Cannes Film Festival 2011 (11-22 May)

May 22nd, 2011 - Graham Eley

19 titles compete for the Palme d’Or at the 64th Edition of the Cannes Film Festival including the latest feature from Cannes favourite Lars von Trier whose Melancholia is his ninth time in the main competition.


Other films includes Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Lynn Ramsey’s We Need To Talk About Kevin &  Paolo Sorrentino’s This Must Be The Place, all widely predicted beforehand.


Terrence’s Malick’s The Tree of Life seemed a near certainty for a Cannes screening but speculation that it would be out of competition so as to accommodate a May theatrical release proved unfounded.  It will be Malick’s first time in competition since Days of Heaven in 1978.


The inclusion of Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In is a surprise.  Earlier reports indicated that Almodovar favoured a later world premiere so as to coincide with the film’s theatrical release during the autumn.


There is no shortage of films from other leading auteurs including Dardenne Bros’ The Kid With A Bike, Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre & Nanni Moretti’s We Have a Pope.


Nicolas Winding Refn, whose Bronson impressed at Sundance two films ago, secured his first competition place with Drive.


After a low key, but nevertheless impressive, competition line-up last year, Cannes returns to the more familiar indie heavy weights this time around, which should provide the sector with a welcome boost.


Cannes had previously announced that Gus Van Sant would open the Un Certain Regard sidebar with Restless.  An inviting programme also includes Sean Durkin’s buzz film Martha Marcy May Marlene and titles from Robert Guediguian & Kim cialis over the counterbuy cialis usacialis online pharmacy australiabuy sildalis onlinesildalisbuy sildalisbuy sildalis onlinesildalis onlinegeneric sildalis online sildalis


The festival will open with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which screens out of competition.  Other notable non-competition films include Rob Marshall’s latest in the Pirates in the Caribbean franchise.  There is no news yet on the closing film.

Main Competition 


Terrence Malick bagged the Palme d’Or for The Tree of Life but was not present to receive the award in person.  Starring Brad Pitt & Sean Penn, it is a film of ambitious scope combining a 1950’s family drama with a meditation on the creation of the cosmos.  Although there was a mixed response from the critics, it still began the ceremony as the favourite to win the top prize.


Auteur heavyweights, Nuri Bilge Ceylan & the Dardenne Brothers, shared the Grand Prix for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia and The Kid With A Bike respectively.  Speculation had been mounting since Friday’s screening that Ceylan could be in line for a major award for his hypnotic missing body drama.  The Dardennes are no strangers to Cannes success having twice won the Palme d’Or and their latest success for their realist depiction of child abandonment was no surprise.


Other winners included Nicolas Winding Refn as best director for Drive and Maiwenn whose Polisse received the jury prize.


Un Certain Regard


Established indie favourites figured strongly in this year’s Un Certain Regard awards.  The Cannes sidebar awarded its top prize jointly to Kim Ki-duk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring) for his unconventional self-portrait (with philosophical asides on filmmaking and beyond), Arirang and to Andreas Dresen (Cloud 9) for his hard-hitting brain tumour drama, Stopped On Track.


Arirang had largely divided the critics in true Cannes tradition but Stopped On Track established a strong festival buzz furthering Dresen’s reputation as a filmmaker who could successively tackle sensitive subjects.


Mohammad Rasoulof bagged the best director’s prize for Goodbye, a film made secretly in Iran during Rasoulof’s filmmaking ban.  Appropriately, Goodbye depicts a young lawyer’s search for a visa to leave the country.


Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) took the special jury prize for Elena.


Camera d’Or


Pablo Giogelli received the Camera d’Or for Las Acacias as the best debut feature, which screened in the Critics Week.  It is the latest in a long line of Argentinian films to make an impression on the international stage.


Grand Prix Nespresso


Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, won the Grand Prix Nespresso, the top prize at the Cannes Critics’ Week.  Michael Shannon stars as a family man unable to rationalise his apocalyptic visions and the prize reinforces Nichols’ growing reputation as an auteur of note.




The main talking point at this year’s Cannes took place off-screen.  Its Board of Directors released a statement declaring Lars von Trier “a persona non grata” after the Danish filmmaker described himself as a Nazi that “sympathised with Hitler a little bit” at the press conference for his competition entry, On Melancholia.  Von Trier, well known for provoking controversy, had previously apologised accepting that he had gone too far.  It remains to be seen what impact the scandal will have on von Trier’s future projects.




We Need To Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay), The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar) &  Le Havre (Aki Kaurismäki) were all well received but missed out in the awards ceremony.




Palme d’Or

The Tree Of Life (Terrence Malick)


Grand Prix (joint)

The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) &

Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)


Jury Prize (Main Competition)

Polisse (Maïwenn)


Best Director (Main Competition)

Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)


Best Actor (Main Competition)

Jean Dujardin (The Artist)


Best Actress (Main Competition)

Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)


Best Screenplay (Main Competition)

Joseph Cedar (Footnote)


Un Certain Regard Best Film (joint)

Arirang (Kim Ki-duk) &

Stopped On Track (Andreas Dresen)


Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize

Elena (Andrey Zvyagintsev)


Un Certain Regard Best Director

Mohammad Rasoulof (Goodbye)


Camera d’Or (Best Debut Film)

Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli)


Grand Prix Nespresso (Cannes Critics’ Week’s Best Film)

Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)

Main Competition:


The Skin I Live In

D. Pedro Almodovar


House of Tolerance

D. Bertrand Bonello



D. Alain Cavalier



D. Joseph Cedar


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

D. Nuri Bilge Ceylan


The Kid With A Bike

D. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne


Le Havre

D. Aki Kaurismaki


Hanezu No Tsuki

D. Naomi Kawase


Sleeping Beauty

D. Julia Leigh



D. Maiwenn


The Tree of Life

D. Terrence Malick


The Source

D. Radu Mihaileanu


Hara-kiri: Death Of A Samurai

D. Takashi Miike


We Have a Pope

D. Nanni Moretti


We Need to Talk About Kevin

D. Lynne Ramsay



D. Markus Schleinzer


This Must Be The Place

D. Paolo Sorrentino



D. Lars Von Trier



D. Nicolas Winding Refn


Un Certain Regard Sidebar:


The Hunter

D. Bakur Bakuradze


Halt auf Freier Strecke

D. Andreas Dresen


Hors Satan

D. Bruno Dumont


Martha Marcy May Marlene

D. Sean Durkin


The Snows of Kilimanjaro

D. Robert Guediguian



D. Oliver Hermanus


The Day He Arrives

D. Hong Sang-soo



D. Cristian Jimenez



D. Eric Khoo



D. Kim Ki-duk


Where Do We Go Now?

D. Nadine Labaki



D. Catalin Mitulescu


Yellow Sea

D. Na Hong-jin


Miss Bala

D. Gerardo Naranjo


Hard Labor

D. Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra



D. Gus Van Sant


The Minister

D. Pierre Schoeller



D. Ivan Sen


Oslo, August 31st

  1. D.Joachim Trier


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