Moonrise Kingdom – Beasts of the Southern Wild – No – Holy Motors – Amour – Student – Post Tenebras Lux

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Jurors: Nanni Moretti (president), Hiam Abbass, Andrea Arnold, Emmanuelle Devos, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Diane Kruger, Ewan McGregor, Alexander Payne, Raoul Peck
 

 
Palme d'Or:Amour, France/Germany/Austria, dir. Michael Haneke
Grand Jury Prize:Reality, Italy, dir. Matteo Garrone
Jury Prize:The Angels' Share, UK, dir. Ken Loach
Best Director:Post Tenebras Lux, Carlos Reygadas
Best Actress:Beyond the Hills, Cristina Flutur & Cosmina Stratan
Best Actor:The Hunt, Mads Mikkelsen
Best Screenplay:Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu
Technical Grand Prize:The Hunt, Charlotte Bruus Christensen, cinematographer
FIPRESCI/International
    Critics Prize:
In the Fog, Russia, dir. Sergei Loznitsa
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:The Hunt, Denmark, dir. Thomas Vinterberg
Caméra d'Or (first feature):Beasts of the Southern Wild, USA, dir. Benh Zeitlin



Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
 
My Palme d'Or
Amour (Austria/Germany/France, dir. Michael Haneke) - Perfectly shot Book of the Dead, showcasing partners more bonded to each other than to their child. Impeccably acted and cut.

Holy Motors (France, dir. Leos Carax) - This shit is bananas, like Matthew Barney's lusty stab at Céline and Julie Go Boating. Melancholy undertow a surprise.

Paradise: Love (Austria, dir. Ulrich Seidl) - Pitiless camera, yes, but surprisingly rich in empathy and thought. Women keep teaching men how to be better liars.

In the Fog (Germany/Russia/Belarus, dir. Sergei Loznitsa) - Loznitsa steadily attains Sophoclean austerity, clarity, and power in sober drama of war's unwinnable moral quandaries.

Like Someone in Love (France/Japan/Iran, dir. Abbas Kiarostami) - Which kind of love? Shamed, seductive, fatherly, hourly, angry, humble—each elliptically reflects the others.

Moonrise Kingdom (USA, dir. Wes Anderson) - Imbues a bit more longing in Anderson's human gamepieces. Lighting lends all the dollhousery warmth and dimension.

The Angels' Share (UK, dir. Ken Loach) - Rigged and erratic in its tactics for pleasing crowds, but attains toughness and tenderness in impressive measure

Rust and Bone (France, dir. Jacques Audiard) - Audiard's gifts at rhythm and texture, stylistically and psychologically, pay richer dividends than script or theme.

Post Tenebras Lux (Mexico, dir. Carlos Reygadas) - Reygadas crafts brilliant openings; ensuing films can't compete. Gorgeous but arbitrary, and a little desperate.

Reality (Italy, dir. Matteo Garrone) - Arena nails lead role; wayward speculation is an apt theme for today's Europe. Still, second hour is one long comet tail.

Lawless (USA, dir. John Hillcoat) - Sturdy, novelistic. Strong on sonic and visual textures. LaBeouf, Clarke well-used. Pearce, love plots, coda much shakier.

Beyond the Hills (Romania, dir. Cristian Mungiu) - Diamantine visuals. Waves of tension. But shots, story beats over-repeat; ideas run at a low ebb.

The Paperboy (USA, dir. Lee Daniels) - Merrily vulgar, yet humid with odd sincerity. Actors push their envelopes; characters sabotage their self-interests.

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (France, dir. Alain Resnais) - Nastier than Resnais' last. Passion, nostalgia, narcissism of aging actors make young invisible to them.

Killing Them Softly (USA, dir. Andrew Dominik) - Political, stylistic rhetoric dialed way up. Turgid valleys, hypnotic peaks. Prosaic baseline. Solid ensemble.

On the Road (USA/Brazil, dir. Walter Salles) - Prismatically shot and cut, but never feels multifaceted. Charismatically cast, but never fires the imagination. Fine.

Mud (USA, dir. Jeff Nichols) - Occasionally snags how children experience adult intrigue, as mythic and mundane. But screenplay sputters, images add little.

Cosmopolis (Canada, dir. David Cronenberg) - Script bulk-buys prose from DeLillo; laudable stab collapses from the outset. Itchy acting, ugly digital, blunt themes.

The Hunt (Denmark, dir. Thomas Vinterberg) - Script, structure repeatedly and pruriently gin up "hard-hitting drama" by skimming transitions, mangling human behavior.



Sidebar Selections I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
 
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Un Certain Regard: USA, dir. Benh Zeitlin) - A Malick eye on a Morrison milieu. An ecstasy of apocalyptic time, molecules frizzing with bayou life.

Antiviral (Un Certain Regard: Canada, dir. Brandon Cronenberg) - Scenario smacks of Papa but aesthetic does not. Tensely mixed and lensed. Accrues layers, scares, and wit as it unfolds.

Beyond the Walls (Critics' Week: Belgium/Canada/France, dir. David Lambert) - Tenser, tough-minded Keep the Lights On with deeper shadows and bruises in all directions. Every heart is a knot.

Children of Sarajevo (Un Certain Regard: Bosnia-Herzegovina, dir. Aida Begić) - One small step for Dardenne-style cinema, one potent leap in evoking Balkan women's complex social positioning

No (Directors' Fortnight: Chile, dir. Pablo Larraín) - Stylistic conceit a masterstroke, as is deadpan irony of hawking life-saving but non-specific "freedom." Could use more tension.

Mekong Hotel (Out of Competition: Thailand, dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul) - Clearly minor, but Joe has a lovely feel for laconic bonhomie, even in the face of disaster. Or of cannibal ghosts.

Ernest & Celestine (Directors' Fortnight: Belgium, dirs. Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, and Benjamin Renner) - Beautifully hand-drawn, with soft lines and delicate colors. Still, some show-offy sequences and a shaky story.

Laurence Anyways (Un Certain Regard: Canada, dir. Xavier Dolan) - What everyone else said: uneven, ambitious, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes poignant, and Clément best in show.

The Repentant (Directors' Fortnight: Algeria/France, dir. Merzak Allouache) - Remorseful terrorist learns that good intentions don't open many paths in spare, slightly thin French-Algerian drama

Our Children (Un Certain Regard: Belgium, dir. Joachim Lafosse) - Proficiently made. Well acted by Dequenne. Still, alarming lacks of insight or surprise. It's opaque and predictable.

Room 237 (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. Rodney Ascher) - Director puts nothing on the line—no context, no point of view—in serving unstructured slaw of very selective "readings."



Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
 
After the Battle, Egypt, dir. Yousry Nasrallah
In Another Country, South Korea, dir. Hong Sang-soo
The Taste of Money, South Korea, dir. Im Sang-soo



Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
 
Un Certain Regard: 7 Days in Havana, Misc., dir. Laurent Cantet, Benicio Del Toro, et al.
11:25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate, Japan, dir. Kôji Wakamatsu
After Lucía, Mexico, dir. Michel Franco
Gimme the Loot, USA, dir. Adam Leon
God's Horses, Morocco, dir. Nabil Ayouch
Miss Lovely, India, dir. Ashim Ahluwalia
La playa DC, Colombia, dir. Juan Andrés Arango
Student, Kazakhstan, dir. Darezhan Omirbayev
Three Worlds, France, dir. Catherine Corsini
Directors' Fortnight: Camille Rewinds, France, dir. Noémie Lvovsky
Gangs of Wasseypur, India, dir. Anurag Kashyap
Night Across the Street, France/Chile, dir. Raul Ruíz
Rengaine (Hold Back), France, dir. Rachid Djaïdani
Sightseers, UK, dir. Ben Wheatley
La Sirga, Colombia, dir. William Vega
The We and the I, USA, dir. Michel Gondry
Critics' Week: Aquí y allá, Mexico, dir. Antonio Mendez Esparza
Broken, UK, dir. Rufus Norris
God's Neighbors, Israel, dir. Meny Yaesh
In a Rush, France, dir. Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
Sofia's Last Ambulance, Bulgaria/Germany/Croatia, dir. Ilian Metev
The Wild Ones, Argentina, dir. Alejandro Fadel
Out of Competition: For Love's Sake, Japan, dir. Takashi Miike
Hemingway & Gellhorn, USA, dir. Philip Kaufman
The Invisibles, France, dir. Sébastien Lifshitz
Me and You, Italy, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
The Sapphires, Australia, dir. Wayne Blair
Thérèse Desqueyroux, France, dir. Claude Miller

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