Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cannes 2011: Prévisions Finales

I haven't been posting as many film reviews lately as 1) I've haven't had that much time to see recently released films and 2) following the developments of the Cannes Film Festival has been involving and right now the festival feels like the only relevant event in the film world. After Sunday, when the awards for the Main Competition are announced, things will change, and we'll get back to regularly scheduled programming, etc. But for now, this is what's been on my mind, and here are my final predictions, since pretty much all films in the running for the Palme d'Or have finished screening for critics:

Competition Jury: Robert De Niro, Olivier Assayas, Martina Gusman, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Jude Law, Nansun Shi, Uma Thurman, Johnnie To, Linn Ullman

Palme d’Or: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Reasoning: Reviews haven't been all strong, but at the same time there have been enough that note this as prime Palme material, which may be echoed by the jury (who seem like they could really warm up to its heavy basis on imagery). Plus, Ceylan is due.

Gran Prix: The Kid With a Bike, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Reasoning: Probably the most previously successful contenders in the field this year, the Dardennes have NEVER gone home empty handed when they've played in Competition at Cannes. They've won 2 Palmes (for "Rosetta" and "The Child"), directed Olivier Gourmet to a Best Actor (for "The Son"), and snagged Best Screenplay last time they were here with "Lorna's Silence." Even though I don't think another Palme is possible, a Gran Prix (which they've never won before) could be a good way to celebrate their new work. This may be the jury that neglects to give them an award, but with Haroun on the jury (who's said to be influenced by them), I think they'll pull out with something.

Jury Prize: Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn

Reasoning: The populist favorite of the festival, Refn's film (as Guy Lodge has noted) will probably have garnered the support of Law and Thurman, not to mention Assayas and To. Many have said this will win the Palme, but I don't think it'll quite manage that.

Best Actor: Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life

Reasoning: "The Tree of Life" will not be denied an award. And this is an avenue that has been essentially approved by all critics. (I know they don't decide the award, but they must have some perception of what's going on).

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Reasoning: Despite the possibilities of Emily Browning and Kirsten Dunst, I think Swinton had this sealed up on the second day of the festival, when her film premiered. The praise has been overwhelming.

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Reasoning: Hazanavicius will get awarded for branching out from his previous films (James Bond spoofs) and actually making something serious. A Palme is definitely possible, but this route seems a lot more logical for the jury.

Best Screenplay: Le Havre, Aki Kaurismaki

Reasoning: Another movie that needs validation for its success. Kaurismaki has gone as far as the Gran Prix before, and could go the full distance, but the jury seems both for and against that happening. At least it'll win this.

Prominent empty-handers: "The Skin I Live In," "Melancholia," and "This Must Be the Place" (the jury could rally for this one, but the reviews intimated this was not such a good movie).

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