(We're reposting our review of Che from the Cannes Film Festival to coincide with the film's theatrical release)
By: James Rocchi
Plenty of people are going to be talking about Steven Soderbergh's Che Guevara biographical films -- The Argentineand Guerrilla, screened at Cannes tonight as one presentation simply called Che -- over the next few months. There will be arguments about the politics of the films; there will be discussions of whether or not the films have any emotional center; there will be questions of if, when the film gets some kind of U.S. distribution deal, exactly how they should be released -- two films released staggered throughout the last half of the year or cut down to one three-hour film or shown as a long, big double bill that presents the separate films back-to-back. There will be talk of if Benicio Del Toro deserves a Best Actor nomination for his work as Guevara, or if Soderbergh's portrait of Che is too flat to engage us; I can easily imagine discussions of the look and feel of the film, shot in high-resolution digital with all the craft and care Soderbergh usually brings to shooting on film. I can't predict how all of these questions and possibilities will play out, but I can say -- and will say -- what a rare pleasure it is to have a film (or films) that, in our box-office obsessed, event-movie, Oscar-craving age, is actually worth talking about on so many levels.