Ruben Ostlund, Palme d’Or recipient of the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival © Chopard
Song Kang-Ho, Best Actor winner for his role in “Broker” by Hirokazu Kore-eda; Ruben Ostlund, Palme d’or recipient in “Triangle of Sadness”; Vincent Lindon, President of the jury; Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Best Actress winner for her role in “Holy Spider” by Ali Abbasi © Chopard
After two troubled years due to the pandemic, this back-to-normal edition of the Cannes Film Festival didn’t offer a positive outcome for the seventh art. In addition to that, the Palme d’Or awarded to Triangle of Sadness by Vincent Lindon’s jury didn’t help. Five years after the The Square (Palme d’Or), the fortyish Swedish director keeps playing his boring game of massacre. His endless feature film takes on the tone of a critique of the wealthy by displaying absurd fashion shoots, luxury cruises and puke. However, the gaudy packaging cannot make up for the vacuity of a project aiming at shocking the upper class with the use of misanthropy as a common value.
In the final list of ten winners, which represents half of the shortlisted films but excludes the amazing Pacifiction, there is this tendency to avoid making a choice, as if the jury had to cast to wide net to raise the public interest –the audience being more appealed to streaming platforms since the various lockdowns. However, is it the way to make people want to go to the movies? The up coming months will be decisive and provide us with an answer. Meanwhile, one can regret the fact that Claire Denis (Stars At Noon) and the young prodigy Lukas Dhont (Close) didn’t share the Grand Prix with their imperfect but moving films, or that the gems directed by David Cronenberd (Crimes of The Future)and by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Les Amandiers) were dismissed.
5. Nadia Tereszkiewicz in Les Amandiers
The young actress who turned 26 during the festival already shone in Only the Animals and the miniseries Possessions. In Les Amandiers – Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s autobiographical fiction which traces back to the 1980s during her formative years in theater with Patrice Chéreau in Nanterre – the Franco-Finnish actress gets the opportunity to unfold her incredible talent. The camera seems to cling on her face, while her joint tragedian intensity and natural air strikes us in this romance full of regrets. She appears as the greatest revelation of today’s French cinema.
Les Amandiers directed by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, out on November 9th, 2022.
Les Amandiers de Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Sortie le 9 novembre
4. The Directors’ Fort Night on fire
For his last edition as president of the film festival created in 1969 parallel to the Cannes Festival, the Italian programmer Paolo Moretti smashed it. Among others, One Fine Morning by Mia Hansen Love, the surprising and haunted teen movie Falcon Lake by Charlotte Lebon, Philippe Faucon’s impeccable historical epic Harkis, Annie Ernaux’s family exploration in Les Années Super 8, or the festival’s delight Feu Follet, a queer political comedy by Joao Pedro Rodrigues, were on screen. For a brief moment, they made us forget about our concern regarding the future of cinema.
Feu Follet by Joao Pedro Rodrigues, out on September 14th, 2022.
3. Some women
Five years after the landslide #MeToo, female directors haven’t received a massive invitation to this edition. Nevertheless, we can rejoice in the Grand Prix awarded to Claire Denis for Stars At Noon. This intimate and sensual odyssey of a journalist stuck in Nicaragua unveils a vast panorama of interesting female characters. Between the thirtyish woman (Léa Seydoux) rediscovering her body while her father’s one falls apart in On Fine Afternoon by Mia Hansen Love, the lover falling into madness in Tchaikovsky’s Wife by Kirill Serebrennikov, and the new emancipated artist in Showing Up by the American director Kelly Reichardt, female figures have evolved since the former stereotypical mother and whore dichotomy.
On Fine Morning by Mia Hansen Love, Stars At Noon by Claire Denis, Showing Up by Kelly Reichardt. Coming out next fall.
2. The donkey in EO
As he received his jointly awarded Jury Prize on the Grand Théâtre Lumière stage, the 84-year-old director Jerzy Skolimowski (The Departure, Essential Killing) caused a rather comical situation when he thanked each one of the six donkeys playing in his film. The main character is an escaped animal from a circus roaming through the plains and valleys. A crazy project that stands both as a subtle environmental tale and as a manifesto glorifying the power of cinema. As a silent witness of human atrocities, until a magnificent rebellion rises, the donkey may be understood as a metaphor for the seventh art still standing despite the economical powers trying to defeat it. His fragile survival also translates the belief that beauty can save the world.
EO by Jerzy Skolimowski. Coming out in October.
1. The Tahitian Apocalypse according to Albert Serra
This 75th edition’s aesthetical shock comes from the nutty Spanish director Albert Derra, who dives into the splendid but blurry Tahitian waters with Pacifiction. In a state of grace and against a backdrop of nuclear tests, Benoît Magimel leads this two-hour-and-forty-five-minute-long fiction. It is not unusual for the jury of the Cannes Festival to toss the aesthetical ambition of a film out, but the absence of this incandescent gem among the winners may shock. Reminiscing Twin Peaks and Miami Vice aesthetics, haunted by political concerns about colonisation, clever in its depiction of a French political microcosm on the other side of the world, Pacifiction is all about intention. It leaves us daydreaming, ready to face any night ahead.
Pacifiction by Albert Serra. Coming out next fall.
List of winners of the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival:
Palme d'Or: Triangle of Sadness directed by Ruben Östlund
Grand Prix (jointly awarded): Close directed by Lukas Dhont and Stars At Noon directed by Claire Denis
75th anniversary Prize: Tori and Lokita directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne Award for Best Director: Park Chan- Wook for Heojil Kyolshim (Decision to Leave)
Jury Prize (jointly awarded): EO directed by Jerzy Skolimowski and Le Otto Montagne (The Eight Mountains) directed by Charlotte Vandermeersch & Felix van Groeningen
Award for Best Screenplay: Tarik
Saleh for Walad Min Al Janna (Boy From Heaven)
Award for Best Actor: Song Kang-Ho in Broker directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu Award for Best Actress: Zar Amir Ebrahimi in Holy Spider directed by Ali Abbasi
Caméra d’Or: War Pony directed
by Riley Keough and Gina Gammell,
Special Mention Caméra d’Or: Plan 75 directed by Hayakawa Chie
Short Film Palme d'Or: Hai Bian Sheng Qi Yi Zuo Xuan Ya (The Water Murmurs) directed by Jianying Chen