Jurors: Steven Spielberg (president), Daniel Auteuil, Vidya Balan, Naomi Kawase, Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Cristian Mungiu, Lynne Ramsay, Christoph Waltz|
|Palme d'Or:||Blue Is the Warmest Color, France, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche|
|Grand Jury Prize:||Inside Llewyn Davis, USA, dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen|
|Jury Prize:||Like Father, Like Son, Japan, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda|
|Best Director:||Heli, Amat Escalante|
|Best Actress:||The Past, Bérénice Bejo|
|Best Actor:||Nebraska, Bruce Dern|
|Best Screenplay:||A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhangke|
|Technical Grand Prize:||Grigris, Antoine Heberlé, cinematographer|
|Blue Is the Warmest Color, France, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche|
|Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:||The Past, France/Iran, dir. Asghar Farhadi|
|Caméra d'Or (first feature):||Ilo Ilo, Singapore, dir. Anthony Chen|
Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Palme d'Or
Heli (Mexico, dir. Amat Escalante) -
Mexican drama of drug-driven mayhem mounted with cool, handsome confidence and an unsettling lack of diagnosis or closure.
Only Lovers Left Alive (USA, dir. Jim Jarmusch) -
Great, poignant mood piece with killer punchlines. Vampires as wry eulogists for sicker-than-ever world.
Borgman (The Netherlands, dir. Alex van Warmerdam) -
Odd, amazing thriller opening. A corker of bloody, obsidian, class-based comedy ensues. Bad end, misogynous streak mar it.
The Immigrant (USA, dir. James Gray) -
Operatic conception, playing romantic hope against inexorable forces of grief and myth. Cotillard, Khondji astonish.
Inside Llewyn Davis (USA, dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen) -
Aloof, icy, yet almost secretly tender. Steel, sadness, and spook knitted together. Funny-ish. Isaac amazes.
A Touch of Sin (China, dir. Jia Zhangke) -
Hard work, which I'm not against. Sharp images, knotty plotting both entice. A Chinese Amores perros, but glassier.
Blue Is the Warmest Color (France, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche) -
Two very compelling characterizations in engaging but oddly proportioned film with few interesting images.
Grigris (Chad, dir. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun) -
Like Haroun's prior movie, combines austere realism with subtly heightened fable. Unevenly effective, but key scenes click.
Young & Beautiful (France, dir. François Ozon) -
Nicely shaded but lithely direct, a treat after In the House's strenuous ingenuity. Vacth a gem; ensemble strong.
Venus in Fur (France, dir. Roman Polanski) -
Defiantly ripe yet elegant-enough transfer of play with a lot up its sleeve, or down its leather boot. Desplat scores.
Like Father, Like Son (Japan, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda) -
Assured, yet full of crutches and cliché. "Sensitivity" a blessing and a curse. Floating pans, weepy pianos.
The Great Beauty (Italy, dir. Paolo Sorrentino) -
Neither thesis nor style of this bright, long, grandiose movie feels fresh. Arbitrary edits. Stirring at moments.
Behind the Candelabra (USA, dir. Steven Soderbergh) -
Fleeting wit but few insights into either lead. Externals splashy but not interesting. Is that all there is?
The Past (France, dir. Asghar Farhadi) -
Turgid, sporadically wise wallow in exposition, with few stakes for viewers. Stale visuals. Farhadi's rhythmic gift fails.
Nebraska (USA, dir. Alexander Payne) -
Payne still loves: empty images, banal music, using one character as bellwether of Reason and ranking others in relation.
Only God Forgives (France/Thailand/USA, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn) -
Sharply lensed, and not uninteresting as generic and auteurist distillation. Still, a pretty despicable object.
Sidebar Selections I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
The Selfish Giant (Directors' Fortnight: UK, dir. Clio Barnard) -
Gorgeous, emotionally walloping, and unimprovably made. Wizardly synthesis of realism, fable, and subjective POV.
Norte, the End of History (Un Certain Regard: The Philippines, dir. Lav Diaz) -
Hypnotic Filipino Crime and Punishment balances prodigious framing, naturalistic acting, eclectic style.
The Last of the Unjust (Out of Competition: France, dir. Claude Lanzmann) -
Lanzmann's epic rigor applied to one remarkable witness whose candor tilts inevitably into contradiction.
Suzanne (Critics' Week: France, dir. Katell Quillévéré) -
Another stupendous, completely confident diary of a flailing girl from a two-time director who deserves to be more famous.
The Missing Picture (Un Certain Regard: Cambodia, dir. Rithy Panh) -
Moving memoir, vital history. Panh gives each clay figure own nuances, defying totalitarian edict of sameness.
La Jaula de oro (Un Certain Regard: Mexico, dir. Diego Quemada-Díez) -
Less technically precocious than Sin Nombre but even more persuasive, encompassing take on northward migration.
Ilo Ilo (Directors' Fortnight: Singapore, dir. Anthony Chen) -
Simple, proficient humanism at first; dislikeable family a risky center. Wise choices, narrative layers emerge over time.
The Bling Ring (Un Certain Regard: USA, dir. Sofia Coppola) -
Commodities, celebrities, friends all spark the same fickle form of collector's lust. Coppola's wittiest and best.
Bastards (Un Certain Regard: France, dir. Claire Denis) -
Sort of Denis' Skin I Live In, a handsome, tensile take on a story bound to repel. Semi-illuminating, fiercely confident.
All Is Lost (Out of Competition: USA, dir. J.C. Chandor) -
Water, water everywhere, and not a bad or boring shot in sight. Exercisey but absorbing. Boy is Redford in good shape.
Blue Ruin (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. Jeremy Saulnier) -
Muscular revenge thriller veined with black comedy. Fellow Virginians may detect NoVa/downstate tensions. Ace last shot.
Omar (Un Certain Regard: Palestine, dir. Hany Abu-Assad) -
Coolly escalating melodrama privileges plot over style, but at least it thickens. Exciting chase, too. Gutsy and accomplished.
Miele (Un Certain Regard: Italy, dir. Valeria Golino) -
Golino shows mettle with actors, solid technique in her helming debut. May not reach for the stars, but empathetic, engaging.
Bends (Un Certain Regard: Hong Kong, dir. Flora Lau) -
Manages two poignant tales without gorging on pathos or forcing blunter linkages. Good lead actors. Low-key Doyle lensing.
The German Doctor (aka Wakolda) (Un Certain Regard: Argentina, dir. Lucía Puenzo) -
Uneven bounty of subplots and ideas. Best stuff explores how, why we need the monsters in our midst.
My Sweet Pepper Land (Un Certain Regard: Iraq/France, dir. Hiner Saleem) -
Sort of Once Upon a Time in Kurdistana gorgeous, broody, semi-romantic border western with charismatic leads.
Stranger by the Lake (Un Certain Regard: France, dir. Alain Guiraudie) -
Solid thriller, equal parts lust and inertia, austerity and shimmer. Good lead. Still, water doesn't run deep.
The Congress (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. Ari Folman) -
First part more focused and cutting; second part more risky in theme and style. Nervy all over but difficult to love.
Fruitvale Station (Un Certain Regard: USA, dir. Ryan Coogler) -
Coogler keeps flashing turn-signals, seeking tale of structural racism in anecdotal details. But last act lands.
We Are What We Are (Director's Fortnight: USA, dir. Jim Mickle) -
Director proves his talent, but Jesus Christ! (Doubles as a pushed-too-far response plus a statement of theme.)
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (Critics' Week: USA, dir. David Lowery) -
The Beatification of Casey Affleck by the Genius Bradford Young. Gorgeous reel; hard to fully invest in.
Magic Magic (Directors' Fortnight: USA/Chile, dir. Sebastián Silva) -
Well-shot, well-acted, uneven thriller emits startling conviction. Too bad it traffics in gamey Indigenous Ooga-Booga.
Dracula 3D (Out of Competition: Italy, dir. Dario Argento) -
Two D's are for Dumb and Dumber. The other's for Delirium, which at least has its pleasures. Garishly but gamely stupid.
The Great Gatsby (Out of Competition: USA/Australia, dir. Baz Luhrmann) -
I arrived skeptical about male leads, source material, and director match and only felt confirmed. Busy but flat.
Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian, France, dir. Arnaud Desplechin
Shield of Straw, Japan, dir. Takashi Miike
Michael Kohlhaas, France/Germany, dir. Arnaud des Pallières
A Castle in Italy, France/Italy, dir. Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi
Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
|Un Certain Regard:||
As I Lay Dying, USA, dir. James Franco|
Grand Central, France, dir. Rebecca Zlotowski
Manuscripts Don't Burn, Iran, dir. Mohammad Rasoulof
Nothing Bad Can Happen, Germany, dir. Katrin Gebbe
The Dance of Reality, Chile, dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky|
Henri, France, dir. Yolande Moreau
Jodorowsky's Dune, USA, dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky
Me, Myself, and Mum, France, dir. Guillaume Gallienne
A Strange Course of Events, France/Israel, dir. Raphaël Nadjari
3x3D, France/Portugal, dirs. Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard, Edgar Pêra|
The Dismantlement, Canada, dir. Sébastien Pilote
Los Dueños, Argentina, dirs. Ezequiel Radusky & Agustín Toscano
Salvo, Italy, dirs. Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza
|Out of Competition:||
Blind Detective, Hong Kong, dir. Johnnie To|