8 Cannes Film Festival Prizewinners We Love (and 3 We Don’t)

At the top of each Cannes Film Festival, juries of cinematic eminences ship verdicts on the movies in competitors. The identify of the highest prize has modified over time — from Palme d’Or to Grand Prix and again once more — however the winners embrace a roster of recent classics.

When Cannes started up after World War II, it gave out 11 Grand Prizes, a gesture of encouragement to the art form and its practitioners. Among them was Roberto Rossellini, who was a veteran of the Italian film industry under Mussolini and who contributed a rough epic celebrating the struggles of the anti-fascist resistance.

“The Third Man” hangs on a slippery mystery named Harry Lime, memorably played by a scarcely seen Orson Welles. Crammed with sinister shadows, shady characters and skewed angles, it takes place in the rubble-strewn, postwar Vienna, opening right after Lime has ostensibly died. Graham Greene scribbled the story’s opening on an envelope — “I had paid my last farewell to Harry a week ago, when his coffin was lowered into the frozen February ground.” The British director Carol Reed took plenty of tips from Welles, who wrote his own dialogue for this masterpiece. (Manohla Dargis)

Of course a movie in which photographers pursue movie stars, movie stars misbehave in public and journalists flit from party to party pretending that what they’re doing is work would triumph in Cannes. Of all the festival’s prizewinners over the years, this one may be closest to the spirit of Cannes itself, at least as it sometimes appears from the outside. Critics have continued to debate the meaning of “La Dolce Vita” — satire or tragedy? diagnosis or symptom? masterpiece or folly? — and Fellini himself was always coy about his intentions. But there is still nothing to equal the experience of following Marcello Mastroianni through an inferno of romantic failure and a purgatory of ethical compromise that is also a movie lover’s paradise. (A.O.S.)

When Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve) tells her sweetheart, “I love you,” in Jacques Demy’s musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” she doesn’t simply deliver the line — she sings it. And because Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) is a garage mechanic, she adds, “You smell like gasoline.” To which he replies, liltingly, “It’s a perfume like any other.” It’s a funny and sweet note in a film that seduces you with its charm, popping palette and Michel Legrand’s sublime score. Yet what both delights and destroys me each time I watch it, raising goose bumps on my arms, is its unembarrassed emotional sincerity. “People only die of love in the movies,” someone sings — and sometimes other people’s hearts break while watching them, too. (M.D.)

Joel and Ethan Coen, 1991

Three of my favorite filmmakers; two of their worst films. Don’t @ me. (A.O.S.)

Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013

Source link Nytimes.com

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