Coens out in front but far from home and dry

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

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

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