The Xavierpop #Cannes2012 Report – @MovieJay’s Festival de Cannes Wrap-Up
Everything that was predicted pretty much came true by the end of the 11-day Festival de Cannes as it celebrated its 65th anniversary. It was a year with no big controversies, repeat winners and an American slate of films that were almost entirely shut out of the award proceedings.
Michael Haneke entered as one of the favorites, having won awards previously with The Piano Teacher, Cache and the Palme D’Or winning The White Ribbon just 3 years ago, and now he’s won the big prize for the second time in 4 years with his new one, Amour about love among a couple in their twilight years. Hailed as a masterpiece early on in the festival and eventually becoming the inevitable front-runner, it now stands to reason that is also the front-runner for best foreign language film going into the busy fall season. Look for its North American premiere to occur in Toronto in September.
The octogenarian couple in the film played by France’s own Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant had been the favorites to win awards in the acting categories, but momentary shock ran through the crowd when Madds Mikkelsen took the prize for Best Actor for his role in The Hunt, the new drama by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), which also picked up the Ecumenical Jury’s top prize. The film as well as Mikkelsen’s performance were lauded, but the frenchies were pulling for Trintignant.
Best Actress was shared between co-stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur for Beyond the Hills, directed by Cristian Mungiu, who also won best screenplay for his Romanian drama. Mungiu won the Palme d’Or for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days in 2007. Beyond the Hills was met with warm enough praise, but not like his previous effort.
Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas took the Best Director prize for Post Tenebras Lux, a dreamlike exploration of the undercurrent of menace within Mexican society today. His last film was the wonderful religious drama Silent Light.
The second-place prize–Le Grand Prix–went to previous Grand Prix winner for Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone‘s new one, Reality, which was lauded as a good but minor film from him.
Also proclaimed a minor effort was the third-place finisher–the Cannes Jury Prize–Ken Loach for his new comedy Angel’s Share. He previously won the Palme D’Or for The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Brazilian director Carlos Diegues headed the Camera D’Or jury, which awards the prize for best first feature film, and this is where the only American production won anything for the indie drama Beasts of the Southern Wild by Behn Zeitlin. It got the greatest applause of the festival.
In the Un Certain Regard set of films, with jury head Tim Roth at the helm, they bestowed awards on a couple of the films playing out of competition. The final “A Certain Regard” choices were diverse, with the top prize going to Despues de Lucia by Mexican director Michel Franco, a film about a girl and her father struggling with starting over in a new town. The Special Jury Prize went to the French film Le Grand Soir by Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern, in which two brothers aim to spearhead a punk revolution following personal economic disaster.
Make a list and check it twice through the summer, TIFF will no doubt be premiering many if not all of these intriguing selections.