Festival goers have finished their rounds. The Film Market has closed shop. Cannes residents are waiting for life to get back to normal. Only one question remains - one that is the Cannes film Feastival's raison d'être - who will win the Golden Palm?
Waltz with Bashir - the public's favourite
The Cannes public customarily has a favourite for the Golden Palm. But this year, one film seems to have gathered unanimous approval - "Waltz with Bashir" by Ari Folman. Critics, cinephiles and cinema professionals included, negative criticism of Folman's film is rare.
Read the review here.
The principal reason for this is that Folman, in his quest to resolve his fragmented recollections of the Lebanese war, has created a new cinematic genre - the animated documentary. This unique creative process of animating real interviews has never been used in mainstream cinema before.
Besides being an instrument for diverting the masses, cinema is an art form. If the goal of an art form is to seek new and original ways to represent reality, "Waltz with Bashir" can be said to have achieved its pourpose. And as the proclaimed objective of the Cannes Film Festival is to promote cinema as an art form, "Waltz with Bashir" seems a logical choice for the Golden Palm. The film's case is likely to be pushed by jury member Marjane Satrapi, whose animated film "Persepolis" won the Jury prize last year.
But public opinion has never really influenced a Cannes jury, presided this year by the inimitable Sean Penn. Ari Folman is amost certain to win a prize, but will it be the Golden Palm?
As Andy Sikes, a journalist at the Chicago Times, said, "The film sure deserves the Golden Palm. But who knows? Let us see if a dark horse comes along!"
And with the recent screenings of Paolo Sorrentino's "Il Divo" and French director Laurent Cantat's "Between Two Walls", the horses couldn't get darker.
Eastwood, Soderbergh, Desplechin and Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Clint Eastwood's "The Exchange", Steven Soderbergh's four and a half hour epic "Che", and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Three Monkeys" are other films which are tipped to win the Golden Palm, or at least figure among the winners.
The French media, in particular, seems to have a soft spot for Arnaud Desplechin's "Un Conte de Noël" and are even predicting a first French Golden Palm after 21 years.
Read review here.
As concerns the other prizes, The Dardenne Brothers' "Lorna's Silence" is tipped for a Best Actress award (along with Argentinian film "Leonera"), or a best director prize for the Belgian brothers.
Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York", presented in competition Friday, along with "Un Conte de Nöel" are strong contenders for Best Screenplay.
However, the balance may well change with Wim Wenders' film "The Palermo Shootings"; to be presented Sunday night. The metaphorical story of a photographer chased by Death (played by Dennis Hopper) received a warm welcome at the press screening. The film, a homage to deceased directors Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni, analyses the current state of cinema, and the style is reminiscent of "The State of Things" an earlier Wenders film.
The pondering over the Golden Palm will be put to an end tomorrow evening. But the game is not yet over.
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