I didn’t get to see all the highly-rated Cannes films, but for what it’s worth I agree completely with L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan’s statement that “perhaps the best of the slighted films [among the Cannes Film Festival award-winners]” was Guillermo del Toro‘s Pan’s Labyrinth. But as del Toro told me last Thursday evening, Labyrinth‘s accomplishment was simply being shown in Cannes, given the snobbish attitudes that have long prevailed about films with fantasy-and-FX elements, and that a possible award was never realistically in the cards. “The winners have already been spoken for,” del Toro declared. Turan, by the way, has made a small error in describing del Toro as “the Mexican writer-director of Chronicles and The Devil’s Backbone .” Del Toro was one of five producers of 2004′s Chronicles (better known as Cronicas), but he wrote and directed 1993′s Chronos, a masterful vampire film that I presume Turan was referring to. I also wonder about a quote in Turan’s piece from Cannes Jury chief Wong Kar Wai, which is that Ken Loach‘s The Wind That Shakes the Barley “was the unanimous choice for the top prize” — i.e., the Palmes d’Or. I share the same view that Hollywood Reporter columnist Anne Thompson expressed last Sunday night: “I suspect that the jury locked over Babel vs. Volver and wound up giving the Palme d’Or to eight-time competition entrant Ken Loach, who had never won the big prize.”

3 thoughts on “

  1. Anonymous on said:

    from roger ebert . com
    “But what about another much-touted film, Sofia Coppola√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s √¢‚Ǩ≈ìMarie Antoinette?√¢‚Ǩ¬ù No other film was so loved by the French critics, although of course they are not the jury. And as the festival came to its close, I found the film growing in my memory and appreciation. Others said the same: Once you get over the surprise that there√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s no beheading, you step back and realize what a stunning visual achievement it is, and how well Kirsten Dunst plays a 14-year-old girl who grows up into her fate and doom.
    I thought the jury might give √¢‚Ǩ≈ìMarie Antoinette√¢‚Ǩ¬ù an award in part to correct the impression that the film was booed out of town. As I wrote earlier, the booing at the press screening (five or 10 people, maybe) was blown up into a scandal. On balance, audiences here admired the film √¢‚Ǩ‚Äú some of them, a lot”.

  2. “I suspect that the jury locked over Babel vs. Volver and wound up giving the Palme d’Or to eight-time competition entrant Ken Loach, who had never won the big prize.”
    I totally disagree with Thompson. Critics are always looking for elaborate rationalizations to explain Palme d’Or winners so they don’t feel bad for missing the boat, but the real explanation is very simple. Critics and filmmakers watch films through dramatically different eyes and admire different things in films. That’s not to say that their opinions are completely opposite but, whereas critics may see The Wind That Shakes the Barley as a competent film about an interesting topic, the filmmakers are more sensitive to the craft, performances, and production obstacles involved with making that kind of film.

  3. from roger ebert . com

    “But what about another much-touted film, Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette?” No other film was so loved by the French critics, although of course they are not the jury. And as the festival came to its close, I found the film growing in my memory and appreciation. Others said the same: Once you get over the surprise that there’s no beheading, you step back and realize what a stunning visual achievement it is, and how well Kirsten Dunst plays a 14-year-old girl who grows up into her fate and doom.

    I thought the jury might give “Marie Antoinette” an award in part to correct the impression that the film was booed out of town. As I wrote earlier, the booing at the press screening (five or 10 people, maybe) was blown up into a scandal. On balance, audiences here admired the film – some of them, a lot”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>