CANNES 2021 – The editorial team

As the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival comes to an end, the editorial staff have decided to deliver their prize list. And the Winners are …

PALME D’OR: JULIE (IN 12 CHAPTERS) BY JOACHIM TRIER

This film will have illuminated the competition from the start. Spleen drift fragmented into twelve chapters, Julie tells the story of a young woman today wandering in search of love and self. Romantic, feverish and playful, marked by a dizzying zeitgeist sense, it is the most contemporary and sensitive film that we have seen during the fortnight. This stroll is also irradiated by an incandescent actress who should not remain unknown for a long time (Renate Reinsve).

Our critique of Julie (in 12 chapters)

GRAND PRIX: DRIVE MY CAR BY RYUSUKE HAMAGUCHI EX-AEQUO WITH THE KNEE OF AHED BY NADAV LAPID

In Drive My Car, Rysuske Hamaguchi follows the wandering of Yûsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima Kafuku, magnificent), a director deeply traumatized by the suicide of his wife. When asked to direct Chekov’s Uncle Vanya, he accepts. His hotel is far from the theater and during long journeys by car, he forges a strong bond with the woman who drives him. She too has to live with a heavy past … With stunning freedom of direction, Hamaguchi’s film is amazingly dense. Listening to this man without a woman, haunted by many ghosts, evoke his mourning and his melancholy, Hamaguchi flirts with the edges of the abyss. But the beauty of the film lies in the levels of reading it offers: portrait of a broken man, declaration of love for the theater, hymn to literature and reflection on love and mourning Drive My Car is a dizzying work.

In Ahed’s Knee, he is a filmmaker who is going through an existential crisis. Y (like Kafka’s K, no doubt) is in the middle of the desert, blocked. In every sense of the term. He is there to present his latest film, but he is especially required, by the local official, not to broach the subjects that annoy. And in particular the liberticidal cultural policy of Israel. Y does not hear it that way and will therefore build a plan to shake up the system … A fevered satire against the State of Israel, Ahed’s Knee is a film that is never complacent nor with the public , neither with his country, nor with himself. Painful, rough, exhausting, uncomfortable and confusing.

Ahed’s knee, a cry of rage

JURY PRIZE: THE INTRANQUILLES OF JOACHIM LAFOSSE

Joachim Lafosse tackles bipolarity, through the portrait of a couple devastated by Damien’s disease (Damien Bonnard exceptional). His partner Leïla (Leïla Bekhti) tries to compose. With his fits, with the drugs, with his rage and sadness, to protect their young son. A beautiful film which recalls Lafosse’s talent for this kind of story. As always, the Belgian does not judge anyone and everything happens in the light. Clear staging, breathtaking direction of actors and heartbreaking humanity of the gaze: presented on the last day, The Unquiet saved the last straight line in Cannes.

The Unquiet, against all odds

DIRECTOR AWARD: KIRILL SEREBRENNIKOV’S PETROV FEVER

From the first scene, the tone is set. Petrov’s Fever overflows: with moving cameras, people, noises, accessories, madness. By recounting the life of a family struck by the flu, the Russian filmmaker seeks to translate the chaotic experience of everyday Russian life. In a series of crazy scenes, filmed in virtuoso sequence shots, he tries to convey the absurdity, violence, gentleness and melancholy of a people who no longer know where to turn. Between filthy reality and silky nightmare, between enveloping Black & White and colorful flashes, a sensory experience whose meaning we are still trying to understand …

Kirill Serebrennikov’s Red Nightmare

MALE INTERPRETATION AWARD: SIMON REX IN RED ROCKET

He arrives groggy, stoned, his tail between his legs. His doggy look will convince his ex and his mother-in-law to welcome him for a few days. Mikey is a former pornstar who returns to his native Texas and seeks asylum. Gradually, the animal will regain self-confidence and regain human form. Ultra-white smile, velvet gaze, machine gun chat – impossible to resist him. Mikey is the hero of Red rocket, but it is especially Simon Rex, gay porn star of the nineties, an ex of Meghan Markle and a model-journalist in his spare time. Under Sean Baker’s gaze, his generous anatomy and unbearable weakness become the embodiment of ultra-liberal Trumpian America.

Red Rocket: America from the X-ray margins

LEA SEYDOUX FEMALE INTERPRETATION AWARD IN FRANCE

Absent due to Covid positivity, Léa Seydoux was everywhere: Simone (The French Dispatch), The English lover (Deception), Lizzy (My wife’s story) and especially France in … France by Bruno Dumont. This frenzied ubiquity is precisely the subject of the film. The actress plays a journalist-star of a news channel who ends up rejecting her own image to the point of not knowing where to turn. Seydoux lets go like never before: his character dances in the middle of the bombs, tries to destabilize Macron … And the actress to multiply the winks to the spectator and his director in a very meta performance. ” Nothing is true, everything is permitted »Said France. Who cries too, to the point of seeing his face distorted with sadness. His best role? At Cannes 2021, that’s for sure. In any case, eight years after La Vie d’Adèle, for us, she deserves to receive a new Cannes trophy.

“You are the greatest journalist in France, France”

SCENARIO AWARD: A HERO OF ASHGAR FARHADI

After a European break, Ashgar Farhadi returns to Iran. With a film that reconnects with the power ofA separation. In particular by the implacable mechanics that he imagines. It is the story of a man imprisoned for an unpaid debt. To get out of this bad situation, a solution will present itself to him, but it risks plunging him into a moral dilemma … A hero is a limpid story, one thinks at the beginning written in white ink. But gradually elements appear which will contradict what we have seen. In this chronicle of the impossibility of redemption, where the words that saved you can turn against you the next moment, the viewer doubts everything and especially the obvious. The staging is perfect, the lead actor exceptional, but it is the script, precise, devious and fabulously arranged, that really impresses.

The stifling intensity of a hero

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