Coens out in front but far from home and dry
As we round in on the announcement of the Palme d’Or on Sunday, the annual “jury grid” in Screen International offers pointers as to the winner.
One film is miles ahead with the trade paper’s panel of representative critics. Ever since its screening on Saturday night, the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis has been the talk of La Croisette. It is certainly possible that the Coens could join last year’s winner, Michael Haneke, in the clubhouse for two-time winners.
And yet. The film is, perhaps, a little too much in the familiar Coen mode. Steven Spielberg’s jury may wish to prove its intellectual credentials by seeking out something a little more conspicuously “arthouse”.
The second favourites with Screen are, at time of writing, Asghar Farhadi’s The Past and Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of
Sin. The former, from the director of A Separation, is a quality film of the old school: French people discussing relationships and other crises. The latter is a sprawling, hugely violent indictment of modern China.
The Farhadi seems a better bet with this jury – which also includes Christoph Waltz and Nicole Kidman – than the Zhangke.
More likely still, however, is a triumph for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s cosy Like Father
Like Son or Paolo Sorrentino’s lavish The Great Beauty.
Oscar Isaac in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis