CANNES, May 28 — From the tale of a mysterious beast to a migrant who finds he can levitate after being shot on a border fence, these are the movies in the running for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, which will be awarded today:
Todd Haynes’ tender childhood mystery about two deaf children living parallel lives in the 1920s and 1970s drew tears at its premiere. Nevertheless hardbitten critics thought it was not quite up to his previous outing Carol, which got six Oscar nominations.
Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo gave the European migrant crisis a magical realist twist with a refugee discovering he has amazing powers after he is shot by a cop at the border.
There was no shortage of zippy lines in Sofia Coppola’s starry American Civil War-set battle-of-the-sexes thriller. A remake of a 1971 movie with Clint Eastwood, wounded Union soldier Colin Farrell seduces the women around him, including Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst, who turned in another stand-out performance.
Michel Hazanavicius, the man behind the whimsical multi-Oscar winner The Artist, turns legendary New Wave movie director Jean-Luc Godard’s fall from grace into a breezy comedy.
Billed as a family film in the mould of E.T., critics hugely enjoyed Bong Joon-ho’s “creature feature” about a girl who tries to protect a giant genetically modified pig. But some doubted the family tag, baulking at a few scenes that might give the kids nightmares.
The Meyerowitz Stories
Adam Sandler has won some of the best reviews of his career for Noah While We’re Young Baumbach’s story about a New York boho family trying to deal with their cantankerous artist father played by Dustin Hoffman. Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Candice Bergen completed the top-notch cast.
You Were Never Really Here
Scot Lynne Ramsay’s nightmarish, beautifully shot story of a New York tough guy out of his depth in a swirling story of political corruption and sex-trafficking finally got critics excited as the festival closed. Joaquin Phoenix turns in a bravura performance as the traumatised, reeling hard nut to a soundtrack by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s much-admired film about a couple who want rid of their young son was seen as an indictment of the moral rot eating away at Russian society under President Vladimir Putin. The Guardian called it a “stark, mysterious and terrifying... masterpiece”.
Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson won a whole new wave of older and more discerning fans with his nimble turn as a bank robber in this grindhouse romp by New York brothers Benny and Josh Safdie.
French legends Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant offer another acting masterclass in two-time Palme d’Or winner Michael Haneke’s unsparing study of a callous, wealthy family set near Calais in northern France against the backdrop of the migrant crisis.
Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s often hilarious art world satire explores political correctness, artistic liberty and free speech. One set-piece featuring a wild, bare-chested man at a posh gala dinner has already entered festival legend.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Nicole Kidman said she wouldn’t be taking her kids to watch this one, and she stars in it. Which is no surprise as a mother who has to sacrifice one of her children in Greek maestro Yorgos Lanthimos’ icy thriller inspired by Euripides’ Iphigenia which divided critics.
Gerard Depardieu has already had a go at playing France’s greatest sculptor. This time Vincent Lindon picks up the chisel to portray the artist in a biopic that marks the centenary of his death but left critics cold.
In The Fade
Diane Kruger is an avenging mother who goes after the right-wing extremists who killed her German-Turkish husband and son in Fatih Akin’s rage-filled tale set in his hometown Hamburg.
Amant Double (The Double Lover)
No one does erotic thrillers like French director Francois Swimming Pool Ozon. And his latest about a young woman who falls in love with her therapist is a bubbling Hitchcockian cauldron of pyscho-sexual twists and tropes.
120 Beats Per Minute
Robin Campillo, who wrote the Palme d’Or-winning The Class in 2008, hit gold again with this stirring portrait of ACT UP activists in Paris during the dark days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s.
A love story by Japan’s Naomi Kawase about a woman who writes audio commentary for blind people and who falls for a partially-sighted photographer was praised for its insight and gentle humour.
The Day After
The prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-Soo’s black-and-white talkie is one for his fans, with all his usual ingredients — lots of long dinner soju-sodden party conversions, mistaken identity and infidelity.
A Gentle Creature
A woman’s journey to learn the truth about her husband held in a remote Siberian prison is a slow descent into the hell, with Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa putting modern Russia in the dock. — AFP