Volver – Taxidermia – Pan's Labyrinth – Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait – Red Road – Days of Glory (Indigènes) – Bamako

Jurors: Wong Kar Wai (president), Monica Bellucci, Helena Bonham Carter, Samuel L. Jackson, Patrice Leconte, Lucrecia Martel, Tim Roth, Elia Suleiman, Zhang Ziyi

Palme d'Or:The Wind That Shakes the Barley, UK, dir. Ken Loach
Grand Jury Prize:Flanders, France, dir. Bruno Dumont
Jury Prize:Red Road, UK, dir. Andrea Arnold
Best Director:Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu
Best Actress:Volver, Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, and Chus Lampreave
Best Actor:Days of Glory (Indigènes), Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, and Bernard Blancan
Best Screenplay:Volver, Pedro Almodóvar
Technical Grand Prize:Babel, Stephen Mirrione, editing
    Critics Prize:
Climates, Turkey, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:Babel, Mexico, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu
Camera d'Or (first feature): 12:08 East of Bucharest, Romania, dir. Corneliu Porumboiu

Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Palme d'Or
Fast Food Nation (USA, dir. Richard Linklater) - Quilt of characters but not Altmanesque, more careworn and humbled than jazzy or cynical; well acted; looks sadly, impressively like USA

Red Road (UK, dir. Andrea Arnold) - Last-minute add to competition blows most of it out of water; Arnold still mastering narrative but nails mood, camera, light, sound, tension

Volver (Spain, dir. Pedro Almodóvar) - Most notable as coming-out party for wonderful Cruz; somewhat less than memorable, but we could use more movies that radiate proficient glow

Days of Glory (Indigènes) (France/Algeria, dir. Rachid Bouchareb) - One of those recuperative historical dramas that errs on side of straightforward earnestness to score its points, but it does score them

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (UK, dir. Ken Loach) - Light is painterly on landscapes, sculptural on faces, lending dynamism to passion-soaked film even when story gets clichéd or imbalanced

Southland Tales (USA, dir. Richard Kelly) - A total Rorschach; easier to imagine hating than loving on a different day, but it's got cuckoo imagination, even if Kelly exceeds his reach

Marie Antoinette (USA, dir. Sofia Coppola) - The anti-Southland: an enticing but frustrating film that I suspect would improve on second view, though limits to Coppola's ideas seem clear

Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico, dir. Guillermo Del Toro) - So, it turns out fascists are grisly monsters and peasants are gauntly noble. So much for dream logic or real ideas, but images have allure.

Babel (Mexico/USA, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu) - Can't resist forcing needless link-ups; step away and Japan plot seems especially lame, but while it plays, actors and tone keep film aloft

Summer Palace (China, dir. Lou Ye) - Enticed to the movie by its reputation for infuriating Chinese government, I had hoped for something less sludgy; still, it's worth a look

Flanders (France, dir. Bruno Dumont) - Finally, a Dumont film for which I can't imagine a defense; a lame egghead's-remove take on Iraq War plus old saws about female hysteria

Sidebar Selections I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
Jindabyne (Directors' Fortnight: Australia, dir. Ray Lawrence) - Uncertain hold on aboriginal culture, but otherwise stunning drama; majestic handling of edits, actors, sound, wide frame, and natural light

Day Night Day Night (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. Julia Loktev) - Amazingly avoids feeling like a stunt; instead, a bracing, stomach-knotted immersion in final hours of young girl heading to NYC with a bomb

12:08 East of Bucharest (Directors' Fortnight: Romania, dir. Corneliu Porumboiu) - Nimble duel over whether local action breeds big changes, or reverse. Dialectics as comedy, as lesson, and as detour from pressing problems

Bamako (Out of Competition: Mali, dir. Abderrahmane Sissako) - As lecturely as Inconvenient Truth, but dry surface conceals odd, witty, angry theater of the absurd; uneven, a few clunks, but entrancing

Destricted (Miscellaneous, dirs. Marina Abramowić, et al.) - See the European print if you can: the batting average of its segments is higher, but Barney and Noé entrance in both.

United 93 (Out of Competition: USA, dir. Paul Greengrass) - I get some people declining to see it but not why it's "too soon"; realism without sadism, capable of compassion, moving in unexpected ways

Shortbus (Out of Competition: USA, dir. John Cameron Mitchell) - Aims so hard for diversity that vanilla, male bias is all the more striking; jokes, tenderness, exuberance welcome; why no sex in 2nd hour?

The Host (Directors' Fortnight: South Korea, dir. Bong Joon-ho) - First sequence of monster's attack a wonder; rest is good, but never as good; idiotic humans are alternately interesting and infuriating

Bug (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. William Friedkin) - Friedkin, actors, designers, D.P. all earn credit for making very body-centered play work well on screen, though signs of struggle persist

An Inconvenient Truth (Out of Competition: USA, dir. Davis Guggenheim) - Admittedly, aiming camera at lecture falls short of cinema, but images, ideas do come across; outside classroom, Gore laughably kid-gloved

Ten Canoes (Un Certain Regard: Australia, dir. Rolf de Heer) - Bats around 60/40 between a hypnotic mythopoesis of aboriginal culture and a middlebrow arthouse curio with nativist pretensions

A Scanner Darkly (Un Certain Regard: USA, dir. Richard Linklater) - Hangs together better than Waking Life did, with a few bravura turns and images, but something about this aesthetic still feels stunted

The Page Turner (Un Certain Regard: France, dir. Denis Dercourt) - I'm guessing the motivating muse here is Chabrol? Frot is good, a blither, icier nemesis than Huppert's piano teacher, but film isn't much

Paris, je t'aime (Un Certain Regard: France et al., dir. Miscellaneous) - 18 stories, of which I remember six, half of them sort of fondly: Van Sant, Assayas, Payne. Why not explore a city we know less well?

Exterminating Angels (Directors' Fortnight: France, dir. Jean-Claude Brisseau) - Secret Things potentially not worth big brouhaha it caused in France; this film-à-clef about making that one feels smug and unnecessary

Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Colossal Youth, Portugal/France/Switzerland, dir. Pedro Costa
Lights in the Dusk, Finland, dir. Aki Kaurismäki
The Family Friend, Italy, dir. Paolo Sorrentino
The Caiman, Italy, dir. Nanni Moretti
Climates, Turkey, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Also in Competition: Buenos Aires, 1977, Argentina, dir. Adrián Caetano
The Right of the Weakest, Belgium, dir. Lucas Belvaux
Selon Charlie, France, dir. Nicole Garcia
When I Was a Singer, France, dir. Xavier Giannoli

Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Un Certain Regard: Bled Number One, Algeria/France, dir. Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
Taxidermia, Argentina, dir. György Pálfi
Directors' Fortnight: Dans Paris, France, dir. Christophe Honoré
The Hawk Is Dying, USA, dir. Julian Goldberger
Critics' Week: Drama/Mex, Mexico, Gerardo Naranjo
Poison Friends, France, dir. Emmanuel Bourdieu
Out of Competition: SIDA, France, dir. Gaspar Noé
Sketches of Frank Gehry, USA, dir. Sydney Pollack
Transylvania, France, dir. Tony Gatlif
The Water Diary, Australia, dir. Jane Campion
Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, France, dirs. Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno

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