Cannes Film Festival 2015 awards predictions and highlights
A fortnight of blood, sweat, and tears. Such is life for the novice writer at the 68th Cannes Film festival. And yet, one’s inner masochist would do it all again; suddenly it’s all over, and last week has already fallen victim to a fatal case of nostalgia. But let’s not get carried away, the final and possibly the hardest task awaits: predicting this year’s winners…
This, the highest honour bestowed at the Cannes Festival, must surely go Justin Kurzel for his enthralling reinterpretation of Macbeth. Utterly mesmerising, it’s Shakespeare made grittier and more real than ever before.
For his originality and humour, Greek director Yiorgos Lanthimos will win for his wonderfully absurd macabre dystopian love story, The Lobster, which succeeded in both entertaining and unnerving its audience.
For his part in Mon Roi by Maïwenn, Vincent Cassel will win for his portrayal of Giorgio. The charm and charisma which Cassel brings to the role make an otherwise thoroughly objectionable character too complex to love or hate.
This year, Cate Blanchett’s understated, magnificent performance in Todd Haynes’s Carol managed to seduce the entire Croisette, making her the favourite to win in this category.
Highlights: Long nights (or short ones, depending on how you look at it), longer queues and coffee-induced heart palpitations. Oh, and catching a glimpse of Catherine Deneuve in the flesh
Personal favourite: The Brand New Testament by Jaco Van Dormael
If the Coens and their jury mean to reward a daring film that succeeds in literally taking away one’s breath away, this year’s main award will go to Hungary and end up in the hands of feature-length debutant László Nemes for his almost palpable Shoa drama Son of Saul.
The jury will decide to honour writer-director Paolo Sorrentino, not because he competes with the best movie of his career, but because he managed to create magic out of thin air in the nostalgic, melancholic, but incredibly entertaining mood and beautiful aesthetics of Youth.
Honouring a performance worthy of being picked as a career nod, the prize for best actor will likewise go to Youth in appreciation of Michael Caine’s sublime, sardonic, cynical, laconic and deeply human portrayal of a composer who looks back on the orchestration of life.
Finally, there is the award for this year’s best actress. Isabelle Huppert’s performance in Valley of Love, a movie that otherwise shows some flaws, attests her incredible range once again, with subtle hints of vulnerability and defiance. The French actress makes her appearance in no fewer than three movies of the 2015 Cannes selection.
Highlights: Merciless queuing, ticket hunters’ inventive signs, a whole town apparently dressed up, jealous glances on your badge, free beach cinema, “I’ve seen it all” journalists, the low sun shining on Cannes’ bay, movie finds that will hardly make it to the cinema, ignoring the fair.
Personal favourite: Youth by Paolo Sorrentino
To revive everyone’s spirits for a marathon of movies, interviews and reviews, the kind people of the Cannes organisational team have installed a secret weapon for journalists: free Nespresso in the press café. The charming mademoiselles at this stand might not be aware of the vital role they’ve played in securing everyone’s survival and one cannot hail them enough for the job they’ve done. Now that the crowds are thinning out, queues become short, posts in the PC room are actually empty and available, one cannot help but think back in nostalgia to the peak days of this year’s festival, when the Croisette was bursting with life and good seats, views and coffee were fought over like the Palme d’Or itself. More often one should have stopped in the rush of fighting one’s way through the crazy midst of ticket beggars, to breathe in for a moment the pure fascination of film and breath out all the ephemeral vanities and glamour surrounding it. Thanks for these moments, Cannes.
Nina Hudson and Christian Herschmann