Cannes race closes with Mud, Money
AFP CANNES (FRANCE) MISSISSIPPI drama Mud and South Korea’s The Taste of Money on Saturday joined tales of love, crime and economic crisis as the last of 22 films vying for the top prize in Cannes.
The Palme d’Or will be handed out at a star-studded gala on Sunday evening at the close of the 12-day movie marathon that saw some of the world’s top directors showcase their latest work at the glitzy French Riviera festival.
Previous Cannes gold winners Michael Haneke of Austria and Romanian Cristian Mungiu were among the names bandied about as potential prize-winners, along with Frenchman Jacques Audiard and Australian Andrew Dominik. They marched up the fabled — and this year often rain-soaked — red carpet alongside A-list celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson, and Marion Cotillard.
Festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux, who ahead of the event faced controversy for failing to pick a single woman director for the main competition, on Friday stuck by his line-up after critics said Cannes too often saw the same small group of film-makers.
“The fact that film-makers who have already won prizes find themselves on the list again is not a problem. Do people complain when Rafael Nadal wins the Roland Garros (tennis tournament) seven times?” he asked.Cannes regulars in town this year include Haneke, Mungiu, Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami and Mexican Carlos Reygadas, with Britain’s Ken Loach in competition for a record 11th time.
Mungiu, who took Cannes gold in 2007 with the chilling Communist-era abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, this year presented Beyond the Hills, the true story of a deadly “exorcism”.
The film was joint leader of the pack in Screen International’s daily compilation of ratings by critics from across the world when the magazine delivered its final list on Thursday.
The other film was the French-language Love by Haneke, who scooped the festival’s top award in 2009 for “The White Ribbon”.
The new work casts French screen icon Jean-Louis Trintignant as a devoted octogenarian husband caring for his dying wife in a wrenching cinematic study of love at the bitter end. Trintignant, whose consummate performance sees torment seep quietly from each pore of his aged face, was being tipped by many festival-goers for a potential best actor prize.