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"Tree of Life" Tops Cannes Critics Poll

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 23, 2011 at 4:46AM

As the 2011 Cannes Film Festival comes to a close, indieWIRE's poll of 19 critics and bloggers has made clear the critics' favorites of this year's festival. Hundreds of grades have been entered, leaving six films in the official competiton with a "B+" level average: Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winner "The Tree of Life"=," Aki Kaurismaki 's "Le Havre," Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne's "The Kid With A Bike", Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" and Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist" . Of the 6, "The Tree of Life" squeaked by with the highest overall average. Replacing the letter grades with numbers on a possible scale of 13 ("A+" being a 13, "F" being a 1), "Life" averaged 9.095 out of 13, topping "Le Havre" (9.083) by just 0.012.
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As the 2011 Cannes Film Festival comes to a close, indieWIRE's poll of 19 critics and bloggers has made clear the critics' favorites of this year's festival. Hundreds of grades have been entered, leaving six films in the official competiton with a "B+" level average: Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winner "The Tree of Life"=," Aki Kaurismaki 's "Le Havre," Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne's "The Kid With A Bike", Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" and Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist" . Of the 6, "The Tree of Life" squeaked by with the highest overall average. Replacing the letter grades with numbers on a possible scale of 13 ("A+" being a 13, "F" being a 1), "Life" averaged 9.095 out of 13, topping "Le Havre" (9.083) by just 0.012.

This marks the second consecutive year this poll matched its winner with the Palme d'Or. Last year, "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" topped the poll and won the Palme (though in 2009, "A Prophet" topped the poll and "The White Ribbon" won the Palme d'Or).

Other films to do quite well in the poll included Lynne Ramsay's "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive"." On the flipside, Naomi Kawase's "Hanezu" had the lowest score of any film in the official selection, averaging a "D+".

The following is a list of the top ten scoring films screening in the official competiton (as well as opening and closing night films). Though films in other sections were included in the overall poll, in general only films in the official competition garnered significant amounts of grades. Therefore it seemed unfair to include them in this ranking. That said, there are many films outside the competition that warrant attention. Standouts so far include Un Certain Regard films "Good Bye," directed by Mohammad Rasoulof and "Miss Bala," directed by Gerardo Naranjo. For an updated and full list of all grades click here.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The list as published below was accurate as of the time it was published, based on critics' grades received. Rankings may have changed as new grades have been submitted by critics, and an update will follow to reflect any changes.]

Top-Rated Films in the Official Competition
1. "The Tree of Life," directed by Terrence Malick
criticWIRE average: B+ (film page) (review)

2. "Le Havre," directed by Aki Kaurismaki
criticWIRE average: B+ (film page) (review)

3. "Melancholia," directed by Lars Von Trier
criticWIRE average: B+ (film page) (review)

4. "The Kid With A Bike, directed by Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne
criticWIRE average: B+ (film page) (review)

5. “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
criticWIRE average: B+ (film page) (review)

6. "The Artist," directed by Michel Hazanavicius
criticWIRE average: B+ (film page) (review)

7. "We Need To Talk About Kevin," directed by Lynne Ramsay
criticWIRE average: B (film page) (review)

8. "Drive," directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
criticWIRE average: B (film page) (review)

9. "The Skin I Live In," directed by Pedro Almodovar
criticWIRE average: B (film page) (review)

10. "Midnight in Paris," directed by Woody Allen
criticWIRE average: B (film page) (review)

Patricipating Bloggers and Critics (with links to their pages)
Simon Abrams | Alex Billington | Brian Brooks | Joshua Brunsting | Mike D'Angelo | David Fear | Jon Frosch | Michael Giltz | Eugene Hernandez | Peter Howell | Kevin Jagernauth | Ben Kenigsberg | Eric Kohn | Guy Lodge | Patrick Z. McGavin | Rob Nelson | Sasha Stone | Anne Thompson | Chase Whale


This article is related to: Features, Cannes Film Festival, Le Havre





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