Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

"The writing is sharp and succinct." | Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Perhaps it was inevitable that the G7 collection of posturing nations would be sitting targets for satire because of their flurries of verbiage and usually lack of any action.

Guy Maddin and his co-directors, the brothers Evan and Galen Johnson, in their third collaboration together have great fun as they focus on summit of world leaders representing the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Canada as well as Germany, where the film is set around a cloistered castle and its wooded grounds.

The weekend promises wining, dining, and discussion to construct a statement on the global crisis on various themes from climate change to bilateral management and (wait for it) the erecting of Western Europe’s largest sundial.

So far so hilarious … as Cate Blanchett’s crisply efficient Teutonic chancellor aims to keep minds focussed as the brainstorming goes off at all manner of tangents. Corralled in a specially built gazebo in the grounds, the group are summoned for a photo-opportunity with an exhumed Iron Age corpse. The spirits are not with them because this act of “sacrilege” prompts an uprising other ancient bodies who chase the politicos into the forest suddenly enveloped in a thick mist. Their minders have mysteriously vanished into the ether.

Trying to save the world ironically turns into a quest to save themselves. And what a rum bunch they are: Canadian prime minister (Roy Dupuis with man bun) seems on the verge of a mental breakdown; Nikki Amuka-Bird as the UK premier keeps on working regardless; France’s president played by Denis Ménochet; the gormless Italian (Rolando Ravello) and Charles Dance as the American president who keeps nodding off (touch of the Bidens here).

The writing is sharp and succinct with a plethora of running jokes and sideswipes at national stereotypes and elites which are accurately too close to home for comfort.

Let’s at least all have a good laugh as the planet self-destructs seems to be the invitation - and one that most audiences would willingly accept.

Reviewed on: 22 May 2024
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World leaders become stranded in the woods during a G7 summit.

Director: Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Guy Maddin

Writer: Evan Johnson

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Cate Blanchett, Charles Dance, Takehiro Hira, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Denis Ménochet, Roy Dupuis, Zlatko Buric, Ralph Berkin, Rolando Ravello, Alexa Kennedy, Tomi Kosynus

Year: 2024

Runtime: 109 minutes

Country: Canada, Germany

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