It usually follows that the film I didn’t see wins the Palme d’Or. This year that could mean the Russian film Leviathan, which Jeff Wells has predicted to win (he also predicted, as did many others, that Blue is the Warmest Colour would win last year, another movie I didn’t see – typically), Guy Lodge has tipped his hat in approval of it winning, and probably many a critic has followed suit. You can read Craig Kennedy’s predictions too.
The one overall statement I can make about this year’s festival is that it was dominated by stories about women. The other statement: only a few films in main competition were directed by women, none of them made even the smallest bit of noise. And I watched as the majority of film critics did what they always do: hump the pole of male-driven cinema, directed by or revolving around the central male figure as being the only valuable narrative in film, even in a year like this one when the best directors in the world offered up rich, involving stories about women who weren’t necessarily young hotties naked and having sex. And indeed, Foxcatcher is one of the best films I saw and would be a worthy winner for any prize, whether it starred men or not.
But you know, we’re supposed to shut up about all of this. Believe me, the one thing film critics hate is to be told that they like anything because of their sex or their ethnicity – nothing pisses them off more, which is part of the reason I do it. Someone has to shake the tree. Are the majority of film critics male? Yes. Without a doubt. Do I really think they’re racist and sexist? Of course not. Do I think their general conditioning informs their taste? Probably.