Tli 2022 Cannes Film Festival ended in a cheerful mood: a feeling that the average quality of the competition list had been redeemed in recent days by a fiercely welcomed late blast of excellence. There was respect for Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa for his documentary Natural History of Destruction and for Mariupol 2, by the late Mantas Kvedaravičius, the director killed by Russian troops while filming this momentary study of life in the besieged city. The latter was completed by Kvedaravičius co-director and partner Hanna Bilobrova in time to be shown here – a first-line film production.
But I’ve never seen Cannes like this because of a radical disagreement among critics about almost every title: there was hardly a film here that didn’t experience a range of shots of all different temperatures. Each director is offered rave and meh and quote-tweet submission for the same film, by critics who seem, based on all his published work, to have roughly similar tastes and assumptions. The coldly received love drama by Claire Denis Stars at noon found himself being subjected to a snowball of social media roasting, and then a frontal reaction from a defense of those who felt this mockery was utterly extraordinary.
Well, I can only say that at the beginning of the festival I was worried that the established names, the silver-backed gorillas of Cannes, who seem to be sure of a place in the competition, no matter what, are coming up with very average things. It is traditional at Cannes to announce that the films in the side column Un Certain Regard are better than the main competition, but there really is something in it this year. The new realistic social drama of the Dardennes Tori and Located, about two teenage immigrants from Benin who are facing a desperate situation in Belgium, was valiantly targeted with strong moments, but really more of the same. James Gray’s autobiographical drama about maturation Time of Armageddon, set in 80s New York, was staged and forced. that of Ruben Östlund The Triangle of Sadness was a haunted, subtle, easy-going satire that seemed as if it had been raised in a lab for the Cannes Film Festival. Hirokazu Kore-eda the road trip heart warming Broker struck a string of wrong notes.
But there were also wonderful movies. The Closing of Lukas Dhont, about the intense relationship between two teenage boys, had people sobbing in the theater, and although I confess I thought Dhont went too straight for the teardrop jugular, and that tragedy was a shortening to size, it’s a very powerful film. -making. People call it the Palme first place. But for me the best movies, and the ones I still think could show Close at the post office, are the beautiful noir love story of Park Chan-wook. I decide to leave with Tang Wei as the mysterious nurse who may be a murderer; the wonderful The Eight Mountains by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen, about a difficult friendship between two honest men who can’t talk about their feelings (an interesting comparison point with Close); Mario Martone’s beautiful shot Nostalgia, which was a pleasure; and Albert Serra is very mad and dreamy Pacigo was pure Cannes indulgence, a film production that is quite characteristic, its flawless brilliance offered on the basis of take or leave it. The Ballardian post-human vision of David Cronenberg Crimes of the Future was viewed with disappointment by some here, but I found its eloquence part of its attraction: it offers a cinema of ideas.
So here are predictions for the Cannes Awards, in which I suggest that the congress (which is actually not a hard and fast rule) that generally prohibits giving two awards to the same film be ignored this year. Following are my own personal predictions for categories that do not yet exist at the Cannes Film Festivalbut should.
Cannes Prize Predictions
Now Palm I decide to leave
Grand Prix Stop
Jury Prize Pacigo
Best Director Saeed Roustayi (Leila’s Brothers)
Best script Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen (Le Otto Montagne)
Best Actor Pierfrancesco Favino (Nostalgia)
Best Actress Tang Wei (Decision to Leave)
“Cannes Braddies” for categories that do not exist
Best Supporting Actor Ahmed Sylla (Mother and Son)
Best Supporting Actress Kristen Stewart (Crimes of the Future)
Best cinematography Artur Tort (Pacific)
Best production design Josefin Åsberg for Triangle of Sadness