Happy as Lazzaro – Climax – Capernaum – Burning – The Wild Pear Tree – BlacKkKlansman – Long Day's Journey into Night

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Jurors: Cate Blanchett (president), Chang Chen, Ava DuVernay, Robert Guédiguian, Khadja Nin, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Denis Villeneuve, Andrei Zvyagintsev
 

 
Palme d'Or:Shoplifters, Japan, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
Grand Jury Prize:BlacKkKlansman, USA, dir. Spike Lee
Jury Prize: Capernaum, Lebanon, dir. Nadine Labaki
Best Director:Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski
Best Actress:Ayka, Samal Yeslyamova
Best Actor:Dogman, Marcello Fonte
Best Screenplay:3 Faces, Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar
Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher
Special Palme d'or: The Image Book, Switzerland/France, dir. Jean-Luc Godard
FIPRESCI/International
    Critics Prize:
Burning, South Korea, dir. Lee Chang-dong
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:Capernaum, Lebanon, dir. Nadine Labaki
Caméra d'Or (first feature):Girl, Belgium/Netherlands, Lukas Dhont



Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
 
My Palme d'Or
Happy as Lazzaro (Italy, dir. Alice Rohrwacher) - A kinder, gentler Time of the Wolf. Sounds like a paradox? Well, Rohrwacher sees things that you and I don't see.

Shoplifters (Japan, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda) - Films are like families—each scene, each member stands delicately, distinctively apart, yet they're all tightly bound.

Capernaum (Lebanon, dir. Nadine Labaki) - I get why this splits folks but it's quite a feat of shooting, editing, and production. What's fake is worth what isn't.

Ash Is Purest White (China, dir. Jia Zhangke) - I dug the knotting-together of personal and national melodrama, even amid blunter moments. Zhao is remarkable.

3 Faces (Iran, dir. Jafar Panahi) - Panahi's interests in exile, immobility, and ingenuity move centripetally to rural Iran, embodying metacinema in new ways.

The Image Book (Switzerland/France, dir. Jean-Luc Godard) - Godard underground, lit by 1000 bulbs, sifts through the world's million onyx shards. Poetic, choleric, insistent.

At War (France, dir. Stéphane Brizé) - Labor drama with deft character study. Lindon gives an oppositely but equally powerful performance to his last for Brizé.

The Wild Pear Tree (Turkey, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan) - Dialogue is its centerpiece and weak spot. Meanwhile, a rich, sad communal and generational portrait emulsifies.

Burning (South Korea, dir. Lee Chang-dong) - A strange, almost oppositional take on Stallworth's memoir. Has verve and ire but abounds in muddied opportunities.

Cold War (Poland/France, dir. Paweł Pawlikowski) - About art and money, East and West, earnest love and performative gamesmanship. It's chic but I didn't care all that much.

Sorry Angel (France, dir. Christophe Honoré) - Honoré on another roundelay of connections, disruptions, shifting orientations. Deepens and solidifies as it continues.

BlacKkKlansman (USA, dir. Spike Lee) - A strange, almost oppositional take on Stallworth's memoir. Has verve and ire but abounds in muddied opportunities.

Girls of the Sun (France, dir. Eva Husson) - More piecemeal than artistically fragmented. More nobly intentioned than confidently executed. Ambitious, though.



Sidebar Selections I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
 
Donbass (Un Certain Regard; Ukraine/Germany, dir. Sergei Loznitsa) - Imagine Wild Tales, in and about a nation in fuller, more violent free fall. Loznitsa's nonfiction gifts totally serve it.

Border (Un Certain Regard; Sweden, dir. Ali Abbasi) - I'm surprised at my own enthusiasm? It's a textbook case of committing to the bizarro story you're telling. I was so moved!

Leave No Trace (Directors' Fortnight; USA, dir. Debra Granik) - More humane if less audacious than Winter's Bone. Stokes equal yearnings for opposite outcomes. Deepens as it goes.

Birds of Passage (Directors' Fortnight; Colombia, dirs. Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra) - A bold gangster drama, unique in many aspects, yet disconcertingly loyal to tropes you might expect it to contest.

Long Day's Journey into Night (Un Certain Regard; China/France, dir. Bi Gan) - I both admired and felt browbeaten into admiration. Formally jaw-dropping, but I'm mixed on payoffs.

Buy Me a Gun (Directors' Fortnight; Mexico, dir. Julio Hernández Cordón) - Less Huck Finn, more Beasts of the Dystopian Wild. Collapsed world viewed inductively from defiantly odd perspectives.

Whitney (Out of Competition; UK/USA, dir. Kevin Macdonald) - So emotional! Some choices rankle, but curating of songs, testimonies, and story arcs yields strong, sad dramatic shape.

Sauvage (Critics' Week; France, dir. Camille Vidal-Naquet) - Despite ultimately limited insights, offers a tactile, textured survey of a rough milieu, staged and acted with conviction.

Rafiki (Un Certain Regard; Kenya et al., dir. Wanuri Kahiu) - Lesbian love story has an aesthetic and does important cultural work. Some aspects newer, more sophisticated than others.

Diamantino (Critics' Week; Portugal/France/Brazil, dirs. Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt) - Like its protagonist, goofily cheerful and eager to please but pretty dumb. I appreciate the creativity and confidence.

Climax (Directors' Fortnight; France, dir. Gaspar Noé) - Like Paula Abdul's "Cold Hearted" video lit by Kenneth Anger, where every dancer is serving Adjani-in-Possession Realness.

Girl (Un Certain Regard; Belgium, dir. Lukas Dhont) - Strenuously exudes compassion for its protagonist but the style is voyeuristically unilluminating, the finale hard to forgive.



Films in the Main Competition:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
 
Ayka, Kazakhstan, dir. Sergei Dvortsevoy
Yomeddine, Egypt, dir. AB Shawky
Dogman, Italy, dir. Matteo Garrone
Knife + Heart, France, dir. Yann Gonzalez
Asako I & II, Japan, dir. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Under the Silver Lake, USA, dir. David Robert Mitchell
Everybody Knows, Spain, dir. Asghar Farhadi
Summer, Russia, dir. Kirill Serebrennikov



Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically; click names of sidebars for more titles (in a new window)
 
Un Certain Regard: El Angel, Argentina, dir. Luis Ortega
Angel Face, France, dir. Vanessa Filho
The Dead and the Others, Brazil/Portugal, dir. João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora
Euphoria, Italy, dir. Valeria Golino
In My Room, Germany/Italy, dir. Ulrich Köhler
Manto, India, dir. Nandita Das
Murder Me, Monster, Argentina, dir. Alejandro Fadel
Sofia, France/Qatar, dir. Meryem Benm'barek
Directors' Fortnight: Amin, France, dir. Philippe Faucon
Carmen & Lola, Spain, dir. Arantxa Echevarría
Dear Son, Tunisia, dir. Mohamed Ben Attia
The Load, Serbia/France, dir. Ognjen Glavonić
Lucia's Grace, Italy, dir. Gianni Zanasi
Mandy, USA, dir. Panos Cosmatos
Mirai of the Future, Japan, dir. Mamoru Hosoda
Petra, Spain/France, dir. Jamie Rosales
Los Silencios, Brazil, dir. Beatriz Seigner
The Snatch Thief, Argentina, dir. Agustin Toscano
To the Ends of the World, France, dir. Guillaume Nicloux
Treat Me Like Fire, France, dir. Marie Monge
Critics' Week: Sir, India/France, dir. Rohena Gera
Wildlife, USA, dir. Paul Dano
Woman at War, Iceland, dir. Benedikt Erlingsson
Out of Competition: Arctic, Iceland, dir. Joe Penna
Dead Souls, France/Switzerland, dir. Wang Bing
Fahrenheit 451, USA, dir. Ramin Bahrani
The Great Mystical Circus, Brazil, dir. Carlos Diegues
The House that Jack Built, Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany, dir. Lars von Trier
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Spain/France/Belgium/Portugal, dir. Terry Gilliam
On the Road in France, France, dir. Romain Goupil
Pope Francis—A Man of His Word, France, dir. Wim Wenders
Sink or Swim, France, dir. Gilles Lellouche
Solo: A Star Wars Story, USA, dir. Ron Howard
The Spy Gone North, South Korea, dir. Yoon Jong-bin

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