The coverage of Cannes is simply magnifique. The official site, first of all, is like a new world all on it’s own – a new world I want to discover over and over again. If only I had the time. I’ve watched hours of footage now. Interviews, photo calls, arrivals on the red carpet, film discussions, reactions inside the theaters, press conferences. I mean, this is like gold dust. I even wondered on a few occasions if those lucky bastards that are actually there, in France, are getting to see this kind of coverage. Sure, they are right there, in the sun, with these film-makers a stone throw away, and actually getting to see these movies in the theaters.They win. As well as the many great people that cover film so religiously that I will not name all here, I would implore you to check out Sasha Stone’s Cannes diaries at Awards Daily. Not just this year, but previous ventures too.
So before I lay out my humble predictions for the main prizes later today, let me remind you how I struggle to foresee taking an umbrella outside with me during a rain storm. Nor am I choosing winners, but rather through some ideas out there. And I also want to state I have not see any of these movies, having not ventured to the South Of France forth festival. As always, maybe next year.
Like many films in Cannes, including previous Palme d’Or winners, Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan is a real dark horse here. Audiard has been in this boat before, winning the Screenplay prize for A Self Made Hero, and was in competition again with Rust and Bone. On the back of that, and last year’s Two Days, One Night, Marion Cotillard also returns to Cannes this year as a voice star of The Little Prince, and Lady Macbeth herself in Justin Kurzel’s take on the Shakespeare play. I hear plenty of murmors of “are the jury going to go for this?” (like The Assassin) and the reactions to the film winning a big prize are varied – even if Macbeth has been received with great reviews. The French actress must be still fresh in people’s minds, and Cotillard is a strong contender for Best Actress.
There is of course competition. Carol, the new film by Todd Haynes, has two: Cate Blanchet and Rooney Mara. I’m going to ignore the notion that the subject matter may hinder voters because I am naive enough to think we are beyond that now. Isabelle Huppert is in two of the In Competition movies with Louder Than Bombs and Valley of Love. I think havig won twice as Actress twice before she is an outsider, but if she triumpthed it would likely be for Valley of Love. The favorite for me though is Zhao Tao in Mountains May Depart, muse and wife to director Jia Zhangke.
Boos and walk-outs aside, I would look out for Anais Demoustier to spoil the party for her role in incest love story Marguerite et Julien. Directed by a woman, the screenplay also has a history going back over thirty years and a certain François Truffaut. Perfect for the occasion? Well, the reactions to a Palme d’Or win here would be fascinating. Tale of Tales would also be an out-there choice, though critics have been kinder to that one. Not so much with the likes of Louder Than Bombs (Joachim Trier’s grandfather has Cannes history), Mon roi, and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees. I have personally not heard a lot of buzz about Our Little Sister. Are they out of the running then? You never know.
Recent buzz has been about Tim Roth in Chronic, mutters of Best Actor under the direction of Michel Franco – who as Un Certain Regard president a few years earlier helped honor him with the prize for After Lucia. Would be a sentimental choice. As would Michael Caine (or Harvey Keitel for that matter) for Paolo Sorrentino’s very well received Youth. At 82, the Brit has been in the business for decades and I see nobody on the planet not applading that victory. Sorrentino’s films also have a respected and hefty Cannes history, so the Best Actor prize could carry some weight here. Personally, we might see Vincent Lindon take this prize for The Measure of a Man. Just a hunch.
Also well liked, Mia madre and Son of Saul have already picked up prizes, which does, believe it or not, put them in good running for the top prizes. If not, then Best Director wins may fall here. Previous prize-fighter at Cannes, Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique, you may know him for Prisoners and Enemy) is one of the most talked-about directors in Cannes this year for Sicario. The superb cast of Benecio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Josh Brolin can’t hurt his chances. Don’t rule out The Lobster‘s Yorgos Lanthimos from Greece either – though I suspect Best Screenplay may be a good shout here.