We probably won't get to see these movies for a while, but in the meantime, here are our top five picks for the Festival's grand winner.
Since May 8th, you’ve been getting nonstop coverage of the 71st international edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the most prestigious international film festival of all. The event is not only famous for the abundance of fashion and celebrities who walk its red carpet, but also for the international filmmakers and actors whose movies will compete for the highest award a film can receive: the Palme D’Or. Many directors’ careers were launched at this festival with movies like Viridiana (1961), directed by Luis Bañuel; Taxi Driver (1976) by Martin Scorsese; The Piano (1993) by Jane Champion, who also became the first woman to receive this award; and Pulp Fiction (1994), which won the following year and was directed by the one and only Quentin Tarantino.
The 2018 Cannes Festival will have a jury composed of 5 women (above) and 4 men.
Since this is an international festival, sometimes we don’t even get to watch all the films that are competing for the Palme D’Or, either because they haven’t been released in our country yet, or because they are been showed for the first time at the festival. These films can be from anywhere as long as they are “representative of arthouse cinema with a wide audience appeal." Last year’s winner was the vibrant and energetic film The Square (2017), directed by Ruben Ostlund. If you want to know which movies are competing this year, but more importantly, which one will be the winner, here you'll find our top five picks.
Last year's winner: The Square (2017)
5. Under The Silver Lake (2018) David Robert Mitchell (United States)
Conspiracy, adventure, and all the neo-noir American comedy drama you could ask for in a film. In this story, Sam, a regular struggling-with-life millennial, has the best night of his life after meeting this mysterious girl who suddenly disappears but leaves a trail of clues for him to find her. It turns into a detective story with tons of cinematic influences that give it a chance to win the Palme D’Or this year.
4. Everybody Knows (2018) Asghar Farhadi (Spain / Argentina)
A psychological film thriller starring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz under the direction of two-time Academy Award winner, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. The film opened the festival on May 8th, and it's not necessarily an impressive movie to talk about, but it does have an acclaimed cast and Farhadi's vision. For this reason, we believe it could win the Palme D’Or. The film follows the mystery of a kidnapping involving the children of two former lovers.
3. Cold War (2018) Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)
Shot in a square format in black-and-white to fit the time period, this Polish film set in the countryside shows the transition of music followed by the communist regime change that took place in post-war Europe. Director Pawlikowski was praised this year for his work on the film, and it’s one of the likeliest contenders for the Palme D’Or. The history was inspired by his parents' life.
2. Shoplifters (2018) Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan)
A film guaranteed to make you cry. In this touching, emotional, and inspiring story, Kore-eda contrasts the life of an unusual Japanese family whose only means of survival is shoplifting, and their unbreakable bond. Although the law sees them as criminals –in Japan, this lifestyle is very frowned upon–, the family is actually composed of kind and supportive members who even pick up an abandoned girl who was starving and adopt her as her own. But it turns out that the little girl was reported missing by her abusive family. So, the shoplifter siblings are prosecuted as kidnappers and separated from the girl.
1. Happy as Lazzaro (2018) Alice Rohrwacher (Italy)
Our top pick is Happy as Lazzaro for its magical realism and storytelling. In this film, Rohrwacher takes us inside the simple and harmonious life of a rural town in Italy, where a farming family is forced to move out and relocate to the nearest city. They abandon their lifestyle in a village surrounded by nature, and have to learn how to live in a world of traffic, concrete, and trash everywhere. The movie follows the story of Lazzaro and his family’s relocation to the metropolis. It's got stunning imagery of both places: rural and urban worlds that will leave you thinking about your own life and happiness.
This year the jury will be led by Cate Blanchett, and the last screening will take place before the winner’s announcement on Saturday, May 19th. There might be an unexpected revelation last minute since the 21 competing films are screened throughout the 12 days. But our top five picks, which are likely to win based on reviews and reactions from the festival so far, are listed above.
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