Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2022 2:06 pm 
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Palme d’Or: TRIANGLE OF SADNESS (Ruben Östlund)
Grand Prix: (tie) CLOSE (Lukas Dhont) and STARS AT NOON (Claire Denis)
Jury Prize: (tie): THE EIGHTH MOUNTAIN (Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen) and EO (Jerzy Skolimowski)
Best Actress: Zar Amir Ebrahami, HOLY SPIDER (Ali Abbasi)
Best Actor: Song Kang-Ho, BROKER (Hirakazu Kore-eda)
Best Director: Park Chan-wook, DECISION TO LEAVE
Best Screenplay: Tarik Saleh, BOY FROM HEAVEN
Camera d’Or: WAR PONY (Gina Gammell, Riley Keough)
Un Certain Regard Prize: LES PIRES/THE WORST ONES (Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret)
Short Film Palme d’Or: BIAN SHENG QI YI ZUO XUAN YA/ THE WATER MURMURS (Jianying Chen)
Short Film Special Distinction: LORI/MELANCHOLY OF MY MOTHER'S LULLABIES (Abinash Bikram Shah)
Special Jury Mention for Short Film:
Honorary Palme d’Or: Forest Whitaker; Tom Cruise
75TH Award: TORI AND LOKITA (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)

Östlund is one of eight ever to get two Palmes. Did he need another one? There was a lot of critical disagreement over the merit of his new satire. Its Metascore is 66%. Last year's Palme, TITANE, did better: 75%. Bottom line: the critics and the people who give out the big awards at Cannes - who are mainly actors and directors - are two different camps. But not totally different. The Jury Grid's favorite, DECISION TO LEAVE, gets serious acknowledgment in the Best Director nod for Park Chan-wook. EO, which ranked high on the Grid, co-received the Jury Prize. TORI AND LOKITA, which tied for third spot on the Grid, is acknwledged in the special 75th anniversary award for the Dardenne brothers. But ARMAGEDDON TIME, which kept its 2nd spot on the Grid, and Cronenberg and Serra, who tied for 4th place, got no mention here. Nor did much-admired mid-rankers Mungiu's R.M.N. and Mario Martoni's NOSTALGIA. There was a lot of talk about Serra's PACIFICTION toward the end and some journalists thought it might be destined for a top prize. From some critics points of view, these top prizes represent relative mediocrity. I suspect DECISION TO LEAVE stands above the awarded films. As a James Gray fan, I'm glad ARMAGEDDON TIME was here and came 2nd on the Jury Grid.



Cannes, Un Certain Regard. This "steady and stirring film" by the French-Iranian director (MOLLY'S WAY, 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON), as Lovia Gyarkye calls it in an admiring Hollywood Reporter review, features Vicky Krieps with Gaspard Ulliel in his last screen appearance. Ulliel died following a tragic ski accident January 19 at the age of 37. Here he plays the husband of a woman wasting away from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which gives her only a few years to live. Hélène and Matthieu (Vicky and Gaspard) have a strong bond nurtured over many years. Because things have gone badly of late and the situation is so different, Hélène makes an "existential" decision to take a solo trip to Norway to meet a blogger, to find peace and reconnect with the couple's powerful love. Sadness and silences are powerful here, says Gyarkye, and a sense of Matthieu coming to terms with impending loss. This made me think of Rodolphe Marconi's 2004 The Last Day, released the same year as Gaspard's César-winning turn in A Long Engagement. That film too is about silences and tragedy. It's sad and ironic that Gaspard Ulliel's last role was as someone coming to terns with the impending loss of someone dearly loved. Nikki Braughan in Screen Daily admires the film's "messy realism," its detail in considering not in soft focus but up close, frankly and unsentimentally, what it's like at the end. But it's Stephen Dalton in his review for Verdict who seems to grasp the solemnity of this moment and speaks most eloquently of Ulliel's accomplishments. He notes the tenderness of this performance is unusual, MORE THAN EVER features one of Ulliel’s most tender performances, Dalton says — "an anomaly in the career of a beautiful and gifted actor," who, "with his Alain Delon-esque features, grave voice and searing presence" would make you "do a double-take as soon as he walked on screen," and was more known for playing "sinister villains like Hannibal Lector" or "tortured creators like Yves Saint-Laurent." The film is "not a downer" but ultimately life-affirming. Ulliel is "touching and memorable" as a man who ultimately can't quite enter his dying partner's "headspace." But this is Krieps movie; and Ulliel is gone from it for a long period, returning in person only at the end. Atef gives a brief interview about what a pleasure it was to work with Ulliel. The film comes out in France Nov. 9, 2022.


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