Inglourious Basterds – Antichrist – A Prophet – Samson & Delilah – Dogtooth – Fish Tank – Mother

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Jurors: Isabelle Huppert (president), Asia Argento, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, James Gray, Hanif Kureishi, Lee Chang-dong, Shu Qi, Sharmila Tagore, Robin Wright Penn
 

 
Palme d'Or:The White Ribbon, Austria/Germany, dir. Michael Haneke
Grand Jury Prize:A Prophet, France, dir. Jacques Audiard
Jury Prize:Fish Tank, UK, dir. Andrea Arnold
Thirst, South Korea, dir. Park Chan-wook
Best Director:Kinatay, Brillante Mendoza
Best Actress:Antichrist, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Best Actor:Inglourious Basterds, Christoph Waltz
Best Screenplay:Spring Fever, scr. Feng Wei
Special Jury Prize:Wild Grass, dir. Alain Resnais
Technical Grand Prize:Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, Aïtor Berenguer, sound mixer
FIPRESCI/International
    Critics Prize:
The White Ribbon, Austria/Germany, dir. Michael Haneke
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:Looking for Eric, UK, dir. Ken Loach
Caméra d'Or (first feature): Samson and Delilah, Australia, dir. Warwick Thornton



Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
 
My Palme d'Or:
Thirst (South Korea, dir. Park Chan-wook) - Styled so woozily and aggressively you worry for it even as you submit to it, but Park mostly keeps it crackling; Kim, lighting are ace

Fish Tank (UK, dir. Andrea Arnold) - Arnold gets such charge from images, actors, sounds; even when this one lapses or wanders, she brings it back with kick

Bright Star (UK/Australia, dir. Jane Campion) - Feared this might feel too safe, but Campion evokes minds and hearts of her leads; bits could be tweaked, but hardy and lustrous

A Prophet (France, dir. Jacques Audiard) - No gainsaying Audiard's scene-level genius or the aliveness of his films, but genre feels trapped by overfamiliarity

Face (Taiwan/France, dir. Tsai Ming-liang) - Early, uncut sequence with exploding sink might be year's funniest gag; odd to hat-tip all of his own films, but a good, weird time anyway

Wild Grass (France, dir. Alain Resnais) - Sinuous, light, a bit soporific. Dazzling hues but all a bit dubious. Is there such a thing as couture costume jewelry? (full review)

The White Ribbon (Austria/Germany, dir. Michael Haneke) - Sharp eye and cold command of duration serve Haneke well even when he's intent on sinking himself with ludicrous pile-up of Very Bad Things (full review)

Inglourious Basterds (USA, dir. Quentin Tarantino) - Whole plots and characters fail, entire last act frankly loathsome, but Waltz is genius, and when QT's on (the cards, the cream), he's on (partial review)

Broken Embraces (Spain, dir. Pedro Almodóvar) - Amassing small band of defenders, but I'm with party line: feels too expected and, worse, fussily over-structured; big "reveal" is obvious

Antichrist (Denmark, dir. Lars von Trier) - Despite electric love/hate response at Cannes, I found its provocations banal; as dull as any film featuring self-clitoridectomy could be

Taking Woodstock (USA, dir. Ang Lee) - Makes no sense as Cannes entrant, and has a devil of a time conjuring any urgency, but not unpleasant; scenes here and there work just fine

Vincere (Italy, dir. Marco Bellocchio) - I confess low tolerance for high-gloss Italian bathos, but nothing sustains the wailing, opportunistic spectacles



Sidebar Selections I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
 
Dogtooth (Un Certain Regard: Greece, dir. Giorgos Lanthimos) - Sweetie + Salò = ingeniously lensed, unsettlingly plucky immersion in one family's perverse oligarchy. Lick this, Haneke.

Mother (Un Certain Regard: South Korea, dir. Bong Joon-ho) - As in many Korean peers, piecemeal structure is problem and thrilling gift; for every bald patch, a staggering surprise

My Neighbor, My Killer (Special Screening: USA/France/Rwanda, dir. Anne Aghion) - What extraordinary doc lacks in finesse and structure it nails in emotional candor and eyewitness value (full review)

I Killed My Mother (Directors' Fortnight: Canada, dir. Xavier Dolan) - Sure, some rough edges and add-ons, but increasingly vital, multi-sided portrait of thistly mother-son bond.

The Father of My Children (Un Certain Regard: France, dir. Mia Hansen-Løve) - Could be fresher or bolder, but so eloquently humane. Grégoire's a great character, in life and in death.

Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (Un Certain Regard: USA, dir. Lee Daniels) - Film flaunts Mo'Nique and adventurous direction, despite flaws of both; Sidibe and school scenes actually stronger, and sum adds up mightily (full review)

To Die Like a Man (Un Certain Regard: Portugal, dir. João Pedro Rodrigues) - Rodrigues re-proves his gift at drawing us in despite odd, standoffish characters; uneven but moving, with bracing, abrupt abstract passages

Drag Me to Hell (Out of Competition: USA, dir. Sam Raimi) - Slams to instant life, first hour so invigorating that drab leads don't matter; second half a big letdown, but final scene wins it back

Police, Adjective (Un Certain Regard: Romania, dir. Corneliu Porumboiu) - Less smart than Porumboiu's first, yet this one's cockier about it; still, some welcome humor, very dry, and YouTube setpiece delights

Up (Out of Competition: USA, dir. Pete Docter) - Prologue is as moving as you've heard. Unique character designs. Great bird, dog. End takes usual Pixar slide into antic mayhem.

Tetro (Directors' Fortnight: USA/Argentina, dir. Francis Ford Coppola) - A jump up from Youth without Youth, and has sense to end with best stuff instead of starting there, but where's the rest of what I ordered?

Humpday (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. Lynn Shelton) - A case where consensus critical line pretty much covers it: funny, acting good (Duplass and Delmore excel), but last third is utterly feeble

Nymph (Un Certain Regard: Thailand, dir. Pen-ek Ratanaruang) - I might've seen the wrong films, but this director eludes me; some creepy sounds and images, impressive 360° pans, but it's all been done

Amreeka (Directors' Fortnight: USA/Canada/Palestine, dir. Cherien Dabis) - Good enough acting from Faour, Abbass, Shawkat to keep characters alive, but this is sub-Visitor liberal cinema on a budget

Air Doll (Un Certain Regard: Japan, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda) - Not without craft, but patience-taxing and vapidly sentimental; much prefer Gondry's Tokyo! segment where real girl turns into furniture (full review)

I Love You Phillip Morris (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dirs. Glenn Ficarra & John Requa) - Everyone tries, but tone too flippant, and smug about its risk-taking; McGregor's sweet, Mann underused



Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
 
Enter the Void, France, dir. Gaspar Noé
Kinatay, the Philippines, dir. Brillante Mendoza
Spring Fever, China, dir. Lou Ye
In the Beginning, France, dir. Xavier Giannoli
The Time that Remains, Palestine, dir. Elia Suleiman
Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, Spain, dir. Isabel Coixet

Also in Competition: Looking for Eric, UK, dir. Ken Loach
Vengeance, Hong Kong, dir. Johnnie To


Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
 
Un Certain Regard: No One Knows about Persian Cats, Iran, dir. Bahman Ghobadi
Samson and Delilah, Australia, dir. Warwick Thornton
Tales from the Golden Age, Romania, dira. Cristian Mungiu, et al.
Directors' Fortnight: Ajami, Israel, dirs. Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani
Daddy Longlegs, USA, dirs. Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie
Daniel & Ana, Mexico, dir. Michel Franco
Like You Know It All, South Korea, dir. Hong Sang-soo
Ne change rien, Portugal, dir. Pedro Costa
Polytechnique, Canada, dir. Denis Villeneuve
Out of Competition: Agora, Spain, dir. Alejandro Amenábar
Don't Look Back, France, dir. Marina de Van
A Town Called Panic, Belgium, dirs. Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar

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