Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cannes Winner Realities

As I believe I indicated before proceeding into a massive list of errors, I am awesome at forecasting the prize winners at Cannes. You're probably reeling from my uncanny knack for prognostication. Granted, if you lop off my two top predictions for the Palme, neither of which scored a single thing, nor did the one film that I predicted to cop two awards, I cited most of the right movies but in the wrong contexts: my "this is too obvious" canards about The White Ribbon and A Prophet translated into denials of the obvious, and the jury got excited about Wild Grass, Fish Tank, and Kinatay. I always wish the Technical Grand Prize were compulsory, and I haven't heard anything about the Ecumenical Jury's pick, which is usually interesting—all the more so since I just yesterday saw Adoration, their '08 selection—but all in all, this slate of prize winners (indexed in greater depth here) promises some provocative nights at the movies in the next, oh, 18 months or so that it will take American distributors to get them all into theaters, if even then. Hold out hope.

(Note: The awards don't do much to change my relative enthusiasm for the Competition titles, though I do have to credit Isabelle Huppert with even more chutzpah than I thought she might have. Not for her, to go out of her way to avoid giving top prizes to famed collaborators or to French countrymen. Screw how it "looks"—and one must admit, the two best-reviewed Competition movies scored the two top prizes, even though lots of the other awards defied critical consensus in various ways.)

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Anonymous Guy Lodge said...

Take heart, I think my predictions were even worse.

The Ecumenical Jury gave their prize to "Looking for Eric," with a special citation to "The White Ribbon." (Ecumenical, FIPRESCI and the Palme? Who expected such dominance?)

The real news, however, was their "anti-award" to "Antichrist," which I thoroughly, and perhaps over-heatedly, ranted about here:

4:41 PM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger Calum Reed said...

Yeah, The White Ribbon winning was a bit predictable. I hoped they'd go all-out and give it to Antichrist. The reaction would have been fierce.

Shame about the Campion shutout but I'm glad for Andrea Arnold.

4:51 PM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Guy: Thanks for the info. How'd you hear about it? As censorious and shrill as that "anti-award" risks being, am I wrong to think that a) Lars must be delighted, and b) it's a little bit invigorating to see a movie so get under their skins that they're prompted to make such a public stand? I love strong reactions to movies, I am bound to want to test their reading when I see the movie, and truth be told, I would have given several anti-awards in my life if anyone had been paying attention. (Wachowskis, I'm looking at you.) So I live in too much of a glass house to get furious about this.

@Cal: I'm thrilled for Arnold, too. And truth be told, before it bowed, I was really worried about the subject matter of Bright Star and the inflexible positions that so many critics brought to her last three features (viz. the constant meme of the "return to form" in the Cannes dispatches), so I'm thrilled that Bright Star and Campion are coming out of the festival as glowingly as they are. Dogville, 2046, Mystic River, A History of Violence, and No Country even further elevated the cultural standing and critical regard for their directors even without any of the Cannes prizes that had been predicted for them.

5:22 PM, May 24, 2009  
Anonymous Guy Lodge said...

I think the official festival website led me to the ecumenical winners yesterday -- covering the festival news for InContention has made me a restless and pedantic web-hunter.

You're absolutely right, of course -- this "award" probably means more to Lars personally than any other he's ever received. And how delicious that, with his film also winning one of the "real" awards, he gets to have his cake and eat it too. The man sure has a way of falling on his feet, doesn't he?

6:06 PM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger tim r said...

I love the anti-award. One of Lars's cronies must have infiltrated that jury to give him exactly what he wanted. And Best Actress too, for The Most Misogynist Movie EverTM? The perfect one-two, I'd say.

God, I wish I'd been there.

7:54 AM, May 25, 2009  

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