After 12 days of cinema-worship and excessive partying, the 70th Cannes Film Festival will draw to a close on Sunday. Most journalists here seem to find it a lesser year by Cannes standards – which happens just about every year by the way. The truth is, whatever the complaints, this bunch of films will probably still end up among the best of the year. That’s how damn reliable the Cannes seal of approval is.
I myself find this to be a great year. With a few exceptions (in particular THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES, RODIN), I’ve enjoyed/admired/loved the vast majority of films I’ve seen. The question now is: what will Pedro like?
It’s worth noting that predicting what festival juries will do is almost always a futile endeavor. These filmmakers/actors are often inspired by work completely different from their own, so guessing their favorites based on their own filmography I not foolproof. Remember when Tim Burton professed his love for UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES and George Miller’s jury bowed down to I, DANIEL BLAKE just last year?
But in the spirit of AwardsDaily, I shall make my fearless predictions, accompanied by what/whom I think should win.
Who will win: BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE)
Who should win: BPM (BETS PER MINUTE)
Sprawling AIDS-activist drama/love story featuring a great ensemble cast, dynamic direction and an important message. Besides Almodóvar, I could definitely picture Jessica Chastain loving this.
A couple of things count against it: 1) some are calling it Palme bait, which is kind of unfortunate, but the film does have parallels to recent winner BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, for example; 2) too “obvious” for Almodóvar to pick the only queer film in the competition lineup.
BPM will definitely not be unchallenged. Possible upsets include LOVELESS, THE SQUARE, THE DAY AFTER and…
Who will win: A GENTLE CREATURE
Who should win: HAPPY END
The new Haneke has not been as well received as his previous work. And it’s somewhat hard to imagine Almodóvar, who has frustratingly yet to have won the Palme d’Or himself, awarding Haneke his third. That said, the transcendently depressing AND acerbically funny HAPPY END is my second favorite film of the festival.
A GENTLE CREATURE, though, is also an amazing film and could be duking it out with fellow Russian tragedy LOVELESS for the top prizes.
Prix du Jury
Who will win: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Who should win: YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
This is really anyone’s guess. Could be any of the titles mentioned above. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER is the most divisive film this year but I could see Almodóvar, who has done some weird stuff in his time, and especially Park Chan-wook gravitating towards Lanthimos’ wild style.
Or, if the jury is feeling funky, a left-field choice for GOOD TIME is not out of the question.
Who will win: Robert Pattinson (GOOD TIME)
Who should win: Joaquin Phoenix (YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE)
Speaking of GOOD TIME, Pattinson seems like a strong candidate for the coveted Best Actor prize: a proper Hollywood star who’s slowly established his street cred on the Croisette after a few trips with Cronenberg. And the performance is there.
His competition includes the sensational Joaquin Phoenix, the heartbreaking lead of BPM Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (I’m not predicting his win because the rules preclude additional awards for the Palme or Grand Prix winning films), and – inexplicably – Adam Sandler for THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (Will Smith, I’ll be looking at you).
Who will win: Maryana Spivak (LOVELESS)
Who should win: Fantine Harduin (HAPPY END)
The Best Actress race is much lighter than last year. Conventional wisdom seems to favor an ensemble win for the female cast of THE BEGUILED. I guess this would make sense considering how Almodóvar likes his female ensembles and this film was ecstatically received – at least by the critics. However, admitting openly my personal bias, I can’t predict such a result.
Vasilina Makovtseva for A GENTLE CREATURE and Diane Kruger for IN THE FADE are also possible but ultimately my gut tells me the heartless mom from LOVELESS stands the best chance – if the film doesn’t win gold, that is.
Who will win: Lynne Ramsay (YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE)
Who should win: Lynne Ramsay (YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE)
Many worthy choices: Lanthimos, Kornél Mundruczó for JUPITER’S MOON and the Safdie brothers for GOOD TIME. But this is such a great chance to honor a female director on the Cannes stage and I’m betting the jury would want to take advantage of it.
Who will win: THE SQUARE
Who should win: HAPPY END
Again, admitting openly my personal bias, I’m not putting THE SQUARE higher up the predicted winner’s list even though it has plenty of avid supporters, presumably also in the jury.
Otherwise the prolific Korean auteur Hong Sangsoo might also score his first Cannes win for THE DAY AFTER.
And just because at its 60th edition, Cannes presented Gus Van Sant (PARANOID PARK) with a special prize, maybe they’ll also give out an anniversary award of some kind this year. In that case Haneke would certainly look like a fitting winner.
The awards ceremony will take place tomorrow, May 28, at 7:15 PM (CET).