Cannes Film Festival 2021: Official Competition Selection

This year’s Cannes Film Festival has got to be very different from the others, not least because of the pandemic and its consequence for the film industry. This year, the festival is held from 6 to 17 July 2021, and the Jury of the Main Competition are: Spike Lee, Mylène Farmer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hausner, Mélanie Laurent, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Tahar Rahim and Song Kang-ho. It is hard to talk intelligently about individual films (since so few details are yet known about them), let alone try to guess winners, but I have decided to single out just five films out of twenty-four competing entries in the Official Selection and talk about them:

I. The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson

From the director of Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) comes The French Dispatch, “a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch Magazine” (IMDb). As you read this post further you will notice that this is not the only film in the Official Selection that blurs reality and fiction, and the cast here is to die for: Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Benicio del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet, Willem Dafoe, Elisabeth Moss and Edward Norton, to name just a few. It promises to be a fun and aesthetically-pleasing cinematic experience that also apparently pays tribute to such French films as Mon Oncle (1958) and Le Cercle rouge (1970) (the trailer).

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The Academy Awards 2020: Some Commentary

the oscars 2002

The Oscars have again surprised the world, and, this time, thankfully, not because they gave an award to the wrong film. Parasite, a South Korean movie, has officially become the first foreign-language film to win the most prestigious award – Best Picture, a fact that is especially remarkable given that it was also nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category and won there too. The Oscars have also been overly “white” this year, did not recognise some (more art-house) films and acting which are also deserving of praise and nominations (that acting in “The Lighthouse“!), and, for the year that is supposed to celebrate women in cinema-making and acting, did not acknowledge great acting and films made by women (for example, no women nominees in the category of Best Director). I will only very briefly comment on the 2020 wins in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actor in the Supporting Role and Best Cinematography. 

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Academy Awards Nominations 2016: Some Thoughts

Best picture

  1. The Big Short 
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. Brooklyn 
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. The Martian
  6. The Revenant
  7. Room 
  8. Spotlight

It seems it is all about “action and impact” with this 2016 Best Picture Academy Awards. I am rooting for “Spotlight” to win, but am also glad that “Room” was nominated. In my view, “The Revenant” had its fair share of flaws to be seen here so proudly taking the nominee’s place. We don’t see here either “Carol” or “Steve Jobs”, surprise, surprise, and what about “Inside Out”? The Academy had no trouble nominating the animations “Toy Story 3” or “Up” in the general film category of Best Picture in 2011 and 2010 respectively. Why such a perfect animation as “Inside Out” is ignored here now? 

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