Cannes 1986: First Quarter
If I'd really been on that long-ago Croisette and possessed of a crystal ball, I'd have known that, among these early titles, I had already seen winners for Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor, even though the last two prizes resulted in ties. I frankly think I would have been dismayed to know this, especially since the Actress winner was Fernanda Torres and not Kim Basinger. Even the stronger movies are totally sturdy, steadily insinuating films but not quite the "wow" moments you hope for from a genuine Palme competitor.
To that end, next on my itinerary is a return trip to Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice, which famously lost the Palme but still feels like the Movie of the Festival anyway, the same way All About My Mother did in 1999 or Dogville in 2003, despite not coming out on top. I know I'm looking forward to it, as much as you can to a long, slow, stately rehearsal of the apocalypse.
P.S.: Oops. Scheduling data had been ambiguous about Bertrand Blier's Ménage, aka Tenue de soirée, because it was already playing commercially in France by the time it premiered in competition at Cannes. Turns out that was on the first day of regular programming, following the Opening Night showing of Polanki's Pirates. So before posting a Sacrifice review, I'll have to play the shame-faced journo who missed Ménage at its official screening and had to catch it at the 'plex. (Michel Blanc eventually shared Best Actor with Bob Hoskins, so this front-loading of prizewinners is totally out of control.)