Whatever happens it will be a surprise. It is often said, but it is really harder than ever to make predictions about the Palme d’Or this year. Among the twenty-four titles of the competition what is missing is the one capable of putting everything in agreement. Even the different rankings of critics, published by magazines such as Screen a French Film – which, however, rarely coincide with the decisions of the juries – give confusing indications: no unanimity, indeed, opposite opinions on the same films. There are those who are sure they know how to put themselves in Spike Lee’s head («He liked it Red Rocket by Sean Baker “), or interpret his non-verbal language (” At the official screening of Long got up to embrace Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, he didn’t do it for anyone else “), president of a jury where women, from Mati Diop to Maggie Gyllenhaal, certainly didn’t come to do upholstery, before the start it is very unbalanced. Restoring confidence in cinema, its promise. Challenging and also a bit generic.
So who will win? Ghareman (A hero) with the extraordinary interpreter Amir Jadidi of the Iranian Asghar Farhadi, two Oscars (for A separation and The client) but still no Palme d’Or at Cannes and Drive my car by Hamaguchi Ryusuke, from the story by Murakami, are the two titles that stand out in the tam tam of the eve, together with Languages by Haroun, director and former Minister of Culture of Chad who brought a dilemma for women (much applauded the actress Achouackh Abakar), ready to challenge the laws of the state and religion in the name of their freedom of choice. The surprise was Hit No. 6 by Juho Kuosmanen. Of the seven, indeed eight with Benedetta, French titles in the competition (a record difficult to replicate in the future), the most cited are also the most controversial: Verhoeven’s nunexploitation, in fact, and sentimental horror Titanium by Julia Ducournau. And the Fracture by Catherine Corsini. It could also be included, perhaps for the screenplay written with Céline Sciamma and Léa Mysius Paris, Audiard’s Les Olympiades. Or the couple François Ozon & Sophie Marceau of All went well. The moral winner is Léa Sedoux, three films in competition (French Dispatch, History of my Wife e France) and one out of competition (Deception), blocked in Paris by the positivity to Covid, in what was to be the year of the definitive consecration, here where it all began, for this daughter of the French film aristocracy, with The Life of Adele. Her directors have repeated that she is a great actress, La Palma is there. Competition could be internal, from the interpreters of Corsini, to the “titanic” Agathe Rousselle, author of a performance that, whatever the judgment on the film, leaves its mark. At twenty-eight, she is a novice at the cinema but is known as a journalist (she founded the fanzine Peach), model, stylist, photographer. Renate Reisveen (T.he Worst Person in the World di Joachim Trier).
A lot of competition even among the male performers. Amir Jadidi, in fact. But Adam Driver could win, to consolidate the fortunes of the Carax musical Annette (here already in the room, where it is the second French collection, but later Benedetta). In 2019 the announced winner was Pain and glory by Pedro Almodóvar, beaten by Parasite by Bong Joon-ho who began his triumphal march (but with the deserved honor of arms to Antonio Banderas). The most anticipated of this year, ready to compete for the skipped edition of 2020, that is Three floors by Nanni Moretti (who received mixed reviews) e French Dispatch by Wes Anderson (on which the 2022 Oscars bookmakers are already betting), could enter but also not in the complex sudoku of the seven awards (Palme d’Or, Grand Prix, Prix du Jury, direction, screenplay, actor, actress). The game is settled: the jury has deliberated in the quiet solitude of a villa in the hills above Cannes. And from this morning the usual rite of sightings of the papabili will start again. The only sure palm tonight is the one of honor for Marco Bellocchio. Paolo Sorrentino will deliver it to him. Pierfrancesco Favino, the Buscetta of his, also came to cheer for him The traitor, here in the race two years ago. Meanwhile, yesterday at the official screening, out of competition, of Marx can wait an insistent standing ovation has already arrived. An encore is expected.