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Cannes Film Festival

RFI's pick for the Palme d'Or...

Reuters/Yves Herman

It’s been dark and stormy viewing here at the Cannes Film Festival. But it’s not just about Nazi assertions  I’ve witnessed death and destruction on film here. After a non-scientific count the Cannes death toll--out of 20 films rings in at 20.


However, if you add the massacre in 'Let’s Talk About Kevin' (which I’d put at 13, the perfect unlucky number) and the end of the world in 'Melancholia' (a total of 6.7 billion), it’s been quite the deathfest here.

The jury, headed by Robert de Niro, will pick whatever they want as the winners tonight. And everyone will know. That said, here are my picks for my own personal 'golden shoe' awards, and comments on the absolute worst, which we’ll call the 'broken heel' awards:

Palme: 'Melancholia', directed by Lars Von Trier. Am I being controversial? No, not at all. The movie speaks for itself.

Grand Prix: 'The Artist', directed by Michel Hazanavicius. You’ll stay riveted in your seat while watching this compelling silent movie.

Jury Prize: 'The Source', directed by Radu Milhaileanu. Milhaileanu reveals an incredible understanding of women in this touching film.

Camera d’Or (Best Prize fora first-time director): director Julia Leigh, for 'Sleeping Beauty'. A model-cum-actress is a rare sight and so is book-writer to director. Leigh, a noted author, makes the switch, deftly.

Best Actress: Leila Bekhti, for 'The Source'. Bekhti gives it her all onscreen, in a very believable performance about a young woman who forces the hand of the men in a village.

This was the most difficult to decide, because both Tilda Swinton and Kirsten Dunst gave incredible performances in 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' and 'Melancholia' respectively.

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, for 'The Artist'. Dujardin gives all others a run for their money with this credible, not campy, interpretation of George Valentin, a silent film star.

Best Director: Paolo Sorrentino, for 'This Must Be the Place'. Sorrentino knows what he wants on screen. Even Sean Penn said he listens to him. Enough said.

Best Screenplay: 'Sleeping Beauty', by Julia Leigh. Leigh turns the classic Sleeping Beauty tale on its head and sprinkles it with one of her recurring nightmares. Fascinating.

Honourable mentions: 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', by Lynne Ramsay, and 'Footnote' directed by Joseph Cedar.

Broken Heel awards: Avoid these movies at all cost. I don’t want to say, ‘I told you so…..’

'Once Upon a time In Anatolia', directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Nothing happens. Really.

'Hanezu', by Naomi Kawase. Watching people eat organic produce is not exactly gripping.

'House of Tolerance', by Bertrand Bonello. Who wants to see a whore get a Glasgow Smile? Yuck.

'Drive', by Nicolas Winding Rifn. Pouts and grunts from pretty boy Ryan Gosling do not make a movie.

Many of these movies will hit the screens this Fall, and some won’t get distribution. Wait and see.



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