You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

CANNES: The 5 Top Contenders for the Palme D’Or

CANNES: The 5 Top Contenders for the Palme D'Or

The Palme d’Or is unquestionably one of the most prestigious awards a filmmaker can win, but unlike the Oscars, it’s nearly impossible to predict. The decision comes down to a jury comprised of eight artists from around the world. This year, they’re led by Italian filmmakers Nanni Moretti, the first non-American jury president in two years. As screenings of the competition films wind down, culminating with Saturday’s awards ceremony, many Cannes attendees have embarked on the uncertain process of predicting which movies stand the best chance at the top prize. Unlike some years at the festival, the current edition has no single top contender. However, a handful entries have been routinely mentioned as the most likely contenders, for the reasons explained below. Of course, come Sunday, anything could happen.

Amour” (“Love”)

WHY IT MIGHT WIN: Michael Haneke’s emotionally assured and devastating look at an aging couple (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) dealing with the Riva character’s devolving mental state is unquestionably the filmmaker’s most powerful achievement, a deeply moving account of the aging process and its impact on family bonds. Critical acclaim has been through the roof.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT: Haneke won the Palme d’Or for “The White Ribbon” just two years ago, a factor that could figure into the jury’s decision if they decide to single out a less acclaimed filmmaker. It’s also possible that the jury will decide the film’s chief strengths come from its two lead performances and award one or both of them while sharing the love by giving the Palme to someone else.

Holy Motors

WHY IT MIGHT WIN: Leos Carax’s jarringly strange portrait of a versatile man (Denis Lavant) dashing around Paris in a limo and playing several vastly different characters for some unseen spectators excited critics for its dreamlike logic and cinematic ambition. It’s Carax’s first feature in 13 years and quite the comeback.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT: Some viewers found “Holy Motors” too gimmicky and illogical; it’s this year’s “Uncle Boonmee” slot, but that surreal Thai movie won the Palme d’Or when Tim Burton was president of jury and not a politically-charged director of Italian comedies. It’s hard to say if Moretti likes the film but certainly possible that the jury as a whole doesn’t quite know what to make of it. Instead of the Palme, they could award Carax with the festival’s directing prize and/or single out Lavant’s performance.

On the Road

WHY IT MIGHT WIN: Walter Salles’ adaptation of the classic Jack Kerouac novel turned out a lot better than many people expected by replicating the Beat author’s stream-of-consciousness approach and maintaining an understated tone. It’s a hard movie to intensely dislike even though a lot of critics were underwhelmed, and giving it the Palme would acknowledge the lasting value of Kerouac’s work in addition to Salles’ ability to render it in cinematic terms.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT: It’s a star-studded, unambitious road trip drama that doesn’t build to a major emotional payoff or contain an advanced filmmaking approach. It could win the screenplay award instead.

Like Someone in Love

WHY IT MIGHT WIN: Abbas Kiarostami’s Japan-set enigma about a young prostitute driving around town with an elderly professor left a lot of critics scratching their heads even though many enjoyed the experience. Kiarostami’s textured narrative draws you into the proceedings with his typically advanced use of mise-en-scene and patient storytelling approach that constantly seems littered with meaning even as the big picture remains elusive. The jury may also want to single out an Iranian filmmaker for the political ramifications such a decision could have.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT WIN: Because the big picture remains elusive. Hardly the big hit of the festival, “Like Someone in Love” is a tough sell for anyone unfamiliar with the filmmaker’s work and there are far more uniformly accessible films in competition this year.

Rust and Bone

WHY IT COULD WIN: Jacques Audiard’s sentimental tale of an agile woman (Marion Cotillard) rendered wheelchair-bound after a devastating accident and the buff street fighter (Mathias Schoenaerts) who gradually falls in love with her went over quite well early in the festival for its carefully developed, bittersweet mood. Audiard is a much-beloved filmmaker in France who was considered a leading contender for the Palme a few years back when “A Prophet” premiered at Cannes, so this could be jury’s chance to single him out.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT: Not everyone responded so warmly to the film’s familiar type of sentimentalism, and the plot is largely predictable by the end of the first act. While skillfully made, it’s not an audacious achievement. The jury could also single out Cotillard or Schoenaerts for acting prizes.

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged , , , , , , , , ,



although generating mixed reviews, my money is on Alain Resnais' "You A'int Seen Nothing Yet". He's 90 years old, and it might be his last movie. I guess the jury would want to honor this important director.
Haneke's Palme D'or from two years ago will be held against him this time. And also – most of the times, the best reviewed film does NOT win the first prize. Last time both critics and judges agreed was the 2007 winner, "4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days" (his new film should get some judicial recognition, but I don't see it winning the first prize).

Another possibility is the one no one saw yet – Jeff Nichols' "Mud". In 2008, everyone were polishing the Palme D'or on "Waltz witrh Bashir" 's name, and then, out of no where, came the last screening of the competition, the (dull) French "The Class", and took home the big prize.
(I should point out that "Take Shelter" is one of my last year's favorites)


No Cosmopolis? Really? Well, I don't know anything. I'll just wait and see.


so is Killing Them Softly a straight up gangster movie or is it deeper? I thought Dominik likes films that exercise the meaning in things like Jesse James? I mean I don't know cause I haven't seen it haha but is that why it's not mentioned on these articles? I just hoped it was gonna be like Goodfellas or Animal Kingdom where it explores the full complexity or a single theme with detail rather than a simple gangster film. It could be ok why did I even write this pointlessly vague comment i am an idiot.


No Beyond the Hills? Apparently that got a standing ovation from a few jury members.


"In the fog" will get something. No doubt.
On the road? That's a cruel joke. No chance.


On the Road should get an award. The young blood in this film is refreshing.


ON THE ROAD got panned and is in the low 3's. AMOUR will win the crown.


What about 'In The Fog'? It seems like it might at least get a jury prize, which means it should be considered despite the fact it is not from a well known director or has any stars we have heard of.


actress – marion cotillard
actor – Louis Trintignant
screenplay – on the road
director – Leos Carax
palm d'or – Amour

thats what i think at least :P

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *