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2015 Cannes Critics Panel: Todd Haynes’ “Carol” is Our Top Graded Film

The Price of Salt is at a market high according to our critics. While Le Film Francais have Mia Madre in the pole position and Screen Daily have a pair in a tie among their voting clan, our sixteen strong have place Todd Haynes’ Carol firmly at the top of the leader board with average 3.8 grade. In a year where French cinema was a little off-balance, where Italy cinema didn’t disappoint, where Asian films were especially strong and where a first time work from Hungary stole the show, it is one portrait and one love story in 1950’s America that is tops.

In our inaugural year, our Cannes Critics’ Panel favored Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In by one point over the Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike, von Trier’s Melancholia, Nicolas Refn’s Drive and Malick’s Palme d’Or winning The Tree of Life. The following year, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors placed second to Haneke, who would win his second Palme and the overall consensus with Amour (4.1). In 2013, Abdellatif Kechiche was in a category of his own with Blue is the Warmest Color (4.3), also winning the Palme and overall praise from our critics while distant second place votes went to The Past and Inside Llewyn Davis. Last year, it was another French language drama that won our critic’s hearts with the Dardennes’ Deux Jours, Une Nuit (4.0) while Palme d’Or winning Winter Sleep and Mr. Turner placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

If we were giving a Grand Prix in ’15, 2nd place prize would belong to Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre (3.5) and László Nemes would land the Jury Prize or 3rd place with Son of Saul (3.4). Our fourth place film but with just has many perfect grades of five stars as Carol, and getting a lot of buzz to win the Palme, we find Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin (3.3). One notch below, certain members in our sixteen group were big on Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart (3.2), Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster (3.2) and Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan (3.2). Any of the above mentioned films could walk away with a Palme, 2nd or 3rd best and one wouldn’t find much to argue against. Worth mentions include Hirokazu Koreeda’s Our Little Sister (3.1) and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth (3.0).

Just underneath the passing grade bar we have Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of a Man (2.9), Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs (2.8), Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario (2.8), Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales (2.7), Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love (2.7) and Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth (2.7).

The bottom feeders in the class of nineteen unfortunately include Michel Franco’s Chronic (2.3)
Maïwenn’s Mon roi (1.9), Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees (1.8) and Valérie Donzelli’s Marguerite & Julien (1.6). Important note: the chart you see below will be updated on Monday, as Sunday is repeat screenings day. Tomorrow: our Palme d’Or, Grand Prix and Jury Prize predictions.


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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