Critic ratings of Cannes competition films rarely (or only occasionally) synch up with the preferences of juries. But if you’re willing to throw caution to the wind for the sake of spitballing, the likeliest Palme d’Or and Grand Prix winners (to be announced tomorrow night) will probably come from six films rated 2.8 or higher.
The highest rated (3.2) is Aki Kaurismaki‘s Fallen Leaves, a tragicomic love story that I wasn’t able to see. Then again HE regulars understand that I have a long record of missing Cannes prize-winner screenings. It’s almost uncanny. I have a special nose.
Todd Haynes‘ May December, which I found grating and at times infuriating, and Justine Triet‘s Anatomy of a Fall are both rated 3.
Four have 2.8 ratings — Jonathan Glazer‘s The Zone of Interest (which I respected more than admired), Wang Bing‘s Youth (which I never even thought about catching), Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s About Dry Grasses (tried to see it, failed for reasons I’d rather not go into) and Tranh Vanh Hung‘s The Pot Au Feu (my personal favorite).
For what it’s worth the derision thrown at the traumatic and walloping Black Flies (1.3) was and is completely off the mark. Jessica Hausner‘s Club Zero, an anti-woke parable, deserves a lot more than a lousy 1.7 grade.
Juries almost always give the Palme d’Or for social-political-moral motives to prove their woke bonafides. This suggests that The Zone of Interest may take the top prize.
I’ll be flabbergasted if The Pot au Feu, easily the most nourishing and pleasurable film of the festival, wins the Palme d’Or.