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2014 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 9: Assayas Doubles Down with “Sils Maria” & Zvyagintsev Drinks to Sweet Tragic Notes with “Leviathan”

Cannes – May 23rd Sunny Day 9

And just like that, the Cannes Film Festival is coming to an end. Tomorrow is when the awards are handed out, but what an epic ninth day Main Competition finale with a pair of kings. Andrei Zvyagintsev’s latest technically played the night before, but Leviathan it’s red-carpet premiere this evening. Not all our critics on the panel warmed up to the film, with star grades ranging from 1 to almost near perfection.  The tale about all levels of corruption neatly detailed in this ensemble piece counts as his third visit to the festival. The Banishment played in the comp in 2007, while the excellent Elena got placed in the Un Certain Regard section in 2011 — it won and frankly deserved to be in the section where he is now.

This morning’s 8:30 a.m. screening was reserved for another ensemble film, with the excellent Juliette Binoche in the lead and once again reuniting her with Olivier Assayas for what I believe is now their four project together. With a rap sheet way to long to list here (he has been at the fest on a dozen plus occasions), Sils Maria scored a couple of points higher than the Russian film and will have some ardent critics supporting the film in it’s multiple regional release.

Below is the current critics chart, with some grades to roll in over the weekend, but for the most part, the top five items of Cannes according to our set of critics are: The Dardenne Bros.’ Deux Jours, Une Nuit (4), followed by Winter Sleep and Mr.Turner both sitting at 3.5), then Xavier Dolan’s Mommy and Jean Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language (3.3). Look for the complete updated chart next week and our predictions set for tomorrow.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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