CANNES FESTIVAL – It was one of the most anticipated returns from this 75th edition of the film festival. George Miller, 77-year-old Australian director and father of the saga Mad Max, presents its new feature film out of competition at Cannes. Expected next August 24 at the cinema, Three thousand years waiting for you is a philosophical and romantic tale in an unexpected register.
We follow the meeting between Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), a literature professor on a trip to Turkey where she opens a vial that releases a genius (Idris Elba). As in Aladdin, he offers to grant him three wishes in exchange for his freedom. Except that the Englishwoman knows well that in the tales, the stories of wishes end badly. So to persuade her, the immortal genius tells her the story of his many lives, his love disappointments too, across several eras and several continents.
Adapted from the short story The Djinn in Nightingale’s Eye by AS Byatt, George Miller’s feature film is a fantastic, dreamlike and above all romantic tale in which we gladly let ourselves be carried away. In engineering Arabian Nights, Idris Elba is much more convincing than Eric Judor or Will Smith. Tilda Swinton is always perfect. And the special effects are sometimes kitsch but sumptuous.
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An enchanted parenthesis
Apart from a few sublime shots of an Eastern desert which could quickly recall the landscape of Mad Max: Fury RoadSpread the word, Three thousand years waiting for you has little to do with the buzzing movies that made George Miller so popular.
The director’s first feature film, released in 1979, was a planetary triumph, revealing a certain Mel Gibson in passing. And to give birth to a cult saga today. Three parts of Mad Max were released between 1979 and 1985, then the Australian filmmaker delighted fans by relaunching the saga in 2015 with the blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road, worn by Charlize Theron. The next two George Miller films will still be in this same universe, with the spin-off Angry expected in 2024, and Mad Max VI, in 2025.
So Three thousand years waiting for you appears rather as an unexpected and enchanting parenthesis, which reminds us that cinema is above all intended to tell us stories. From this mischievous tale of 1h50, we leave with a clear mind with only one idea in mind: what would our three wishes be if we too met a genius?
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