Cannes (dpa) – blatant satire of all kinds or drama about racism in the United States: At the Cannes Film Festival, there’s been a variety program so far, but no clear favourite.
With the Darden brothers, Christian Mungio or James Gray, there were many contest regulars who delivered solid cinema but without surprises. On the contrary, the festival, which ends on Saturday, has relied on many well-known names, but few exciting additions or new talent. Some thoughts on who could win the grand prize of the 75th Film Festival.
The movie that’s been talked about the most in the past few days has to be The Triangle of Grief. Swedish satire Robin Ostlund (who actually won the Golden Palm in 2017) is set on a luxury yacht and depicts the world of the wealthy. The premiere of this movie, which had a very surprising twist, was accompanied by some laughs in the cinema hall. Woody Harrelson is remembered as a Marxist, a constantly drunk captain and a wholly escalating diner where guests spit or spit oysters they just ate in all directions, which Ostlund shows in much detail.
Armageddon Time is a powerful drama
But to some critics, the whole thing was a bit rough or flat. It was different with “Armageddon Time,” which some thought could win the main prize. American director James Gray addresses his childhood in it. The film follows the lives of Jewish boy Paul and his black classmate Johnny in New York in the 1980s. Based on Paul’s experiences, the film tells about racism and social inequality in the USA. The drama is emotional and compelling with a strong cast (including Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway).
Among the star directors at this year’s competition is the Russian director Kirill Serebrenkov, who in the film “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” tells about the desolate marriage of composer Peter Tchaikovsky and his wife Antonina Milyukova. Dark drama is remembered with images that often look like elaborate old paintings. Serebrennikov will be the first Russian director to win first prize at the Film Festival. In view of the aggressive war in Ukraine, many doubted the possibility of a Russian winning the main prize. But the drama was well received by critics.
This also applies to Hirokazu Koreeda’s “broker”. The Japanese director already has the Golden Palm at home (“The Thieves”). Koreeda doesn’t really break new ground: his new movie is also about a young woman who joins a group of petty criminals. Broker tells the story of a young woman who abandons her child in a nursery, men who sell children on the black market, and two detectives who want to get to the bottom of the whole thing. The brilliantly performed song Kang-ho (“Parasite”) leads the group in the poignant and hilarious crime story at the end.
Where are the outputs in Cannes?
What about the contributions of other famous names? David Cronenberg returns to the roots of physical horror in Crimes of the Future – without adding exciting new ideas to everything. In “Tori and Lokita,” the Darden brothers tell the story of two young immigrants – confident and sober, but that’s not really surprising. Palm Prize winner Christian Mungiu provides at least with RMN an intense, atmospheric work on political conflicts in rural Transylvania. And Claire Dennis in “Stars at Noon” really only convinces the lead actress (Margaret Qualley) in a mildly told story.
The entry of another woman in the competition was eagerly awaited on Friday. In Appearance, American director Kelly Richart tells the story of an artist (Michelle Williams) who prepares for an important exhibition while dealing with her life and struggles with family and friends. If the film wins, it will be only the third time in the history of the film festival that a woman has received the award.