Cannes Festival, or should we say Festival de Cannes, took place in full swing last week. Cannes in India is synonymous with Aishwarya Rai and her unforgettable Neeta Lulla dresses and to ask each other ‘dude, did you know Katrina Kaif went this year? Yeah Indian cinema is really coming up’ (hah! As if). Most of the times the Indian glitterati attends this invite only fair is because they endorse brands which are sponsors of the event. But we are not here to give the low down of what happened on the red carpet (check the conclusion for two gossip points). Instead, we will talk about the best movies which took away the prizes in this 1 week long affair.
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The world cup of the Cannes, this is the most coveted award. Twenty films are screened out of which the jury picks one. The one that won this year was a French Film called Dheepan – a story about Tamil refugees escaping the losing LTTE side to live in France and pose as a family to seek asylum. A brilliant heart touching tale of the struggles of a man are told beautifully through Jacques Audiard’s directed film.
But this movie was in serious competition with-
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A film about a lesbian relationship in the 1950’s, of love between an uptown lady (played by Cate Blanchett) and a shy sensitive shop girl (played by Rooney Mara) has been shot beautifully in unexpected ways. Though Cate is an Oscar winner, Rooney was under the spotlight for her performance. Though super early, this movie is being talked about for the Oscars too.
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Horrific, ghastly, and unexpected twists set these ‘fairy’ tales apart from the rest of the competition. Tales set in kingdoms far and beyond, the setting and the acting took the cake and was a much talked about movie due to its violent nature.
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Marion Cotillard is one diverse actress who doesn’t shy away from roles and presents her best. She plays Lady Macbeth and Michael Fassbender commands the role of Macbeth with his conflicting emotions shown beautifully on screen with his wicked smiles and a hard stare. This Shakespeare adaptation left no doubt about their acting prowess.
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This movie unapologetically throws you in the horrors of genocide at the hands of the Nazis and the concentration camps. A Jewish man is in search for a Rabbi who will help him bury his son, in the concentration camps. An extremely disturbing Auschwitz drama is directed by a first time filmmaker- Laszlo Nemes.
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A dark thriller where a police officer travels till Mexico to hunt down a drug lord keeps you at the edge of your seat. Not a ‘The Usual Suspects’ for sure, we are sure it will gain more accolades once it releases in the US and the likes. Emily Blunt and the Puerto Rican actor, Benicio Del Toro, both deliver their best performance till date.
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When you have actors such as Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda in one movie, it is sure to be a success. Second English film by the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino was a close competition to Dheepan for the coveted award. However, the scene which took the cake and has possibly changed the face films is the monologue by Jane Fonda.
People were quite surprised that Mad Max- Fury Road was not in the competition considering how awesome it is. There were a lot of mutterings and the Cannes jury and organizers were taken aback with the support for Mad Max. Hollywood hopes that Cannes will be friendlier towards it in the future. Another movie which was taken notice of was Pixar’s animated movie- Inside Out- a movie about a girl’s emotions and how they are personified. An extremely mature film, this came as a pleasant surprise.
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A pleasant surprise in Cannes, Amy is the film about Amy Winehouse and her life. Directed by Asif Kapadia, this movie takes the audience on a journey which depicts how she lived her life and the story behind the highly addicted singer. Her relationships, success and downfall are all narrated beautifully by people who were related to her in some way and the movie was directed beautifully.
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The Indian entrant in the Un Certain Regard category, it received a standing ovation when it was screened along with two prestigious awards- Prix Avenir Prometteur Award (Promising Director) and the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize. A story about four lives and how they intertwine and intersect is worth watching. Richa Chadda’s acting is commendable as is Sanjay Mishra’s character of a father who is trying to arrange for money for a bribe. Believe it or not, this is Neeraj Ghaywan’s (director) first film.
Most of the films show cased this time were easily forgettable and had nothing to write home about. With a lot of murmuring and not agreeing with the jury, Cannes this time was not such a happy glittering affair as it usually is. Also, to make sure you remain happy we have included two water cooler discussion points-
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Katrina Kaif was slammed by foreign media (we agree with them) for her awful choice of hair colour which clashed horribly with the extremely low cut, ‘could-have-opted-for-something-better-you-have-so-much-money’ dress.
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Cannes has rules and regulations relating to the way the celebrities come dressed on the red carpet. So flats are a strict no no and a couple of women in their 50s were turned away for wearing flats (formal as they were) and FYI selfies are not allowed on the red carpet (thank God for that. We cannot see duck faces gracing our Page 3).
But c’est la vie, people!