The big Cannes Film Festival award ceremony happens tonight. Steven Spielberg and his fellow jurors are deliberating the winners as we speak at some hillside retreat. I’m predicting a Palme d’or win for either Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis or, less likely, Paolo Sorrentino‘s The Great Beauty or Asghar Farhadi‘s The Past. If I was on the jury I’d want to think outside the box and ignore the festival’s bizarre decision to exclude J.C. Chandor‘s All Is Lost from competition (because it’s “too commercial”) and give it some sort of special commendation.
I don’t have any special hunches about which films will win the Grand Prix or the Jury Prize (Like Father, Like Son or The Great Beauty?) except that I know…okay, I strongly suspect that James Gray‘s The Immigrant won’t win anything — it’s just not good enough and Marion Cotillard‘s sensitive-watery-eyes performance could have been phoned in. It’s a boilerplate Cotillard thing — look at how I’m subtly trembling and feeling the pain and the weight of the world behind my beautiful eyes! She was much more compelling last year as a legless women in Jacques Audiard‘s Rust and Bone.
I think it’s pretty much of a done deal that Michael Douglas will win Best Actor for his Liberace performance in Behind the Candelabra, and I also suspect that Blue Is The Warmest Color‘s Adele Exarchopoulos will win for Best Actress. I guessing that if Asghar Farhadi doesn’t win the Palme d’or for The Past he’ll definitely win for Best Screenplay.
Variety‘s Justin Chang believes/suspects that Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is The Warmest Color, the three-hour lesbian love affair drama, will take the Palme d’Or, but I suspect that recent complaints by some female critic-columnists (including Manohla Dargis and Lisa Schwarzbaum) about the film being at least partly about Kechiche’s prurient delectations may raise a red p.c. flag among the jurors.
Schwarzbaum tweeted that “9 out of 10 male film critics prefer art movies about hot naked lesbian action to art movies about poverty. Kechiche!” And Dargis wrote that the initial sexual encounter between the two leads (Exarchopoulos, Lea Seydoux) in this “wildly undisciplined, overlong 2-hour, 59-minute drama…goes on so long that a male friend jokingly complained about glancing at his watch.” I know that people clapped and chortled at the end of this scene during my screening.
“Mr. Kechiche and his hand-held camera keep close tabs on Adele,” Dargis writes. “This intimacy is clearly meant to draw you into her consciousness. Yet, as the camera hovers over her open mouth and splayed body, even while she sleeps with her derriere prettily framed, the movie feels far more about Mr. Kechiche’s desires than anything else…he’s as bad as the male character who prattles on about ‘mystical’ female orgasms and art without evident awareness of the barriers female artists faced or why those barriers might help explain the kind of art, including centuries of writhing female nudes, that was produced.”