Sunday, 24 May 2015


Films have been showing at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for eleven days now, and awards have been rolling in for the past two. 19 films are competing for the festival's final set of awards, decided upon by Ethan and Joel Coen's jury and topping out with the prestigious Palme d'Or. Below, a brief analysis of the seven categories which the Coens and their fellow jury members are set to present later today, at the Cannes Closing Ceremony, beginning at 17:50 GMT.

Palme d'Or

The festival's top award is often handed out to one of Cannes' grandest titles, perhaps a work of particular social or artistic importance. Plenty of those in competition this year, with a variety of highly-acclaimed films vying for this prize. With consideration to the lineup of jury members this year, genre fare is expected to do well.

The Contenders: Hou Hsiao Hsien's The AssassinTodd Haynes' Carol, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, Justin Kurzel's MacbethJia Zhang Ke's Mountains May Depart, Nemes Laszlo's Son of SaulMatteo Garrone's Tale of Tales, Paolo Sorrentino's Youth

Grand Prix

In the past, the Grand Prix has gone to a wide variety of types of film. You might expect a more broadly liked, rather than loved, title than that which wins the Palme, or perhaps a film awarded more as a commendation than as a recommendation. Or perhaps this might be a more high-profile title than the Palme winner, since a less well-known film may benefit more from winning the bigger prize.

The Contenders: See above - this prize is virtually indistinguishable from the Palme d'Or, only this is the Silver, and the Palme is (literally) the Gold.

Prix du Jury

Last year there was a tie in this category: one to the youngest filmmaker in the competition (current jury member Xavier Dolan) and one to the oldest (Jean-Luc Godard). This is the perfect forum to recognise innovation or creativity, even if the film itself is somewhat lacking in comparison to the winners of the Palme and the Grand Prix.

The Contenders: Again, this award will likely be taken from the remaining films after the two above prizes have been catered to.

Uh-oh, here comes a cut! There's plenty more to read underneath it though!

Prix de la Mise-en-Scene

AKA the Best Director award. Here is where the juries of the past have often noticed bold auteur talent, or films with robust direction. As a specific award for the director, and not a recognition of the quality of the film itself, this may go to a film whose direction is notably stronger than its screenplay - after all, they have a screenplay award too.

The Contenders: Jacques Audiard for Dheepan, Valerie Donzelli for Marguerite & Julien, Matteo Garrone for Tale of Tales, Todd Haynes for Carol, Hou Hsiao Hsien for The Assassin, Jia Zhang Ke for Mountains May Depart, Koreeda Hirokazu for Our Little Sister, Justin Kurzel for Macbeth, Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster, Nemes Laszlo for Son of Saul, Paolo Sorrentino for Youth, Denis Villeneuve for Sicario

Prix d'Interpretation Feminine

Otherwise known, among English-speaking circles, as the Best Actress award. This is a fairly easy one to understand, then. It's likely that a film is recognised for one of its performances even if it would have been a contender for a top award, which could shake up those non-performance-specific categories a tad... or not, since there are so many viable choices this year. Multiple winner per film are permitted; perhaps one actor may be chosen for roles in more than one film also.

The Contenders: Ayase Haruka, Hirose Suzu, Kaho and Nagasawa Masami for Our Little Sister, Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon RoiCate Blanchett and Rooney Mara for Carol, Emily Blunt for Sicario, Margherita Buy for Mia MadreMarion Cotillard for Macbeth, Jane Fonda for Youth, Isabelle Huppert for Louder Than Bombs and Valley of LoveShu Qi for The Assassin, Rachel Weisz for The Lobster and Youth, Zhao Tao for Mountains May Depart

Prix d'Interpretation Masculine

Ditto the Interpretation Feminine prize, only for dudes.

The Contenders: Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel for Youth, Vincent Cassel for Mon Roi, Gerard Depardieu for Valley of Love, Colin Farrell for The Lobster, Michael Fassbender for Macbeth, Jesuthasan Antonythasan for Dheepan, Toby Jones for Tale of Tales, Vincent Lindon for The Measure of a Man, Rohrig Geza for Son of Saul, Tim Roth for Chronic

Prix du Scenario

Remember what I wrote about the Best Director prize? This one operates as the reverse, frequently going to a film with a particularly strong screenplay, though not necessarily one with relatively lacklustre direction. And, rather like that award, there's a fair chance that this goes to a film that hasn't received the finest reviews from critics, though surely a better chance that it goes to one that has.

The Contenders: Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone and Massimo Gaudioso for Tale of Tales, Stephane Brize and Olivier Gorce for The Measure of a Man, Etienne Comar and Maiwenn for Mon Roi, Efthimis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster, Jia Zhang Ke for Mountains May Depart, Koreeda Hirokazu for Our Little Sister, Gaia Manzini and Chiara Valerio for Mia Madre, Phyllis Nagy for Carol, Nemes Laszlo and Clara Royer for Son of Saul, Guillaume Nicloux for Valley of Love, Paolo Sorrentino for Youth, Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt for Louder Than Bombs

Absent from consideration from any of these awards is Gus van Sant's Sea of Trees, because LOL. Also being distributed tonight are the Camera d'Or awards for directorial debuts, one for feature films and one for short films. Son of Saul is eligible for that award alongside all of the above.