Favorites for the Palme d’Or? So many and so few… Guessing the Palme d’Or is one of the most dangerous bets in the world of cinema, especially this year with a filmmaker like Spike Lee as the main judge, Kléber Mendonça Filho, temperamental film buff, and actresses/filmmakers from the hard wing of the “female gauze” like Maggie Gyllenhaal or Mélanie Laurent. It’s not even worth trying but the French press made a sum of personal clapping from some critics and the result points to The Hero, by Asghar Farhadi, a meditation on the anguish of justice in present-day Iran.
It’s true that there is a very felt beauty in the Iranian film, but in the lists of the most voted by the press they are also Drive My Car, by Hamaguchi Ryusake and Les Olympiades, by Jacques Audiard. They are good examples of favorites. The first is an innovative crusade of theatrical contamination in cinema. The Japanese filmmaker refines the style and offers us his best film to date, always under the sign of Chekhov, while in Les Olympiades we are invited to be inside the 13th arrondissement of Paris in a loving puzzle that has the sign of our times: from Tinder-like applications to the solitude of the generation of “millennials“. Spike Lee may remember filming Brooklyn in the days of the good lovers (1996)….
On the other hand, there is the movie that caused the most passions and hatreds: Titan, by Julia Ducournau, story about a serial killer who fuses with oil and titanium through a bizarre attraction of bodies. A brilliant heir of crash, by David Croneneberg, which can be a kind of surprise announced in the awards, the jury just has to be brave. It would be a Palme d’Or of shock!
In interpretations, the harvest was strong. In ladies, there are those who are rooting for Léa Seydoux in Bruno Dumont’s farce comedy, France, but Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, in La Fracture and Sophie Marceau in Tous s”est Passé Bien, by François Ozon, have many chances. However, if Les Olympiades stay out of the other awards, a double distinction can also happen for its actresses: Noémie Merlant and Lucie Zhang. As for you, one can imagine a fair distinction for Adam Driver, black angel of Annette, but it is important not to leave out André Dussollier as an elderly person undergoing euthanasia in Tous s”est Passé Bien and Simon Rex, ex-porn star playing ex-porn star in Red Rocket, the friendly Sean Baker film.
In a festival where film proposals almost clashed with each other, Cannes 2021 was also a vintage with some disappointments, the most flagrant the cases of Bergman Island, by Mia Hansen-Love; The Story of My Wife, by Ildikó Enyedi; Flag Day, by Sean Penn and Nitram, by Justin Kurzel. Films that may have taken away some of the pearls that the Cannes Premiere section showed, and trumpets, by Arnaud Desplechin and cow, by Andrea Arnold were two titles that could look so good in the race for Palma…
Whatever happens, let’s all trust Mr. Spike Lee. From this selection, the vast majority of films will reach Portuguese cinemas.