The 2016 Cannes Film Festival jury was announced this morning. With director George Miller having been named jury president several weeks ago, the jurists (four actors, one producer, one director) are as follows: director Arnaud Desplechin (My Golden Days), Kirsten Dunst, Valeria Golino, Mads Mikkelsen, director Laszlo Nemes (Son of Saul), Iranian producer Katayoon Shahabi, Donald Sutherland.
Cannes juries have made perplexing calls at the conclusion of the last two festivals (’15 and ’14), and so the question is whether or not this year’s jury will prove to be as indifferent or hostile to consensus favorites as before. Someone noted last year that juries have lately tended to vote against the film with the greatest heat as they don’t want to seem too populist or accomodating.
The 2014 jury (led by Jane Campion) prompted widespread forehead-slapping when they gave Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Winter Sleep, a highly respectable character study, the Palme d’Or when Andrey Zvyagintsev‘s Leviathan was the clear favorite of the cognoscenti. And the decision by last year’s jury (the one headed by the Coen brothers) to hand the Palme d’Or to Jacques Audiard‘s entirely decent Dheepan resulted in some consternation as most know-it-alls felt that Son of Saul or Carol should have won.
I’m cynically presuming that this year’s jury will probably follow suit by confusing or pissing people off about one or more of their award decisions.