…or certainly infuriating, no matter who the jury chairman is or what the general mood may be.

Celebrating films of quality has come to matter less than celebrating films with the right socio-political narratives. That’s certainly been the rule since the woke virus began to infiltrate the Cannes bloodstream six or seven years ago. Or perhaps over the last decade, now that I think about it.

Many felt that the Jane Campion-led, mostly female jury, for example, had taken leave of their senses when they didn’t hand the Palme d’Or to Andrey Zvagintsev‘s drop-dead brilliant Leviathan (’14) and gave it instead to Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Winter Sleep, a respectably solemn but slow-moving 196-minute drama that no one was over the moon about.

Okay, I applauded when Ruben Ostlund‘s The Square won the Palme d’Or in 2017 — a good, smart call.

But two years later Bong Joon-ho‘s Parasite won the Palme d’Or, and with that awarding the crazy bird had flown the coop. That movie obviously and completely crippled itself when the con artist family let the fired maid indoors during that rainstorm, but the Alejandro G. Inarritu-led jury (which included Elle Fanning, Yorgos Lanthimos, Paweł Pawlikowski, Kelly Reichardt and Alice Rohrwacher) didn’t want to know from nothing. Rich vs. poor, class-warfare social satire + a bespectacled, food-loving Asian director known for focusing on genre fare — the right kind of director had made the right kind of film, and nobody much cared about script flaws or how well the film’s final third had been assembled.

It was even more wackazoid when Julia Ducournau‘s Titane, admittedly a fierce and metallic act of erotic imagination, won the Palme d’Or in 2021.

Ostlund, the savagely satiric Swedish helmer of Triangle of Sadness, The Square and Force Majeure, is heading this year’s jury. Given the attitude of his films, it’s my presumption that Ostlund will not be in favor of bestowing Cannes jury prizes for reasons of virtue signalling and social justice warrior motives. It would be truly delightful if the ’23 Cannes winners were to be determined by actual artistic merit as opposed to woke points.

That probably won’t happen, of course. The Cannes awards pattern is almost set in stone — films strongly preferred by Cannes journos will almost certainly not win the top prizes (Palme d’Or and Grand Prix). The juries live and breathe on their own planet.