Previewing the Cannes Film Festival awards: What will win, and what should
CANNES - I say it every year: trying to predict the Cannes Film Festival awards is a fool's errand. Unlike, say, the Oscars, you aren't making educated guesses about a large, consistent body of voters with plenty of precedent and precursor information to go on. The Cannes jury is tiny, highly idiosyncratic and changes every year; you're effectively trying to read the minds of nine individuals with no voting track record. Who knows whether Nicole Kidman harbors a quiet passion for Mexican new wave cinema, or if Steven Spielberg is an unlikely Jim Jarmusch devotee? Perhaps not even them, until they see the films in question.
Every time you decide a certain Palme d'Or contender seems too obvious (Michael Haneke's "Amour") to win, that's precisely the route they'll go; every time the stars seem to have aligned perfectly for one film (Haneke again, with"Cache"), the jury will crown a far less talked-about title.
But here's something else I do every year: predict the Cannes Film Festival awards. Because, hey, it's fun, and absolutely nobody expects you to be right. Least of all this year, when the race for the Palme d'Or seems particularly open. In the last few days, one film (Abdellatif Kechiche's intimate epic "Blue is the Warmest Color") as emerged as the critical favorite of the festival, leading all polls and scooping the FIPRESCI Award -- but it hardly stands head and shoulders above the competition in a solid lineup where very few films misfired. (I think we can safely discount "Jimmy P." from the conversation.)
"Inside Llewyn Davis," "Like Father, Like Son," "The Immigrant," "The Great Beauty" and "The Past"are just some of the films that have found devoted bands of admirers on the Croisette in the last 12 days -- any one of them could be The One. Could Steven Soderbergh mark his supposed retirement with second Palme d'Or, 24 years after winning for his debut? Which Frenchwoman will emerge victorious in a highly Gallic-flavored Best Actress race -- or can an outsider elbow her way in? And how many awards will "Only God Forgives" rack up? Okay, we know the answer to that one. But never say never. It's Cannes.
Click through the gallery below for my thoughts on who will win -- and who should win -- in each of the seven Competition award categories. Who do you think is taking the Palme d'Or?
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
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