Monday, May 28, 2012

Winners Announced at the 65th Cannes Film Festival

The winners at the 65th Cannes Film Festival were announced overnight. The jury, led by President Nanni Moretti, decided on the winners, following an engrossing festival that has offered up its fair share of surprises amongst the pre-speculated strong lineup. We had several prior winners returning with new films, a film from Alain Resnais, a man now in his 90's, and the return of Leos Carax after a decade of absence.

The other day I went through and provided a quick report on the films that had played so far and the critical reactions to each, as well as speculation on what the likely winners will be. At that point there were a few films that had not yet screened. Before I get into the winners I thought I would give a quick overview of how they were received.

 - David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis caused a stir on the release of the trailer a few weeks back, which suggested that Cronenberg was returning to the violence and surreality that his most famous films are notorious for. It also stars Robert Pattinson, trying to prove that he is a capable actor outside of the god-awful Twilight franchise. The film has been very divisive and oddly I believe it is set mostly in cars (Crash, anyone). I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. A lot of his films that have divided critics - Videodrome, Naked Lunch and Crash for example - have been awesome. The Guardian called it "agonizingly self-conscious and meagre", though many have been very very impressed by Mr. Pattinson. Still a must-see.

 - In the Fog has drawn plenty of attention, with many critics considering it a real threat to take the Palme d'Or. It is directed by Belarusian director Sergei Loznitsa, and is a slow-moving drama set during World War II. Comparisons to Andrei Tarkovsky mean nothing but good things in my book, but I hear it is bleak bleak bleak.

 - Mud is Jeff Nichols' hotly anticipated follow-up to Take Shelter, one of the best films to hit cinemas last year. Nichols actually won the Grand Prix for Take Shelter. Mud is an adventure about two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud (played by Matthew McConaughey), describes fantastic scenarios - he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. The film received a rousing ovation, but some have been disappointed about the final act. It sounds a bit like a Huckleberry Finn-type tale.

My predictions were: Palme (Amour), Prix (Rust and Bone), Jury (The Hunt or In the Fog), Actor (Denis Lavant, Holy Motors), Actress (Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone), Director (Leos Carax, Holy Motors, or Michael Haneke, Amour) and Screenplay (Jeff Nichols, Mud)

Here are some of the winners:

Palme d'Or - Amour, directed by Michel Haneke

Grand Prix - Reality, directed by Matteo Garrone

Prix du Jury - The Angel's Share, directed by Ken Loach

Best Actress - Christina Flutur and Cosima Stratan, Beyond the Hills

Best Actor - Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt

Best Director - Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux

Best Screenplay - Christian Mungiu, Beyond the Hills

Prix Un Certain Regard - After Lucia, directed by Michael Franco

Special Jury Prize - The Big Night, directed by Benoit Delepine and Gustav Kervern

Special Distinction - Children of Sarajevo, directed by Aida Begic

Best Actress - Emily Dequenne, Loving Without Reason and Suzanne Clement, Laurence Anyways.

Camera d'Or (Best First Film) - Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin

In Competition FIPRESCI Prize - In the Fog, directed by Sergei Loznitsa

Un Certain Regard FIPRESCI Prise - Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin

Director's Fortnight Prize - Hold Back, directed by Rachid Djaidani

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg


  1. After reading all his reviews the past couple of weeks, I honestly don't know how that particular critic from that particular newspaper that you quoted keeps his job.

    1. Oh really? I haven't been reading his reviews (just the line or two used on RT) but I found nothing particularly notable. The high-profile publication means that his reviews are often a go-to.

  2. So happy for Mikkelsen! I wonder if the string continues and he will have a shot at Academy Award later on in Oscar season.

    1. It is very possible. Last year was a bit different, because its rare that the winner of Cannes finds themselves in Oscar contention, but he could follow Dujardin.

  3. Interesting awards, I was surprised with the Grand Prix and the Jury Prize choices. Happy for my fellow Romanians, although apparently Mungiu didn't deserve the screenplay one.

    1. I didn't hear great things about Beyond The Hills. I was quite surprised, actually. I was especially surprised by Ken Loach winning for The Angel's Share. I'm sure it is a pleasant and funny film, but I thought it looked 'just ok'.