Robert Eggers’ psychodrama “The Lighthouse” has been named the best movie at Cannes’ Critics Week and Directors’ Fortnight by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). The victory for “The Lighthouse” gives A24 its first major prize at Cannes and continues the awards buzz for “The Lighthouse” that exploded after the movie’s world premiere earlier this week. The film premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar.
The International Federation of Film Critics also awarded Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven” as the best film in competition and Russian Kantemir Balagov’s “Beanpole” as best film in the sidebar Un Certain Regard. Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. IndieWire recently named “Beanpole,” “A Hidden Life,” and “The Lighthouse” three of the 10 best films at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
“The Lighthouse,” shot on 35mm black-and-white film and presented in Academy ratio, stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as an aging lighthouse keeper and his young prodigy. The duo’s isolated existence drives them to madness. The movie is Eggers’ second feature following the breakout success of his Sundance favorite “The Witch” in 2015. “The Lighthouse” received some of the best reviews of Cannes 2019 and earned more acclaim than many of the films that made Cannes’ official lineup and competition section.
In his A- review out of Cannes, IndieWire’s chief critic Eric Kohn raved, “The film is a stunning showcase for Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe to unleash their wildest extremes, by positioning them at the center of a two-hander about a descent into madness in the middle of nowhere. It’s the best movie about bad roommates ever made.”
Willem Dafoe is coming off back-to-back Oscar nominations for “The Florida Project” and “At Eternity’s Gate,” which could position “The Lighthouse” well for a fall awards run. IndieWire awards editor Anne Thompson wrote at Cannes that the film’s period production elements could also be strong contenders depending on when the film gets released.
A24 will release “The Lighthouse” in theaters at an unspecified date.