No one can see everything that’s screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival – there were 21 titles in contention this year – and I certainly didn’t. So, without passing judgment on all the titles that were rewarded with prizes on Saturday, I must say that I am struck by the fact that the five titles eligible in English — Wes AndersonIt is city of asteroids, Jean-Stephane SauvaireIt is black flies, Karim AinouzIt is Brandon, Todd HaynesIt is may december And Ken LoachIt is The old oak tree – were completely ignored by the jury.
Needless to say, that’s not the mandate of the Cannes jury – which this year included the likes of Paul Dano, Brie Larson and recent Palme d’Or winners Ruben Ostlund (2017 The place and 2022 triangle of sadness) and 2021 Julia Ducournau (Titanium) — in an attempt to presage the race for the Oscars. But it is still remarkable, to me, that after several consecutive years of considerable overlap between the Cannes jury’s choices and the Academy’s choices – especially when Parasite won the top prizes of both – it seems unlikely that there will be many, if any, this year.
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The Academy, of course, gravitates primarily to work in English, although it is becoming a more international organization. And there’s a lot of Academy-appropriate work in the five overlooked English titles, especially the standout performances by Natalie Portman And Julianne Moore as an actress and the woman she is to play, respectively, in may decemberwhich Netflix bought for $11 million from the festival and plans to claim awards; Alicia Vikander And Jude’s Law as Katherine Parr and King Henry VIII, respectively, in Brandon, which is still seeking distribution in the United States; And Tye Sheridan And Sean Penn as a young man preparing for medical school and a veteran paramedic, respectively, in black fliesthat Open Road will distribute in America.
Two other English-language films that played at the festival, albeit out of competition, are sure to receive major Oscar pushes: Martin ScorseseIt is The Moonflower Slayersfrom Paramount and Apple TV+, which offers remarkable turns by Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, robert deniro And jesse plemons (Scorsese and his backers chose not to cast him in competition); and the latest from Pixar, Elementarywhich closed the festival.
What about movies that were honored?
Whoever has the most Oscar potential could be the Grand Prix winner The area of interestBritish filmmaker Jonathan GlazerThe portrait in German of the life of the Höss family at the gates of Auschwitz, a true study of the banality of evil. It’s sure to get an Oscar push from A24, who also handled Glazer’s previous last film, Under the skin, a decade ago; as was the case with this project, I have no doubt that this one will be widely embraced by critics – but I’m not entirely convinced that this is the Academy’s cup of tea. Even the way it starts, with several minutes of blank screen, struck many I conferred with as pretentious, and might lose the interest of Academy members trying to watch it at home on the service of streaming reserved for the members of the Academy.
It seems unlikely to me that Germany would choose to submit, as an entry in the international race for the Oscars for best feature film, a film by a non-German filmmaker and/or a film which badly reflects the behavior of the German population during The world war. II. So perhaps Oscar’s best prospect for the film is its leading lady, Sandra Hullerwho plays Mrs. Höss in The area of interest — and also stars of the film which won the Palme d’Or, Justine TrietIt is Anatomy of a fall, in which she plays a writer trying to prove her innocence in the death of her husband. (If Hüller’s films hadn’t won the festival’s top two prizes, it seems likely she would have been awarded Best Actress, but Cannes juries generally prefer to split their honors.)
Anatomy of a fall will be distributed in the United States by Neon, which also handled the American distribution of the latest French film Palme, Titanium, which was eventually submitted by France as its Oscar entry, but was not shortlisted. This season, France will have to decide whether or not to submit Anatomy of a fall or the film for which Tran Anh Hung received the award for best director, Stewwhich features French favorites Juliette Binoche And Benoit Magimel and may have more mainstream appeal. Stew is still looking for a distribution in the United States.
A jury prize was awarded to Dead leavesthe last film of the finnish master Aki Kaurismakiwho has already represented his country in the race for the Oscars for best international feature film with 1996 Drifting clouds, who was disqualified; 2002 The man without a past, who was nominated; 2006 lights at dusk, until its withdrawal; and 2011 Le Havre, who was not named. MUBI will distribute it in the United States
The best screenplay was awarded to Yuji Sakamoto for Japanese movie Freakdirected by Hirokazu Kore-edawho previously represented his country with 2004’s Nobody knows, who was not nominated; and 2018 Shoplifters, which was named. It is still looking for a distribution in the United States.
Merve Dizdar won Best Actress for her turn in Turkish film About Dry Grassesdirected by Nuri Bilge Ceylonwho previously represented his country with 2003’s Far, who was not nominated; 2008 three monkeys, which has been pre-selected; 2011 Once upon a time in Anatolia, who was not nominated; 2014 winter sleep, who was not nominated; and 2018 The wild pear, who was not named. It is still looking for a distribution in the United States.
And then there is the great Japanese actor Koji Yakushowho received the best actor award for perfect daysa Japanese-German co-production directed by the legendary German filmmaker Wim Wenders. Neon is reportedly close to closing a deal for the film’s US distribution rights. Wenders previously represented Germany with 1977’s The American Friend, who was not nominated; 1987 wings of desire, who was not nominated; and 2011 pina, which has been pre-selected. But it remains to be seen whether Japan or Germany would submit a co-production this season.
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