The Cannes film pageant jury led by Robert De Niro faces a tricky alternative on Sunday because it picks the winner of the Palme d’Or high prize, with movies from Finland, Spain, the u. s. and France all within the frame.
Guessing the winner of the world’s biggest cinema showcase, overshadowed this year by the shock exit of Danish director Lars Von Trier for joking that he was a Nazi, is notoriously difficult.
The race in 2011 is seen as unusually open-ended, however, with U.S. maverick Terrence Malick a small favorite for his metaphysical epic "The Tree of Life" starring Brad Pitt.
Also heavily favoured by Cannes’ notoriously picky critics are Finnish film maker Aki Kaurismaki’s comedy "Le Havre", silent, black-and-white romance "The Artist" from France and Spaniard Pedro Almodovar’s thriller "The Skin I Live In."
A further 5 movies won passionate, though not unanimous support, underlining how this year’s choice has upped the ante when some disappointing competitions in recent years.
"My alternative for Palme d’Or would be Aki Kaurismaki’s ‘Le Havre’, with Pedro Almodovar’s ‘The Skin I Live In’ and also the Dardenne brothers’ ‘Kid With A Bike’ runners-up," said Mike Goodridge, editor of movie publication Screen.
"My betting is that a Robert De Niro-led jury can choose ‘The Tree Of Life’," he added.
In addition to the films, the A-listers came out in force, the parties were loud and lavish and also the big market saw bustling trade in signs that the monetary crisis that dampened recent festivals was finally fading from read.
SHOCK EXIT FOR HITLER REMARKS
The movies were reduced to a sideshow on Wednesday, when Von Trier joked at a news conference regarding being a Nazi and Hitler sympathiser in an outburst that prompted the pageant to require the unprecedented step of throwing him out the subsequent day.
Von Trier told Reuters the choice came as a shock and reiterated that he was sorry if he had caused offence. He added, however, that his ignominious exit from a pageant where he won the Palme d’Or in 2000 may enhance his credentials as a rebel.
His competition movie "Melancholia", starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as sisters facing annihilation during a cosmic collision, remained in competition, that means that, in theory a minimum of, it may win prizes as well as the Golden Palm.
A a lot of seemingly winner was semi-recluse Malick, who presented his long-awaited attack life and death during a sweeping tale that includes footage of house, dinosaurs and volcanoes.
The movie divided critics, as did Von Trier’s film that tackled equally massive themes during a a lot of pessimistic manner.
Two light-hearted stories were among the favourites, uncommon for Cannes where sombre, downbeat films tend to dominate.
"The Artist" could be a daring romance that transports viewers back to the Nineteen Twenties pre-"talkie" era in Hollywood, whereas Kaurismaki brought "Le Havre", a touching, stylised comedy regarding an recent shoe shiner who rescues an African immigrant from capture.
Belgium’s Dardenne brothers have an opportunity of a record third Golden Palm with their in style "The child With A Bike", whereas another movie regarding troubled childhood, "We ought to remark Kevin" by Lynne Ramsay, led the sphere among feminine administrators.
Almodovar took a walk on the dark aspect with a twisted thriller a couple of surgeon, played by Antonio Banderas, out for revenge and Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan impressed viewers along with his slow, superbly crafted "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia".
Dane Nicolas Winding Refn was within the race with violent chase movie "Drive", starring Ryan Gosling, whereas Paolo Sorrentino turned Sean Penn into a washed up, depressed Goth rocker in "This should Be the Place".
Last to be screened was "The Source", Radu Mihaileanu’s film of an Arab girl absorbing the lads in her village during a story reflecting the spirit of "Arab Spring" uprisings.