27 May 2016.
2016 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS
Last week I gave you the facts and numbers, and some of my favorite films from the festival. Now let me end it with snippets of views and emotions.
As mentioned before, Cannes is a professional festival, impossible for the unaccredited to enter the “bunker”, as the Palais is called. And there’s an array of badges, from the four categories for journalists, to those for the market and industry. And of course all the workers – guards, coordinators, the administration.
Fairly or not, Cannes has its regular creators/directors such as Woody Allen (always out of competition), Spain’s Pedro Almodovar, Belgian’s the Dardenne brothers, Canada’s Xaviar Dolan, Britain’s Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, Iran’s Asghar Farhadi, U.S.’s Jim Jarmusch and so on…They keep coming back with each new oeuvres, whether merited or not. And the Juries tend to pick the darker, edgier films for the awards, not always the publics’ taste.
Cannes is no doubt the summit of the cinema world. For films, for stars, for excitement, for both tradition and innovation. The most fascinating of all is the chance to see and hear the artists and creators in person, at the press conferences following each press screening. This is where one gets to feel the character of each star, under the flash of photographers and the tough questions of the journalists.
This year’s selection was a good one (already listed last week), minus some duds (to beware of) such as “Elle”, starring the usual enigmatic Isabelle Huppert; “The Neon Demon”, a sick tale of models and vampires, starring the young, angel-faced Elle Fanning; the foolish French romp, “Ma Loute”, starring a bewildered Fabrice Luchini; and one that even won an award : Olivier Assayas as Best Director for his miserable “Personal Shopper”, starring the flavor-of-the-moment, Kristen Stewart. It was mind-boggling injustice to the real talents present, as Germany’s “Toni Erdmann”, or Korea’s “The Handmaiden”, neither of which got even a mention. Who said life or competitions were fair?
One of the most interesting events was the 2nd year of the exclusive “Women in Motion” talks held at a plush suite of the Majestic Hotel. Sponsored by the Kering group, owned by billionaire François Pinault, husband to the lovely and very committed Salma Hayek, it hosted on different days such power women as Jody Foster, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Juliette Binoche and Hayek herself. They discussed with great enthusiasm the importance and future of women in the cinematic industry, and how the Kering foundation is trying to enable and support women’s rights throughout the world.
And finally, the winners were…
I, DANIEL BLAKE, England – Ken Loach **** – the Palme d’Or
Here’s a wonderfully relevant, touching human and social drama, as the great Loach has so often offered us. This one, concerning an English widower who has recently had a heart attack and is looking for financial relief from the government, tells his tale with superb acting, feeling and conviction. And does it in mercifully concise time. Deserves an award!
AMERICAN HONEY, US – Andrea Arnold *** – the Jury Prize
Here’s a film about the wrong side of America as it tells of poor, dysfunctional families in Texas and beyond and young people who come together to make money by hustling magazine subscriptions in this raw, erotic road movie. Shia LeBoeuf and new-comer Sasha Lane light up this fascinating film about the craziness of youth and improbable love in the rubbles. Glowingly filmed, it is unfortunately too long, and should be cut by at least half-an-hour.
The video below is an interview with film maker Andrea Arnold in Cannes.
Xavier Dolan’s JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE – the Grand Prix
Phillipino Brilliante Mendoza’s MA’ ROSA – won Best Actress for Jaclyn Jose
Iranian Asghar Farhadi’s LE CLIENT (THE SALESMAN) – won Best Actor for Shahab Hosseini and Best Screenplay for Farhadi
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.