Monday, 16 May 2016


In a day that saw a shock, unprecedented announcement that a new film - a documentary, no less - was being added to the official lineup at Cannes as a Special Screening, it was over to a couple of high-profile productions to step their game up and stand their ground en route to a potential Palme. Review aggregation sites might rate both Jeff Nichols' Loving and Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper about the same, though the reactions to the two could hardly have been more different. Loving was loved by few, but liked by almost everyone; Personal Shopper is making headlines for the healthy barrage of boos it received after its premiere, but reviews are trending far more positive for the experimental psychological ghost story than they did for many of its competitors. Reviews are still coming in for the film, but all so far have been complimentary.

Divisive films only need a few voices of support to bag big awards from the nine-strong Palme d'Or jury. Luckily, Personal Shopper seems to have many more than just a few supporters, despite the boos, and thus enters the competition in earnest. Loving can't be ruled out either, but its chances of winning the top prize can't be judged quite as optimistically.

Un Certain Regard had an equally fine day, arguably even better than official comp. David MacKenzie's Hell or High Water attracted far more attention from critics than any of its fellow UCR screeners, likely due to the crime thriller's starry cast. Reviews were all good, though none quite great. There was more greatness to be found in Boo Jun Feng's Apprentice, though it wasn't unanimously felt by all of that film's reviewers. In other sidebars, only Anurag Kashyap's Raman Raghav 2.0 drew much attention, of a mixed variety for that matter. Its Directors' Fortnight companion Wolf and Sheep from Shahrbanoo Sadat surfaced with only two published pieces, and today's Critics' Week choice Mimosas from Oliver Laxe with only one - each faring fairly well.

Atop each of the sidebar polls there remains no change, even if none of today's new films in these strands quite disappointed. Strongest of the bunch is Apprentice in Un Certain Regard; up against even stronger competition, it can only muster up placement in fourth.

Official Competition
Loving (Jeff Nichols)
Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas)

Un Certain Regard
Apprentice (Boo Jun Feng)
Hell or High Water (David MacKenzie)

Critics' Week
Mimosas (Oliver Laxe)

Directors' Fortnight
Raman Raghav 2.0 (Anurag Kashyap)
Wolf and Sheep (Shahrbanoo Sadat)