicius made the decision to withdraw from Sundance. It’s unfortunate because the Sundance platform would make this film increasingly accessible to audiences. He even expands on this by way of comments in the Variety piece linked above as he says the film’s structure requires patience. I watched a press screener back in January on a 43″ TV and did just fine. With the film’s premiere at Cannes, it means that one must have the money to attend Cannes if they do not live in France. Beyond this, how people watch movies are changing. I do not know what the future holds for the film. However, it will not be lost on me if this film ends up getting a day-and-date release in the US.
Final Cut might not win any Oscars but the film gives us the sort of fun that audiences need right now.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Michel Hazanavicius
CAST: Romain Duris, Bérénice Bejo, Grégory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Matilda Lutz, Raphaël Quenard
Final Cut holds its world premiere during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival as an Out of Competition Selection program. Grade: 3.5/5
Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.