Sunday, May 22, 2011

Congratulations Cannes 2011 Winners; an Exciting List

One of the films I am most highly anticipating this year impressed the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

France, Denmark, Belgium, Israel, Argentina, Ukraine, Turkey, and the United States were among the nations represented in the Winner's Circle tonight.

This year's Festival was especially interesting to me, because the films were unusually intriguing, and seemed to have excellent chances of reaching a wider American audience.  In addition to the winners, there was well received work like Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris", which is getting Allen some of his best notices in years.

Of the winners, the black-and-white silent film "The Artist" will certainly be on my list of must-sees, for what appears to be a risky yet successful homage to silent films and the advent of sound, not to mention an affecting performance by Jean Dujardin, and a reportedly delightful appearance by a Jack Russell Terrier. 

Also on my list: "Drive", Cannes' Awarded Directorial effort, starring the always watchable Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan.

And then there's tonight's big winner, "Tree of Life", a film of purportedly such high ambition, visual splendor, and maddening ambiguity, that its victory seemed inevitable. 

I can't wait. 

Even though it is unlikely to connect with a mass audience, it still seems to have more popular appeal than the last 2 Palme d'Or winners, Germany's "The White Ribbon" and Thailand's
 "Uncle Boonmee...", both of which I was privileged to have seen this year.

Now, before we jump the gun and start the Oscar oddsmaking (or mudslinging), it's worth noting that only one time did a Palme d'Or winner win a Best Picture Oscar: "Marty", in 1955.  And Terrence Malick's film will no doubt polarize some viewers and prompt millions of disparaging words on-line between now and February.  The well is already being poisoned, and the film hasn't even been released in most cities yet. 

Congratulations to the following winners, with best wishes that all of them find appreciative audiences:

—Palme d'Or (Golden Palm): "The Tree of Life" by Terrence Malick (United States)

—Grand Prize: Shared between "The Kid with the Bike" by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium) and "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
—Jury Prize: "Poliss" by Maiwenn (France)
—Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for "Drive" (Denmark)
—Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist" (France)
—Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst, "Melancholia" (film from Denmark, actress from United States)
—Best Screenplay: Joseph Cedar, "Footnote" (Israel)
—Camera d'Or (first-time director): "Las Acacias" by Pablo Giorgelli (Argentina)
—Best short film: "Country" by Maryna Vroda (Ukraine)

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited about DRIVE and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the most. I'm interested but not madly so in TREE OF LIFE and MELANCHOLIA I hope Brad and Kiki get notices.