Thursday, 12 May 2016

CANNES 2016: DAY ONE - I DANIEL BLAKE, SIERANEVADA, STAYING VERTICAL


Cristi Puiu's Sieranevada is the early favourite among attendees at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, though whether it'll hold up as a favourite to win awards next weekend remains to be seen. All in all, it was a somewhat shaky start to the festival, as far as the official competition goes, though debate rages about both Puiu's entry and Alain Guiraudie's hugely divisive Staying Vertical. Indeed, the only main comp title not to split audiences' opinions seems to be Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake, yet even it couldn't entirely break out. Strong, promising offerings, then, but no clear picture just yet; we are, alas, only 3 films in out of 21.

Sieranevada leads the Screen On Screen Palme Poll for now, though its position is ripe for pilfering. Nobody particularly seems to dislike I, Daniel Blake (for now), so it claims second place, with Staying Vertical in last.

Elsewhere, the selections were met with generally more positive, though less prolific, reactions. There were solid reviews for Un Certain Regard screeners Mohamed Diab's Clash, which opened the sidebar, and debut director Maha Haj's Personal Affairs. Only one film apiece from Critics' Week and Directors' Fortnight have yet been appraised by journos at the fest; one of seven in the feature film competition of Critics' Week, Mehmet Can Mertoglu's Album was met with mild praise only; there was more love for Marco Bellocchio's Directors' Fortnight opener Sweet Dreams, though it wasn't unanimous.

Naturally, Album and Sweet Dreams take the respective leads in Critics' Week and Directors' Fortnight. And, in Un Certain Regard, Clash falls in ever so slightly ahead of Personal Affairs. Updates on the Screen On Screen Cannes Poll every day until the festival closes on the 22nd of May.

Official Competition
I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach)
Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu)
Staying Vertical (Alain Guiraudie)

Un Certain Regard
Clash (Mohamed Diab)
Personal Affairs (Maha Haj)

Critics' Week
Album (Mehmet Can Mertoglu)

Directors' Fortnight
Sweet Dreams (Marco Bellocchio)