Cannes 2021: who will win the Palme d’Or – and who ought to

So it really occurred – the Cannes movie competition defiantly befell within the period of Covid, and two months later than ordinary, in sweltering July. Extra vacationers, however fewer precise festival-attenders from the media. Some streets have been eerily quiet and the legendary bar, Le Petit Majestic, often filled with movie-world individuals, getting drunk, exchanging playing cards and crowding densely out into the road each evening till three within the morning, was doing hardly any enterprise.

Masks have been worn all through all movies, although not on the hallowed purple carpet, and each 48 hours we needed to report back to a particular tent for Covid testing: it was not attainable to enter the Palais with out having the very important QR code for “Negatif” in your cellphone. The entire enterprise was a bit laborious and discombobulating however this was an important logistical triumph for the competition. The one Covid casualty was the French star Léa Seydoux, who couldn’t come, having examined optimistic.

And the competitors movies had some actual gems: Japanese director Ryu Hamaguchi’s Drive My Automobile was an exquisite adaptation of a Murakami quick story, a movie pregnant with concepts and emotion a few celebrated theatre director who finds himself confiding within the younger lady who has been employed as his driver. The Thai artist and film-maker Apichatpong Weerasethakul gave us one thing uncompromisingly unusual and sinuous and gradual with Memoria, starring Tilda Swinton: weird tableau-scenes and unbroken takes that promise to swing open the doorways of notion. Australian director Justin Kurzel made Nitram, a really disquieting movie concerning the disturbed younger man accountable for the horrific Port Arthur bloodbath in 1996 – and the weird “Harold and Maude” relationship he had with a wealthy heiress within the years main as much as the outrage.

Palme d’Or winner? … Sonia Yuan, Toko Miura, Ruysuke Hamaguchi and Reika Kirishima at a presser for Drive My Automobile. {Photograph}: Sébastien Nogier/EPA

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch was a visible and verbal deal with in his very distinctive and eccentric model, although some critics turned up their noses, on the grounds that they’ve seen an excessive amount of prefer it from him earlier than. I’ve to say that, on this manner, I can’t see sufficient or get sufficient from this very humorous and unique director.

Sean Baker gave us Pink Rocket, the very entertaining and bleak satire-comedy a few porn star who has suffered a Trumpian catastrophe in his profession and is now plotting his return to greatness on his house turf of Texas, moderately because the unloved and unmissed C-in-C is brooding on a comeback in Florida.

Most individuals right here have been unimpressed by Sean Penn’s huge heart-on-sleeve drama Flag Day, with Penn as a real-life 90s swindler and counterfeiter who broke his daughter’s coronary heart together with his incapacity to go straight. Some right here discovered it a little bit of a conceit mission as a result of Penn each starred and solid his personal daughter Dylan because the character’s daughter. However I believed it was very watchable and Penn is such an old school Hollywood star flip.

Elsewhere, the Norwegian film-maker Joachim Trier, famend for his difficult and hard motion pictures, by some means conjured up a completely beautiful relationship comedy: The Worst Particular person within the World, one thing to check with Nora Ephron or David Nicholls.

Laborious, however a logistical triumph … Covid testing to achieve entry to the competition. {Photograph}: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

There have been some movies I couldn’t fairly get on with: Paul Verhoeven’s preposterous nunsploitation drama Benedetta, taken from the true story of a Seventeenth-century lesbian nun, had individuals laughing over his supposedly intentional and significant ironies. I’m not satisfied. However Verhoeven is actually benefiting from the truth that his initially derided intercourse drama Showgirls was then praised by contrarian sophisticates. So individuals don’t need to be caught on the incorrect facet of historical past. There was critical vital assist for Julia Ducournau’s gonzo body-horror romp Titane, however I discovered it foolish and macho.

Maybe the 2 most passionate movies, and the movies I responded to most, have been exterior the competitors, within the Director’s Fortnight strand: Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical The Memento Half II was an engrossing self-portrait of the artist as a younger lady. And Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava was an exquisite love story within the method of Ken Loach’s Ae Fond Kiss.

Listed below are my predictions for this 12 months’s Cannes prizes, and I’ve additionally included my imaginary prizes (AKA “Braddies d’Or” for classes that aren’t formally rewarded).


Palme d’Or: Drive My Automobile

Grand Prix: Memoria

Jury prize: The Worst Particular person within the World

Greatest director: Sean Baker for Pink Rocket

Greatest screenplay: Jacques Audiard, Céline Sciamma and Léa Mysius for Paris, thirteenth District

Greatest actor: Amir Jadidi for A Hero

Greatest actress: Achouackh Abakar for Lingui

Imaginary Cannes awards – AKA Braddies d’Or

Greatest supporting actor: André Dussollier for All the things Went High quality

Greatest supporting actress: Essie Davis and Judy Davis for Nitram

Greatest cinematography: Robert D Yeoman for The French Dispatch

Greatest music: Ron and Russell Mael for Annette

Greatest manufacturing design: Adam Stockhausen for The French Dispatch

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