Saturday, May 24, 2014
For entertainment purposes lets review what predictions say, but have to remind you that winners will come from an eclectic filmmakers/actors jury and not from film critics. Nevertheless I gather that the consensus is that this year the Palme d'Or winner is NOT clear, unlike -for example- what happened in 2012 with Amour and in 2013 with La Vie d'Adèle.
According to those that play the guessing game, in 2014 there are five films running towards a "photo finish": a Canadian prodigy, a Russian corruption critic, Belgian brothers, a Turkish husband-and-wife team and a British veteran tipped for glory. If the Palme d'Or goes to any of these films, then most bet the other films will get the other top awards.
Jean-Philipe Guerand of Film Francais magazine says "This time around there are no such overpowering films". Perhaps he sees an unclear panorama but the magazine last etoiles de la critique has Deux jours, une nuit on top of all movies with golden palms (8) followed by Winter Sleep (5), Leviathan , Mommy and Timbuktu with 4 each.
Trade magazine Variety predicted Leviathan will get the main prize. Its chief critic Justin Chang predicted film will win the favor of the jury but he also notes that is not a sure-thing as Winter Sleep is Leviathan's heaviest competition claiming that the directors (Campion, Jia Zhangke, Coppola, Garcia) in the jury will embrace more Ceylan's film.
Then we have Xavier Dolan that captured positive headlines all over the world, comparing him to many master filmmakers but none was more interesting as Germany's daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung which hailed Dolan as a "wunderkind" and a worthy successor to the late iconoclast Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Interesting because is German press talking about German icon in relation to Québécois filmmaker, which does not happen often. Some predict Mommy could win the Palme d'Or to become the second youngest director after Louis Malle, but most agree that Dolan will get the director award.
UK The Guardian with Peter Bradshaw foresee Mr. Turner winning the Palme d'Or, and Two Days One Night winning the Grand Prix, and Leviathan the Jury Prize. Which in a way rounds up the three top awards to the same films we been seeing in other publications. Perhaps what's more interesting from his predictions is the following statement: Predicting a Cannes jury's thoughts is even tougher than divining the will of the Academy award electorate: the jury lineup is more diverse, more mercurial. These are brand-new films, and there has been no Oscar-style "campaign" to build a consensus and help us read the runes.
Perhaps THR Todd McCarthy gives us the best thermometer to what American audiences will/could like and adds the American films as contenders; but even him agrees that Cotillard leads for Best Actress followed by Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.
There is also NO clear consensus for who will win the Best Actor but Timothy Spall and Steve Carell have the most mentions making them the top contenders. One award has a clear contender even before the film was screened, the consensus for Best Actress was and is after film screened, Marion Cotillard. No other actress is close but Anne Dorval is perhaps the only other possible contender.
I can't play the guessing game as have NOT seen any of the movies. But if you insist then from my gut feeling plus what I know about some of the jury members and what I know about the directors in competition plus trying to be rational and not emotional, the my best guess is as follows.
Agree with the consensus that top awards will be between Winter Sleep, Leviathan, Mommy and Two Days, One Night but the fifth is what I will change to include the only Italian film in competition and the only Japanese film in competition. Please remember that the jury is not reading the critics and if critics were offended by Naomi Kawase's comments, the jury is not aware and could give her any of the three film prizes. Alice Rohrwacher has a very interesting and festival appropriate film that could give her perhaps the director award.
But if I'm emotional and think about what I want to win -as is long overdue-, Nuri Bilge should get the Palme d'Or, Andrei Zvyagintsev the Grand Prix, Naomi Kawase the Jury Prix, Xavier Dolan the Director prize, Marion Cotillard the actress prize and Steve Carell the actor prize. Have no idea about the Screenplay prize as the only 2 I think should win are already winning the top 2 awards, so in case they don't win the award I predict, well, Winter Sleep or Leviathan could win the screenplay prize.
In less than five hours we will know how right or wrong we all were about our our predictions in this guessing game we can avoid. By the way, there is another guessing game that already started, the one related to the people that haven't left Cannes and the ones that were called back or the ones that were not called back. Is the never ending game time until the red carpet when we actually see who is back.