Palme d'Or Predictions: Terrence Malick, Jean Dujardin

by S. Montgomery
Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life
Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life

Who'll take home the 2011 Palme d'Or?

I wonder if Little Fockers star and Official Competition jury president Robert De Niro, and fellow jury members Martina Gusman, Olivier Assayas, Johnnie To, Jude Law, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Uma Thurman, Linn Ullmann, and Nansun Shi have any idea themselves. (See further below list of Cannes 2011 awards predictions.)

Strong Palme d'Or possibilities include Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In, Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, and Radu Mihaileanu's The Source. That's six out of twenty films.

And I could have easily listed at least four or five more, e.g., Jean and Luc Dardenne's The Kid with a Bike, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, and, tasteless jokes or no, Lars von Trier's Melancholia.

Best Actor possibilities include Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Shlomo Bar Aba and Lior Ashkenazi for Footnote, Brad Pitt for The Tree of Life, Ryan Gosling for Drive, Michael Fuith for Michael, André Wilms for Le Havre, and Nanni Moretti for Habemus Papam.

Top Best Actress contenders include Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin, Emily Browning for Sleeping Beauty, Cécile de France for The Kid with a Bike, Leila Bekhti for The Source, and Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg for Melancholia.

The problem when it comes to guessing winners at film festivals is that juries are composed of only about eight or so individuals. In other words, there's little room for a “mainstream common denominator” to come out victorious as is the case with most award-voting bodies. Things could go the way of jury president De Niro (much like last year's Venice Film Festival winners reflected jury president Quentin Tarantino's personal likes) – or not.

Also, unlike, say, the Academy Award voters, festival juries tend to spread their love around. For instance, if a movie wins the Palme d'Or, it won't take the Best Director prize as well.

Anyhow, on the next page are my totally unscientific Cannes 2011 predictions. See link below.

Photo: The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Palme d'Or: Le Havre

Runner up: See Grand Prix

Grand Prix: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Runner up: See Jury Prize

Jury Prize: The Source

Runner-up: The Kid with a Bike

Best Dir.: Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Runner up: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Runners-up: Shlomo Bar Aba and Lior Ashkenazi for Footnote

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Runner up: Cécile de France for The Kid with a Bike

Best Scr.: Footnote, Joseph Cedar

Runner up: Aki Kaurismäki, Le Havre

Photo: Cannes Film Festival

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