Cannes Day #9: Nothing Bad Can Happen
Cannes rules to live by or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Cannes Film Festival
Learn to live and thrive on coffee; but ask for it American style unless you take actually handle the strong bitterness of espresso. Trains are an unreliable means of transportation; they are often late or sometimes may not even show up at all. Also, they do not run all night, during the week it may only be as late as ten. Most people come for the films, some just for the parties, but all for the experience. Contrary to popular believe, French hospitality is quite welcoming and patient of English speaking people; or at least they are around the festival. The crowd will clap at nearly every opportunity they can; distributor credits, closing credits, and especially the short Official Festival de Cannes video that plays before each film. Bring an umbrella because it will rain. If you forgot one, the men who were selling sun glasses on the streets will convert their business into selling umbrellas. You will find them. During the festival, Cannes is filled with the most beautiful women and handsome men in the world. No matter what color of badge you have, the morning press screenings are generally not hard to get into because the Grand Théâtre Lumière holds a couple thousand people. But the real reason may be that most are sleeping off a night of drinking and cannot drag themselves out of bed to stand in line at 7:30 in the morning. While we are at it, call the line a queue. There will be at least three walk-outs in every film. The dress apparel for press is not formal, unless you somehow get an invitation to a red carpet premiere. Wear comfortable shoes but do no flip flops! Get good at eating most of your meals on the go. Showing up at least an hour early gets you better chances of getting a seat. Talent from the film will sit in the middle aisle in a section that is usually reserved, so pick seats accordingly if you care to see and greet them. Bring a bag for water, energy bars, umbrella, and a cardigan. Outside the Palais the coffee is relatively expensive considering a badge gets you inside where it is free (sometimes even beer is an option). It is fun to explore the Palais but the men in suits that guard each hallway and entrance will determine just how far you will go (hint, it is not that far). But above all, do not forget to stop and take in the truly amazing atmosphere Cannes has to offer. Bon festival.
Cannes video intro: red carpet steps from the ocean leading up to the stars
Official Cannes logo surrounded by stars
Nothing Bad Can Happen
The opening shot of Nothing Bad Can Happen is of a young blonde teenager named Tore being “baptized” in an ocean by a local Christian activist group called the Jesus Freaks. The goal of this group of misfits is to preach the word of Jesus to people who may not like going to traditional churches. In a parking lot one day the car next theirs will not start. They offer to help by forming a prayer circle around the car and ask for Jesus’s help. Sure enough, the blessing worked and the car started right up.
Tore ends up befriending the man whose car he helped get to start and eventually moves in with the family to help with their garden. But it does not take long before things start to get hectic. Abuse, rape, and food deprivation are all on the menu here, and it is a full three meal course. But when the Jesus Freaks decide to relocation their chapter to another city, he is left with no friends (and presumably no family), thus he feels like he has no other option to stay. Besides, Tore believes this is ultimately a test of his strength from Jesus.
But the real test will be the audience’s patience for the character. By the end it becomes quite frustrating just how long Tore sticks around that dangerous house, to the point where you will likely find yourself yelling at the screen for the character to run away. Nothing Bad Can Happen is based on true events, which is perhaps why it chose not make Tore physically forced to be there. With the obvious option of leaving the house so easily available to him, it is hard to feel complete sympathy, test of strength be damned. The images you see are very powerful, hard to watch, and still stick with you for a while. Emotions will definitely be evoked, but they will not be pleasant ones. Do not be fooled by the title, a lot of bad can happen with this family.