Monday, May 17, 2010

Cannes Candidates - 2010, Seventh Day (Revised Edition)

Like my previous ones, in the style of Nick Davis/Nick's Flick Picks. All synopses are from the
Cannes website (including the way they are set up). All credit for that goes there. I copied and pasted, pretty much. ;)

Palme d'Or
1. Poetry (Lee Chang-dong)
Synopsis: "Mija lives with her middle-schooler grandson in a small suburban city located along the Han River. She is a dandy old lady who likes to dress up in flower-decorated hats and fashionable outfits, but she is also an unpredictable character with an inquisitive mind. By chance she takes a "poetry" class at a neighborhood cultural center and is challenged to write a poem for the first time in her life.
Her quest for poetic inspiration begins with observing the everyday life she never intentional took notice of before to find beauty within it. And with this, Mija is delightfully surprised with newfound trepidation as if she were a little girl discovering things for the first time in her life.
But when she is suddendly faced with a reality harsh beyond her imagination, she realizes perhaps life is not as beautiful as she had thought it is..."
2. Another Year (Mike Leigh) >>> I know from Ebert now that this film probably won't leave without some award.
Synopsis is: "Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Family and friendship.
Love and warmth. Joy and sadness. Hope and despair.
Companionship. Loneliness. A birth. A death. Time passes....." (Read more at Ebert's blog)

3. Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beavois)
Synopsis: A monastery high in the mountains of the Maghreb, some time in the 90s...
Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers.
But violence and terror are slowly taking hold of the region. Despite the ever-growing danger that surrounds them, the monks' resolve to stay - whatever the cost - grows stronger day by day...

Presumably out: A Screaming Man (Mahamat Saleh-Haroun) >>> D'Angelo's "C" grade was enough to tell me that this film doesn't have the greatest chances.

Synopsis of this film: Present-day Chad. Adam, sixty something, a former swimming champion, is pool attendant at a smart N’Djamena hotel. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son Abdel. Terribly resentful, he feels socially humiliated.
The country is in the throes of a civil war. Rebel forces are attacking the government. The authorities demand that the population contribute to the "war effort", giving money or volunteers old enough to fight off the assailants. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son....

Gran Prix:
1. Outside of the Law (Rachid Bouchareb) Synopsis:
After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers and their mother are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France and Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.

2. My Joy (Sergei Losnitsa) Synopsis:
"My Joy" is a tale of truck driver Georgy. Georgy leaves his home town with a load of goods, but he is forced to take a wrong turning on the motorway, and finds himself in the middle of nowhere. Georgy tries to find his way, but gradually, against his will, he becomes drawn in the daily life of a Russian village. In a place, where brutal force and survival instincts overcome humanity and common
sense, the truck driver’s story heads for a dead end...

3. The Frankenstein Project (Kornél Mundruzco) Synopsis:
Long ago, a young man fathered a child without ever knowing what became of him. Now 17, his son Rudi returns home hoping to reunite with his family after years spent in an institution. Returning to his mother, he hopes to find acceptance, affection, and most importantly, who his father is, but finds that he is not welcome. Almost by accident, Rudi slips into a casting session. The director of the film is transfixed by his innocence and thinks he has found his lead. But a terrible event soon compromises Rudi’s good intentions. He becomes a hunted murderer, and the director realizes that Rudi, this peculiar and silent boy, is his son and his own monstrous creation. The director now has no other choice but to accompany his son on his inevitable, brutal path and their common search for redemption.

Others: The Housemaid (Im Sangsoo)
Synopsis: Lee Euny is hired as a housemaid in an upper class family. Soon enough, master of the house Hoon will become her lover. The family’s world will begin to fall apart.

Presumably out: The Princess of Montpensier (Bertrand Tavernier): To quote Guy Lodge: "My considered verdict of Tavernier's "Princess of Montpensier": zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzprettypeoplezzzzzzzzz." This seems to be the consensus (garnering a pitifully low D'Angelo rating). And this won't win awards.
Synopsis: France, 1562. The wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants rage against a backdrop of intrigue and shifting alliances.

Marie de Mézières, a beautiful young aristocrat, and Henri de Guise, one of the kingdom's most intrepid heroes, are in love, but Marie's father promises her hand in marriage to the Prince of Montpensier. The prince takes Marie back to his chateau, where she is tutored by Chabannes, the Protestant deserter he protects, who soon falls in love with the young woman. Then, on their way back from battle, Henri de Guise and the Duke d'Anjou, the heir to the throne, stop at the chateau. Henri and Marie realize their feelings for each other are as strong as ever...

Best Actor:
1. Javier Bardem (Biutiful) Synopsis:
« Biutiful » is the story of Uxbal.
Devoted father. Tormented lover.
Mystified son. Underground businessman.
Friend of the disposed. Ghost seeker. Spiritual sensitive.
A survivor at the invisible margins in today’s Barcelona.
Uxbal, sensing the danger of death, tries to reconcile with love and save his children, as he tries to save himself.
Uxbal’s story is simple: just one of the complex realities that we all live in today.

2. Representative of Chongqing Blues (apparently the acting here is good)
Synopsis: Lin, a sea captain, returns from a 6 month journey when he is told that his 25-year-old son Lin Bo has been gunned down by the police. In his quest to understand what happened, he realizes he knew very little about his own son. He starts a journey back to Chongqin, a city he once lived. He will understand the impact of his paternal repeated absence on the life of his child.

3. Representative of Of Gods and Men

Others: Sean Penn (Fair Game),
Synopsis: As a covert officer in the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division, Valerie leads an investigation into the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Valerie’s husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, is drawn into the investigation to substantiate an alleged sale of enriched uranium from Niger. But when the administration ignores his findings and uses the issue to support the call to war, Joe writes a New York Times editorial outlining his conclusions and igniting a firestorm of controversy.

Soon after, Valerie’s covert status is reported by a high-profile Washington journalist. With her cover blown and her overseas contacts placed in mortal danger, Valerie is pushed to the breaking point as her career and private life collapse. After years serving the government, Valerie -a mother, a wife and a field officer with an impeccable record-now struggles to save her reputation, her career and her family.

Youssouf Djaoro (A Screaming Man) (who might still get this)

Best Actress:
1. Juliette Binoche (Certified Copy)
Synopsis: This is the story of a meeting between one man and one woman, in a small Italian village in Southern Tuscany.
The man is a British author who has just finished giving a lecture at a conference. The woman, from France, owns
an art gallery. This is a universal story that could happen to anyone, anywhere.
2. Lesley Manville (Another Year) >>> Ebert's predictions again
3. Yun Junghee (Poetry)
Others : Naomi Watts (Fair Game)

Best Director:
1. Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee...)
Synopsis: Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave -- the birthplace of his first life...
2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Biutiful)
3. Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy)

Others: Mike Leigh (Another Year),

Ken Loach (Route Irish)
Synopsis: Liverpool, August 1976. 5-year-old Fergus met Frankie on his first day at school. They’ve been in each others’ shadow ever since. As teenagers they skipped school and drank cider on the ferry over the River Mersey, dreaming about travelling the world. Little did Fergus realise his dream would come true as a highly trained member of the
UK’s elite special forces, the SAS.

After resigning in September 2004, Fergus persuaded Frankie (by now an ex-Para)to join his security team in Baghdad. £10,000 a month, tax free. Their last chance to "load up" in this increasingly privatised war. Together they risked their lives in a city steeped in violence, terror and greed, and awash with billions of US dollars. In September 2007, Frankie died on Route Irish, the most dangerous road in the world.

Back in Liverpool, a grief-stricken Fergus rejects the official explanation, and begins his own investigation into his soul mate’s death. Only Rachel, Frankie’s partner, grasps the depth of Fergus’s sorrow, and the lethal
possibilities of his fury. As Fergus tries to find out what happened to Frankie on Route Irish, he and Rachel grow closer. As he approaches the truth behind Frankie’s death,
Fergus struggles to find his old self and the happiness he shared with Frankie twenty years earlier on the Mersey.

Presumably out: Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier) >>> He seems to be out of luck.

Best Screenplay:
1. Sergei Losnitsa (My Joy) - A placeholder, who may win, but since the other three people I have here I have winning in other categories, I need some other valid candidate( in Cannes you can't win twice)
2. Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee...)
3. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Biutiful)
4. Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) (this is valid for above reasons)

Others: Bertrand Tavernier, Jean Cosmos, Francois-Olivier Rousseau (The Princess of Montpensier) >>> Sometimes films not well liked win this award..., Wang Xiaoshai (Chongqing Blues)

To let you know: an ultimate viewing guide is ahead. And in the comments: are you tired of these Cannes posts? Do you want to read them? (I may or may not take these into account.)


Literary Dreamer said...

This is the only Cannes post I've read of yours, but if you're going to do them, I'd suggest adding more "meat on the bones," so to speak. In other words, include a brief synopsis of what each movie is about. Otherwise, if we don't even know that, who cares who wins?

Literary Dreamer said...

Yes, much better. :-)