After viewing the 21 films in competition, the jury withdrew in the greatest secrecy, cut off from the rustling of the Croisette, to choose who will receive a Palme more chic than ever: it is encrusted with 100 diamonds for this 75th edition.
Before presenting the queen categories, the prize for best documentary, the Golden Eye, was awarded in the morning to All That Breathesby Shaunak Sen, on the rescue of raptors in Delhi.
However, it is not until 8:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Montreal time) that the ceremony that everyone is waiting for should begin. The president of the jury, the Frenchman Vincent Lindon, will try not to trip over the carpet like his predecessor Spike Lee who, in 2021, inadvertently revealed the Palme d’Or at the start of the ceremony.
At his side, to draw the winners of this 75th edition, are notably the actress and director Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), the revelation of Millennium Noomi Rapace, filmmakers Asghar Farhadi (Grand Prix 2021 with A hero), Ladj Ly (WretchedJury Prize 2019) and Joachim Trier (Julie in 12 chapters).
The games remain open to succeed Julia Ducournau, the 30-year-old who shook the Croisette and dusted off the competition last year with Titanium.
The chances of seeing a third director crowned in the history of the Festival seem slim: the American Kelly Reichardt did not transport her audience with Show-Upnor the Frenchwoman Claire Denis (Stars at Noon). And the step seems a bit high for the young talents Charlotte Vandermeersch and Léonor Serraille.
A coronation of Lukas Dhont, 31-year-old Belgian with a meteoric career, would send an additional signal of rejuvenation for the 75th edition of the most important film festival, which wishes not to lose the link with new audiences.
His film Close, heartbreaking, won the applause meter in official screening (applause lasted 12 minutes). It paints the portrait of a boy bruised by a lost friendship, delicately addressing the question of masculinity and the weight of norms. And reveals a talent, the young Eden Dabrine, 15 years old.
But he is not alone in the ranks: the jury could follow the majority of international critics interviewed by the magazine screenand to distinguish Park Chan-wook, who would thus bring back a second Palme d’or to South Korea, three years later Parasite by Bong Joon-ho.
Decision to leavehis thriller about an inspector who falls in love with a suspect, which recalls Basic Instinctsex and ice pick less, could seduce by the virtuosity of its realization.
The Dardenne brothers are also mentioned for Tori and Lokitawhich could earn them a third Palme d’or, an unprecedented event in the history of Cannes.
The Festival of all possibilities
Other favorites: the American James Gray, very autobiographical in Armageddon time or Tchaikovsky’s wife by the Russian Kirill Serebrennikov, about the composer’s wife, who for a long time remained in the shadows and with whom he married to hide his homosexuality.
The coronation of this Russian artist, breaking with the regime, would be an event in itself in the midst of the war in Ukraine, at the end of a Festival which made it a point of honor to offer a large place to this country: from the ceremony opening, President Zelensky summoned the spirit of Chaplin, live from kyiv, and promised the defeat of Putin.
Surprises are always possible, even unavoidable, at the end of a festival which hopes to help cinemas attract crowds to theaters again, as before the pandemic.
To make the public dream, the 75th edition of the Festival drew this year, out of competition, the great star Tom Cruise, who came to present the new Top Gunor the new darling of Hollywood, Austin Butler, in the role of Elvis for the biopic-event of King.
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Who will get the Palme d’Or? The Cannes Film Festival delivers its verdict on Saturday