Charlize Theron and Sean Penn…

Today at the photo call for The Last Face, directed by Sean, in Cannes. Exactly a year ago in Cannes, this is what Charlize and Sean looked like:

I chose this shot specifically because he seems oblivious and she looks like she’s got plans. Those plans, as we know now, did not involve him in her life anymore because shortly after they were at the festival together, they broke up. She has since denied “ghosting” him but, well, I’m not sure anyone believes her.

So here they are, posing not together. Almost like they’re making a point of putting as much space between themselves as possible. Joanna’s been watching the press conference and, at post time, they’ve barely acknowledged each other although Charlize did talk about Sean in an interview with British GQ – and spoke positively about the film:

"You can't control what people say, but, at the end of the day, we made a film," she explains, slowly, steadily. "We were in a relationship at the time. When this movie comes out, we're not in a relationship anymore. But we made a beautiful film and I can speak for him on this: we both care enough about each other to know we care about this movie together. Do I wish people would respect that and look at the film for what it is? Of course I do, but I know I'm not God and that's probably not going to happen."

Well, as it happens, the critics were looking at The Last Face for what it is. And the critics are totally destroying it.

The Guardian called it “aphrodisiac for white people”. Owen Gleiberman at Variety writes that “The Last Face is Sean Penn’s version of an Angelina Jolie movie. It keeps advertising its compassion, yet it’s really a drama about two beautiful movie stars trying to save the world. Who, after all, can’t identify with that?” Well if there ever was a way to unite Sean Penn fans (presuming they exist) and Brangelunatics, that would be it.

Today at the press conference, Sean claimed to be unaffected by the criticism. Of course he did. Who’s a critic next to the great, red Sean Penn?