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Between Iran and Mexican narcos, Cannes has its heart swinging

The Cannes Film Festival jury is spoiled for choice for the Palme d'Or on Saturday, at the end of a 77th edition marked by the arrival of a filmmaker who fled Iran, the emergence of a young female guard and the half-hearted return of Hollywood giants.

President Greta Gerwig (“Barbie”) withdraws away from the noise of the Croisette, to deliberate with her jurors, including the actors Omar Sy, Lily Gladstone and Pierfrancesco Favino, or the director Hirokazu Kore-Eda.

Presented on Friday, “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree”, by the Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof, is one of the favorites to succeed “Anatomy of a Fall” by Justine Triet.

Filmed clandestinely, impeccably produced, the film follows for 02 hours and 45 minutes an investigator who has just been promoted to magistrate, and women from three generations: his wife, the youngest daughter, a young student, and the youngest, a teenager.

It echoes the uprising of the Iranian population since the end of 2022. “The theme of my film is indoctrination”, he underlined on Saturday in front of the press.

Between Iran and Mexican narcos, Cannes has its heart swinging

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, May 24, 2024 at the Cannes Film Festival © AFP – Sameer Al-Doumy

The filmmaker left Iran at the risk of his life before presenting his film in person at Cannes. Awarding her a Palme d'Or would provide a sounding board for the fight of Iranian women, and for the man who burned all his ships in Iran, leaving himself no other choice than prison or exile.

“Don’t let yourself be impressed,” he told Iranian filmmakers on Saturday. For his part, he wishes to continue filming “the stories” of his people in exile.

– Audace –

But the game is far from over, so many other films have wowed festival-goers. Including “Emilia Perez”, a musical comedy by Jacques Audiard.

The audacity of this project, shot in Spanish, about a Mexican drug lord who changes his life and becomes a woman, shot with two huge stars, Selena Gomez and Zoe Saldaña, amazed.

Between Iran and Mexican narcos, Cannes has its heart swinging

Actress Karla Sofia Gascon on May 19, 2024 at the Cannes Film Festival © AFP – Zoulerah NORDDINE

Will Audiard win a second Palme after “Dheepan” (2015), or will the jury prefer to make history by saluting the performance of transgender actress Karla Sofía Gascón, 52 years ?

“A Palme is already very good”. But giving an award to the transgender actress, the film's revelation, “it would be strong, it would be intelligent!”, smiled the filmmaker during a meeting with AFP.

Cannes could continue the movement of rejuvenation and feminization of the biggest cinema prizes initiated since 2020 with the Palmes d'Or to Julia Ducournau (“Titane”) and Justine Triet, the Golden Lion to Audrey Diwan (“L'Evènement “) or the Golden Bear to Carla Simon (“Our suns”).

Only four female directors out of 22 filmmakers were in competition, but two are serious candidates in the title: the Indian Payal Kapadia (“All we imagine as light”), with a sensitive film about two nurses in the urban broth of Bombay, and the French Coralie Fargeat, who blew the competition away with a gory and feminist film ( “The Substance”), putting Demi Moore back in the saddle.

– Testament –

“Anora” by Sean Baker, a New York thriller which moves from the slums to the luxury villas of Russian oligarchs and could presage a revival of American independent cinema, and “Grand Tour”, a conceptual film by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes, are also cited.

Between Iran and Mexican narcos, Cannes has its heart swinging

American director George Lucas on May 24, 2024 in Cannes © AFP – Valery HACHE

Hollywood legends didn't appeal, like Paul Schrader and his “Oh, Canada!” Twilight with Richard Gere. “Megalopolis”, the pharaonic project of Francis Ford Coppola, 85 years old, disappointed. The director came to greet spectators attending a morning screening of his film on Saturday.

A third Palme d’Or would be a surprise. But after all, Coppola got his second in 1979 for “Apocalypse Now”, which was critically acclaimed. film by Jacques Audiard, the performance of Sebastian Stan, known for his role in “Captain America”, as Donald Trump in the biopic “The Apprentice” was noted.

Between Iran and Mexican narcos, Cannes has its heart swinging

American actresses Selena Gomez and French director Jacques Audiard for the film “Emilia Perez”, in Cannes, May 19, 2024 © AFP – Sameer Al-Doumy

An honorary Palme d'Or will be awarded to the creator of “Star Wars”, George Lucas.

The opening ceremony had reached an audience record, with 2.3 million spectators, according to France TV. The closing has been brought forward by one hour, from 7:00 p.m. Enough to allow film fans who love football to continue with the final of the Coupe de France, PSG-Lyon.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116