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Cannes 2013 Derby: Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza Tops Eric’s Palme d’Or Predictions

Before I even begin considering the offerings in the field of eighteen Main Competition items, it’s the composition of the jury members (team of nine lead by Steven Spielberg) where my dissection begins. While I’d be tempted to brand/make the bogus remark that cine-folk Spielberg, Daniel Auteuil and Ang Lee votes would go towards the formulaic and/or conventional, I’m more inclined to say that it’s slightly more obvious to gauge how provocateurs such as Lynne Ramsay, Cristian Mungiu and Naomi Kawase might direct their vote intentions: towards the aesthetically daring, narratively challenging material. I’m including bold actress Nicole Kidman in this group – as her best perfs are found in the audacious, darker micro films that garner little coin, but plenty of critical praise. Last year we had what was probably a unanimous consensus choice with Amour winning the Palme, though I would bet that the Best Director winner (Carlos Reygadas) had first place votes for the Palme from the Andrea Arnolds of the jury. As I generalize that the wild cards of this band of nine are thesps Vidya Balan and Christoph Waltz and they would give a bit more validation to films with strong perfs, I think this year’s foursome might strong-arm the other five when it comes down to the final tally, so my pre-fest two dollar guess for the Palme comes from Italy.

Paolo Sorrentino’s la grande bellezza could win the big prize, as the filmmaker gave us all-over-the-map, tonally freakish This Must Be the Place and before that, he claimed the Prix du Jury for impeccable Il Divo. Sorrentino muse Toni Servillo is the focal point in this portrait of lost youth in today’s Rome – I’m thinking that this might an amalgamation of style, substance and weigh heavy as a Cannes second week offering.

The runners up/or my second and third place candidates are the lengthy, I’m guessing dialogue-less or dialogue heavy items from French auteurs Arnaud Desplechin and Abdellatif Kechiche. Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian has got a pair of fine players in Benicio Del Toro & Mathieu Amalric, while Kechiche proved himself in Venice with the Golden Lion winning The Secret of the Grain, and Blue is the Warmest Color might be the film that certifies French BD as a palpable source for adaptations. My dark horse pick goes to Hirokazu Kore-eda – who might be in comeback mode with his latest off-kilter drama.

The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino) 10 – 1
Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) (Arnaud Desplechin) 12 – 1
Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche) 15 – 1
Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Kore-eda) 17 – 1
Grigris (Mahamat Saleh Haroun) 18 – 1
Heli (Amat Escalante) 20 – 1
The Past (Asghar Farhadi) 20 – 1
Nebraska (Alexander Payne) 25 – 1
A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhang-ke) 25 – 1
Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen) 30 – 1

Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn) 33 – 1
Young and Beautiful (Francois Ozon) 40 – 1
A Castle in Italy (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) 50 – 1
Borgman (Alex Van Warmerdam) 50 – 1
Behind the Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh) 60 – 1
The Immigrant (James Gray) 70 – 1
Venus In Fur (Roman Polanski) 100 – 1
Michael Kohlhaas (Arnaud des Pallieres) 100 – 1
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch) 125 – 1
Shield of Straw (Takashi Miike) 150 – 1

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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