Gypsies: The Roma, writes Louise Doughty at the Guardian, are often stuck in films with being "ciphers representing freedom and wildness," more often than not played by Johnny Depp. Doughty calls out Tony Gatlif‘s "Transylvania," starring Asia Argento, as one of the rare films with Roma characters that are "convincing representations of human beings."
[W]hen Tracy starts spending so much time with the black kids, you realize the movie has but one note for them. They sing in the key of civil rights. However peppy, their songs are dull with importance. There’s no humor in them, no dirt or wit — unlike the movie’s opening number or the one Pfeiffer has about her (white) supremacy. It’s all, ‘woe is we’ — but with exclamatory showbiz panache, of course.
Chefs: Though perhaps not anymore, according to Laurie Winer at the LA Times, who finds that "No Reservations" and "Ratatouille" may be the forefronts of a burgeoning genre of "American foodie cinema":
"It’s interesting to note that before his more recent work for "Ratatouille," [restaurateur Thomas] Keller served as a consultant on the 2004 "Spanglish," and while Adam Sandler‘s chef in the earlier movie may have been technically believable, his character’s feelings about food seemed merely tacked on as an afterthought. They certainly did not define him the way they do Remy (the rat) and Kate. Nor did they drive the plot.
Americans: Was the U.S. represented by "minor movies" at Cannes, as writes Cahiers du CinÃ©ma‘s HervÃ© Aubron? Oh, we’re cheating by including this here â€” the concept as offered by Aubron has more to do with the rediscovery and reinvigoration of "minor" (or, essentially, genre) art as well as "minor" in the sense of music, but we’d recommend you read the piece yourself.
+ The road less travelled (Guardian)
+ Do the white thing (Boston Globe)
+ At last, Hollywood serves up some well-done chefs (LA Times)
+ Minor movies? (Cahiers du CinÃ©ma)