A garish satire with all kinds of faeces or a drama about racism in the USA: At the Cannes Film Festival there has been a varied program so far, but no clear favourites .
With the Dardenne brothers, Cristian Mungiu or James Gray there were many regulars in the competition who offered solid cinema but no surprises. On the contrary, the festival, which ends on Saturday, relied on many well-known names, but few exciting additions or new talents. A few thoughts on who will win the grand prize of 75. film festival could take home.
The film that has been the most talked about in the past few days was probably “Triangle of Sadness”. The satire of Swede Ruben Östlund (who already 2017 won a Golden Palm) takes place on a luxury yacht and caricatures the world of the super-rich. The premiere of this film, which has a very surprising twist, was accompanied by some laughter in the cinema hall. Woody Harrelson is remembered as a Marxist, constantly drunk captain and a completely escalating dinner, with the guests spitting out the oysters they just eaten in all directions or otherwise getting rid of them, which Östlund shows in many details.
“Armageddon Time” is a strong drama
For some critics the whole thing was a bit too rough or flat. It was different with “Armageddon Time”, which some believed to be capable of winning the main prize. US director James Gray processes his own childhood in it. The film follows the life of the Jewish boy Paul and his black classmate Johnny in New York in the 75s. Based on Paul’s experiences, the film tells of racism and social inequalities in the USA. The drama is emotional and convinces with a strong cast (including Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway).
This year’s star directors in the competition include the Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, who appeared in “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” tells of the desolate marriage of the composer Peter Tchaikovsky and his wife Antonina Miliukova. The dark drama is remembered with images that often look like elaborate old paintings. Serebrennikov would be the first Russian filmmaker to win the film festival’s top prize. In view of the war of aggression in Ukraine, many doubted that a Russian could win the main prize. But the drama was well received by the critics.
This also applies to “Broker” by Hirokazu Koreeda. The Japanese director already has a Golden Palm at home (“Shoplifters”). Koreeda is not really breaking new ground: his new film is also about a young woman who joins a group of petty criminals. “Broker” tells the story of a young woman who gives up her child in a baby hatch, men who sell babies on the black market, and two detectives who want to get to the bottom of it all. The masterfully performed song Kang-ho (“Parasite”) leads the cast of this crime story, which is touching and funny at the end.
Where are the directors in Cannes?
What about the posts from the other popular names? David Cronenberg returns to his body horror roots in Crimes of the Future – without adding exciting new ideas to the whole thing. In “Tori and Lokita” the Dardenne brothers tell the story of two young migrants – confident and sober, but not really surprising. Palm winner Cristian Mungiu at least delivers with “RMN” an atmospherically dense work about political conflicts in rural Transylvania. And Claire Denis really only convinces in “Stars at Noon” with an excellent leading actress (Margaret Qualley) in an otherwise mediocre story.
The entry of another woman in the competition, however, was remembered. In “Showing Up”, US director Kelly Reichardt tells the story of a not very successful artist named Lizzy (Michelle Williams), who also has an office job at an art school in Portland. With subtle humor, Reichardt observes the milieu of the art students and Lizzy’s attempts to find a place in it. If the film wins, it would be only the third time in film festival history that a woman has taken home the award. (dpa)