Archive for the ‘mark ruffalo’ Tag

87th Oscars Predictions: October Edition   2 comments

We’re getting closer to the busiest months of awards prognostication as we reach the end of the year. At this point in the race, only American Sniper, Unbroken, Selma, Interstellar, Into the Woods, A Most Violent Year and Big Eyes are left among those in play for major nominations this year. But then again, we’ve had word on majority of the contenders already and we’re just awaiting for other factors to have a complete look on the race. This month, I’ve already added my predictions for the Foreign Language Film category considering that in two weeks time, we’ll hear the official complete list from AMPAS.

I’m still a bit bullish on Unbroken while quite confident in Selma, despite both being unseen. And I’m quite ready to predict that American Sniper will be Clint’s Oscar comeback. It’s also interesting to see the crowded Lead Actor race, as we’re bound to get a snub or two the way Tom Hanks was last year and John Hawkes was the year before. My current bet is on Eddie Redmayne to come close but solidify his chances for next year’s The Danish Girl, but I might still change my mind in the months to come. Anyway, here are my complete predictions in 19 different categories

picture

 

directing

 

 

lead actor

 

lead actress

 

supp actor

 

supp actress

 

screenplay

 

animated flf

 

techs 1

 

techs 2

 

techs 3
Total tally of nominations:

10 – Interstellar, Selma
8 – Gone Girl, Birdman
– The Imitation Game, Unbroken
5 – Boyhood, Into the Woods
4 – American Sniper, Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything
3 – Exodus: Gods and Kings
2 – Big Eyes, Godzilla, Mr. Turner, Whiplash, Wild

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Advertisements

87th Oscars Predictions: September Edition   5 comments

After skipping last month to pave the way for the Emmys, the monthly Oscar predictions are back (and with a new look to boot!). Now that festivals are coming one after the other (Telluride and Toronto have already started) and New York and AFI will soon come ahead of us, it’s time to clear the air on a lot of these contenders! I’ve also started to predict the rest of the categories (except Song, Foreign Language Film, and Documentary because duh, we need a shortlist for those). Anyway, here we go with the September batch of predictions!

*You can click the photos to read the write-ups in full (especially in the Best Picture category)

best picture

best director

best actor

best actress

best supporting actor

best supporting actress

Screenplay

Techs 1

Techs 2

Techs 3
Current tally of nominations:

9 – Birdman, Gone Girl, Interstellar
7 – Selma
6 – Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Unbroken, The Imitation Game
5 – Into the Woods
2 – Wild, Big Eyes, Whiplash, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Turner, Godzilla, The Hobbit, Fury

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Minseries Actor

While it’s the ladies that were from and center yesterday, we now shift the spotlight to the gents as we discuss the Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie race in our continuous coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s the third year in a row that I have a perfect track record of predicting the line up here, so I don’t know if it’s jsut the predictability of the race or just a good summation of who Emmy’s favorites were. Anyway let’s begin.

Speaking of third year in a row, this is Benedict Cumberbatch‘s third consecutive nomination in this category after being nominated for the second season of Sherlock in 2012 and the HBO movie Parade’s End last year. While His Last Vow rakes its biggest nomination haul for the series by far, I don’t think Cumberbatch is much in the race especially with likelier movie star frontrunners in here. He can count on an Oscar nod for himself though come January for The Imitation Game to be released late this year.

And while at the topic of Oscar nod, coming off from an Oscar nomination earlier this year, Chiwetel Ejiofor follows it up with an Emmy nomination, this time for the Starz  miniseries Dancing on the Edge. Sadly for Ejiofor, his nomination is his reward given how much the Emmys snubbed the show altogether (he’s the lone nomination from it). I would have wanted a follow up to the Ejiofor-McConaughey Oscar race tho had True Detective stayed to compete here in the longform categories.

But while we didn’t get an Ejiofor-McConaughey repeat, we can resort to the alternate one of a race between Ejiofor and Idris Elba instead. Both were twice nominated for the same two categories at the Golden Globes earlier this year: one is for Movie Actor Drama (former for 12 Years a Slave, latter for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). The other one is for their respective roles in this category. Like in 2012, Elba nabs a repeat nomination for his role in Luther. This was confirmed as the show’s last season already, and though I don’t think it will chaneg the voting game, it will probably have at least a bit of an effect to the voting (…or not).

Then we also have Mark Ruffalo who’s enjoying a career best 2014 by far. Starting at Sundance in January for Infinitely Polar Bear to his run at Cannes for Foxcatcher in May, and the good reviews he received from John Carney’s Begin Again, he’s definitely on a roll. That said, his Emmy vehicle this year is the TV movie frontrunner The Normal Heart where he played gay activist Ned Weeks. After all, the current winner in this category is Michael Douglas for playing gay pianist Liberace.

Now to cap this off, it’s not only the Lead Actress category where we have two nominees from the same show. If the women has American Horror Story: Coven, then the men has Fargo. Billy Bob Thornton comes back with a bang in this project where he plays sinister Lorne Malvo. His is the more awards-baity character between the two as he’s the flat out villainess evil character here. The other nomination is for Martin Freeman, who plays insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, who was caught in the series of incidents involving him and Malvo. Personally speaking, I preferred Freeman’s performance more than Thornton, but between his two nominations, they might reward Freeman instead in the Supporting category.

While the consensus thinks it will be an easy win for Mark Ruffalo, I don’t think this is an easy win as one perceives. I feel that this will be a tight race between the two one-time Oscar Supporting Actor nominees. Ruffalo is seen as the obvious choice. I mean he’s a straight actor playing the gay lead in a TV movie with a strong political statement. If this was Oscar, he’s certain to be winning it already. That said, Fargo is the most nominated miniseries this year and the support for it is really staggering. If there’s anything this category loves more than portraying gay characters, that is rewarding veteran movie stars with wins here as evidenced by Geoffrey Rush in 2005, Robert Duvall in 2007, Kevin Costner in 2012, and Michael Douglas last year. I keep going back and forth, but I guess I’m going with Mark Ruffalo by a hair.

Prediction: Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
Alternate: Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo

Full Rankings:
01. Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
02. Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo
03. Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
04. Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
05. Idris Elba, “Luther
06. Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge

Click here to see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 2: TV Movie and Miniseries   2 comments

Hey again guys! If you may not know (as if that blog header isn’t obvious enough), we’re still on our Emmy week here at Tit for Tat as we gloss over the possible Emmy nominees before Carson Daly and Mindy Kaling announce them on Thursday morning. Yesterday, I started this four part series of predictions by going over the Reality and Variety categories. This time, we’ll be tackling the eight major categories of the Movie and Miniseries genre. Let’s get started!

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Writing

• Dancing on the Edge (Stephen Poliakoff)
• Fargo, “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Noah Hawley)
• Luther (Neill Cross)
• Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (Shawn Slovo)
• The Normal Heart (Larry Kramer)
• Sherlock: His Last Vow (Steven Moffat)

Alternate:  Treme, “To Miss New Orleans

Well aside from The Normal Heart and Fargo, it’s really difficult to pinpoint which direction the voters will go to. I’d have Luther in simply because the last time the show was eligible, it also received a nod in this category. Then Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight won the WGA for Adapted Screenplay albeit a field of two only. Then what I’ve noticed in this category is that they love ’em British pieces. They might not nominate them for the bigger series awards, but the writing branch always have a soft spot for them; thus, I’m going with Sherlock. And lastly, Dancing for the Edge seems like a filler nod for either Writing or Directing, and I’m palcing it here since it’s less competitive than Directing.

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Directing

• Fargo, “Buridan’s Ass” (Colin Bucksey
• Fargo, “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Adam Bernstein)
• The Hollow Crown, “Henry IV: Part II” (Richard Eyre)
• Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (Stephen Frears)
• The Normal Heart (Ryan Murphy)
• The Trip to Bountiful (Michael Wilson)

Alternate:  The White Queen, “The Final Battle

The two surest contenders here are definitely Ryan Murphy (at this point, The Normal Heart will just steamroll its way to a lot of nominations) and Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight because come on it’s Stephen Frears. And he’s a well known film director. Plus it’s from HBO. Fargo’s “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” seems like a good bet as well since it’s the pilot of the show, and I’m certain Fargo will get in here. That said, I’m predicting two episodes from the show to get nominated. Aside from the pilot, I also have Buridan’s Ass which has that major shooting episode (it’s Ep 6 for you casual viewers). It’s one of Fargo‘s most buzzed episodes of the series and I think it can penetrate the race. The Trip to Bountiful seems like a better directing contender than a writing one that’s why I’m putting it here instead of Writing. As for the last spot, I think it’s gonna be one of those epic fantasy episodes, so it’s between The White Queen’s Final Battle versus The Hollow Crown’s Henry IV: Part II. I’m going with the latter simply because of the name recognition.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Supp Actress

• Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven
• Jacqueline Bisset, “Dancing on the Edge
• Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic
• Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart
• Allison Tolman, “Fargo
• Vanessa Williams, “The Trip to Bountiful

Seventh nominee: Audra McDonald, “The Sound of Music Live!

What a crowded category. There’s like ten women in actual contention for this usually barren category. Let’s begin with the easy guesses. There’s Julia Roberts. In a friggin TV movie. In her wheelchair. Throwing papers. I can go on and on but you get the point now. She’s in. Then there’s Kathy Bates too. At this point, I think there’s a slow decline of Emmy love for American Horror Story in general that’s why I’m predicting her as the only supporting actress nominee from this show. If only this was a weak year or if AHS was in its first or second season (both are not), I’d be more lenient with her inclusion. Then there’s an unknown by the name of Allison Tolman? I know you’re probably thinking “Who?”, but this is TV’s biggest breakthrough performances of the season. This is a friggin’ Oscar winning role, and I see her even being the dark horse for the win. Speaking of win, Golden Globe winner Jacqueline Bisset is also in my predictions list simply because her role is something that is a regular in this category.And her Globe win, as infamous as it was, put her to some sort of public consciousness.  Current champ Ellen Burstyn is also in contention, and I think a repeat nod is possible. Sure Flowers in the Attic is no Political Animals, but this is the category that nominated her for a 14 second performance in 2006. They love her here. The last spot is between two Tony nominees: Tony queen Audra McDonald is the only redemption of The Sound of Music Live! and her current Tony good will might translate to a nod, but my bet is on 3x nominee Vanessa Williams reprising her Broadway role here.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Supp Actor

• Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart
• Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
• Colin Hanks, “Fargo
• Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart
• Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart
• Blair Underwood, “The Trip to Bountiful

Seventh nominee: Frank Langella, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight

This one is basically the extension of The Normal Heart cast with five of their men eligible in this category. That said, I’ll only be predicting three, as I don’t see anything beyond that possible. Of course there’s winner frontrunner Matt Bomer who is the surest guy from the show here. I’m also rpedicting Jim Parsons since it’s somewhat of a departure from him, and he’s current champ (in Comedy Lead Actor) that they won’t shy from giving him double nominations this year. Lastly, I have Joe Mantello since he’s “breakdown” moment is one of the most talked about. It’s a clip made for awards show purposes plus he’s a veteran that I won’t be surprised Emmys going for it. As for the other three guys, I’m going with Martin Freeman to repeat the same nod he got in 2012 for the previous season of Sherlock. I’ quite confident with Colin Hanks as well since he’s the only one that FX is campaigning here (which means no Oliver Platt), so that bodes well for his chances. I’m going with Blair Underwood for the last spot as Cicely Tyson’s son since this is a Tony nominated role, and I fail to see him missing here.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Actress

• Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton & Taylor
• Toni Collette, “Hostages
• Rebecca Ferguson, “The White Queen
• Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven
• Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven
• Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful

Seventh nominee: Whoopi Goldberg, “A Day Late and a Dollar Short

If the three other acting nominees are somewhat stacked, consider this the Debbie Downer of the group with the lack of possible nominations. I guess it’s safe to begin with Jessica Lange since she’ll easily be nominated for the show’s third season. She won Supporting the first year and was nominated here for the second season, and a third consecutive one is already expected. Cicely Tyson is a sure bet too. She literally translated her Tony winning performance and she’ll likely add “Emmy winning” too come awards ceremony on August. It doesn’t hurt as well that it’s also an Oscar winning role, so a trifecta of best Actress wins for this will be quite historic.  Then there’s Globe and SAG nominee Helena Bonham Carter. She was already recognized for this at the earlier awards show, and it’s not as if this category is full to even consider her missing. Rebecca Ferguson is the unknown here but playing the title role of a Miniseries contender doesn’t hurt her. I’d be more cautious if this was only a field of five, but it’s not. Emmy winner Toni Collette also has a bid via her failed CBS series Hostages. I expect this to be a repeat of Ashley Judd’s nom in 2011 when she got in for a more star studded line up. If Judd made it in a five nominee line up, what more for Emmy champ Collete? The last spot can either go to Whoopi Goldberg or Sarah Paulson. There’s a reason why Goldberg’s EGOT win has an asterisk beside the E, it’s because she hasn’t won a Primetime Emmy yet. Therefore, it’s quite clear Emmy isn’t totally fond of her, thus making me give the last spot to Sarah Paulson who is hitting some career best stride the past few years and was nommed in Supporting for the last two years.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

Longform Actor

• Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
• Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge
• Idirs Elba, “Luther”
• Martin Freeman, “Fargo
• Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
• Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo

Seventh nominee: Christopher Plummer, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight

Okay so it didn’t sound as competitive in this category when True Detective announced it will compete in Drama instead, but it makes the prediction part easier. As for starters, the pair of British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba are likely to repeat their nods they got for their roles as Sherlock and Luther respectively. Both of them competed in 2011 as well. Then Cumberbatch’s Sherlock co-star and buddy Martin Freeman is poised to get double acting nominations as he gets one for Fargo as well alongside Billy Bob Thornton. Then it boils down to three Oscar nominees (and one winner). Mark Ruffalo is as sure as one can get, and he’s also one of the frontrunners to win for his role as the gay protagonist in The Normal Heart. While I keep on switching back and forth with Christopher Plummer and Chiwetel Ejiofor, I’d be giving the last slot to the latter since his momentum is pretty much fresher with his Oscar nod earlier this year.

OUTSTANDING MINI SERIES:

Miniseries

• American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
• Dancing on the Edge (Starz)
• Fargo (FX)
• Luther (BBC America)
• The White Queen (BBC America)

Sixth nominee: The Hollow Crown (BBC America)

Of all years where they decided to separate the TV movies and miniseries again, they went with this year goddamit. Anyway, both the FX series are sure things here. American Horror Story got in the last two years and Fargo is the de facto frontrunner here. Luther is poised to make a comeback here as well especially in a weak field. Then in the battle of large ensemble dramas, I’d go with Dancing on the Edge as the first one since this flashy period piece works well in this category. I’m leaning with The White Queen in my last spot though simply because I felt it has an overall mainstream appeal than The Hollow Crown, but all I know is that it’s a slot reserved for BBC America.

OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:

TV Movie

• Killing Kennedy (national Geographic)
• Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO)
• The Normal Heart (HBO)
• Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
• The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Sixth nominee: Burton & Taylor (BBC America)

As if they still need to have nominees here since The Normal Heart is gonna sweep this away (and deservedly so), but for the sake of competition, the four other nominees here would definitely be Sherlock: His Last Vow. Why the show decides to submit here instead of Miniseries when they can compete now is beyond me. Then you have Lifetime’s The Trip to Bountiful. It’s an acclaimed TV movie and at this point, a Lifetime show is bound to get in so it being their top contender also makes it a surer bet. National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy is a buzzed TV movie as well even reaping nods at the SAGs for its lead actor, so with a divided field for TV Movie and Miniseries, there’s a huge chance of it happening. The last spot, which I call the HBO slot, is reserved for that lesser buzzed HBO TV movie. After all for every Game Change, there’s a Hemignway & Gellhorn. For every Behind the Candelabra, there’s a Phil Spector and for every Temple Grandin, there’s a You Don’t Know Jack. So for this year’s The Normal Heart, I’d go with Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight since it’s the more buzzed one than that other HBO TV movie Clear History whom despite having a more known cast, has a nonexistent presence at the race at all.

There you have it. How many The Normal Heart guys are you predicting in Supporting Actor? Can Whoopi Goldberg change her Daytime Emmy to a Primetime one? And how do you feel if NBC’s Rosemary Baby Suddenly enters the race? Pipe them in the comments section below.

Tomorrow, ready your tummies for the hilarity that will ensue as we discuss the Comedy categories.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

67th Cannes Film Festival Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

Photo from redriff.com

And we have finally reached the end of the season. The end of the 67th Cannes Film Fest a.k.a the world’s biggest film festival is upon us in a few hours. Now that all films in the In Competition have screened, it’s time to predict on which films and performances will garner prizes from our jury headed by Jane Campion. As the whole season progressed, there have been lots of talks about the films in contention this year. From Still the Water‘s Naomi Kawase’s claim that she’s going Palme or nothing, to Xavier Dolan’s dedicating his possible win to the filmmakers of his generation, Cannes has never been louder – and more competitive – than ever. This year we have no solid frontrunner like that of Amour in 2012 or Blue is the Warmest Color like last year so predicting things is much trickier this time around. With that said, here’s how I foresee Campion and company’s decisions in all seven categories.

Two Days, One Night

SCREENPLAY:

PREDICTION: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, “Two Days One Night
The Dardenne brothers have always ended up with something during their last five participation in the main competition of the Cannes Film Fest. So as expected, they’re bound to end up winning one for this latest film which is a hit from the critics and watchers alike. While the possibility of them receiving a third Palme d’or is very much possible, the reward can also happen to lead actress Marion Cotillard whose third time is probably the charm for these voters. That said, I think they’re ending up with the Screenplay award instead which will continue their impressive record of winning in competition.

ALTERNATE: Andrey Zvyagintsev, Oleg Negin, “Leviathan
If not the pair of brothers, then maybe this pair of writing pals will end up winning n this category instead. There seems to be a level of disconnect in terms of the reception between critics with Leviathan, but if the jury is sold, this can be the most fitting place for them to reward it.

Timothy Spall

ACTOR:

PREDICTION: Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner
Mike Leigh’s lead acting roles have a tendency to attract awards and recognition, and Mr. Turner  seems to be no exception. Timothy Spall’s transformation as the British painter J.M.W. Turner is one that screams acting, and this seems to be the most fitting place to reward the film. Make no mistake though, as there are lots of other contenders in this category as well.

ALTERNATE: the male ensemble of Foxcatcher (Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo)
I know what you’re thinking. Cannes winner Channing Tatum? Well yeah that’s indeed close to happening. If the jury can’t decide on which Foxcatcher actor to reward, then they might give a share to all three actors instead for their contribution in this well received Bennett Miller’s cold drama. Ensemble wins are pretty regular at festivals, so it’s not as if this is the first time that it will happen. That said, watch out for Gaspard Ulliel in Saint Laurent or Haluk Bilginer of Winter Sleep to be competitive for the win as well.

Juliette Binoche

ACTRESS

PREDICTION: Juliette Binoche, “Clouds of Sils Maria
Sure, Binoche has won just four years ago with Certified Copy, but never underestimate this jury’s love for Juliette Binoche. A lot of them are vocal huge fans of the actress, and that alone might put her instantly to the top. Besides, Sils Maria is such an actressing role. It’s about an actress reclaiming a position that was hers before. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they give a joint prize to Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart who’s been receiving career best reviews here. For now, I’ll stick with solely Binoche, but I wouldn’t count out that possibility.

ALTERNATE: Anne Dorval, “Mommy
Xavier Dolan is a great actor’s director, as he surely brings out the best of his actors in the screen (sadly, the same can’t be said for his performances in his films). From what I’ve read tho, Dorval’s too much of a showy, too much in your face, cold role that might turn some members of the jury off. There’s also the possibility of Mommy winning the Palme which will easily eliminate Dorval from the conversation. Also take note of Marion Cotillard’s great ink for the Dardennes’ Two Days, One Night. Girl has been waiting for her Actress prize for the third year now (after losing for Rust and Bone and The Immigrant)  and this might be her time. There’s also Julianne Moore who’ll be the second actress (after Binoche) to win the trifecta of Actress wins in all three big festivals for Maps to the Stars. But I’m not really counting on that to happen.

Mommy

DIRECTOR:

PREDICTION: Xavier Dolan, “Mommy
Dolan is a co-frontrunner for the Palme, there’s no doubt about that one. And if anything, his is the type of experimental approach that this jury could possibly appreciate. With that said, if a consensus has to be played out in the jury, I think they’ll give him the Directing award instead. For all the style approaches that Dolan used in Mommy including the type of screen he used in the final output, i think it’s pretty obvious that this is the place where they’ll reward the film instead.

ALTERNATE: Naomi Kawase, “Still the Water
Kawase came to Cannes prepared with the Palme in her sight. But seems like a lot of films upstaged hers though. Never mind that since Jane Campion is a vocal Kawase fan, and unless she pulls an Isabelle Adjani and demands the rest of them to give the Palme to this, then this directorial effort might be her best shot for a win this year. After all, there have been so many talks with only one female director winner in Cannes history, so this will some sort of a passing the torch style if she wins this one. Plus with the divisiveness of Still the Water, this fits the bill of other underwhelming or critically panned films that still ended up winning Director the last few years (Brillante Mendoza for Kinatay in 2009, Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenebras Lux in 2012, and last year’s Aman Escalante for Heli). The other female director Alice Rohrwacher is also a contender here.

Le Meraviglie

 

JURY PRIZE

PREDICTION: Alice Rohrwacher, “Le Meraviglie
Rohrwacher’s case is very interesting this year. While the rest of the critics are raving about this film, the French one seemed to be so adamant about it even ranking it as the lowest in their polls. But except for that, it has been performing greatly among all the other ones. I think in this case, the French are clearly the outliers, and this Italian director can score a Jury Prize from the panel of voters.

ALTERNATE: Naomi Kawase, “Still the Water
If not, then maybe the other woman in the festival, Naomi Kawase, can end up winning this. Seems like Still the Water, for all its divisiveness, is the type of of film that gains really passionate fans and those fans might be the ones making up the decision this year. If they can’t come up with a consensus of this one winning the Palme, then the Jury Prize might be good enough as the palce to reward it.

Timbuktu

 

GRAND PRIX

PREDICTION: Abderrhamane Sissako, “Timbuktu
Despite premiering at the earlier part of the festival, Sissako’s Timbuktu not only managed to raise the bar for competition this year, but they also were able to maintain this momentum all throughout the festival. With a riveting “OMG important” political topic tackled in the film, I’m quite confident that this will be getting home with an award. It’s one of the year’s most lauded films and this might give him another win after his Un Certain Regard victory 21 years ago.

ALTERNATE: Jean-Luc Godard, “Goodbye to Language 3D
Going into the competition, Godard is another one who’s a common denominator of influence and inspiration among the members of this year’s Cannes jury. But despite strong polarizing reactions with this one, and with reports of the jury not giving a care about it, who knows if they’ll give this an award or if they will leave it to the dust?

Winter Sleep

 

PALME D’OR

PREDICTION: Nuri Blige Ceylan, “Winter Sleep
And as for the biggest prize, I think that it is Ceylan’s time to win the Palme for this year. Not only did he manage to sustain the high expectations given to him after Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, he was able to translate that with near consensus critical appraisal for this one. Winter Sleep is the type of film that I think can avoid the polarizing reaction from the jury and one that can be on the middle ground when the other polarizing films bring down each other. Also, the technical achievement of this film is outstanding that it might certainly put it on top of the jury’s preference list for this year.

ALTERNATE: Xavier Dolan, “Mommy
When Dolan vocally mentioned his frustration of Laurence Anyways not getting a Main Competition slot two years ago, it seemed as if his ego’s feeding him with that statement. And for his first foray into the big leagues, he certainly did not disappoint with the raves his film is getting. I admit, even I was surprised with this reception to Dolan’s film, since he’s usually polarizing and divisive that his film getting a favorable consensus is new to me. I can envision a scenario of him winning the Palme actually, and being the youngest director to pull that off. But is the jury ready for that? Let’s see.

As for the annual snubbed film of the year that will join the ranks of Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Aki Kaurismaki’s  Le Havre, Leos Carax’ Holy Motors, and Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, my bet is on Godard’s “Goodbye to Language 3D.” Seems like it will be too divisive for the jury to have a consensus on where to award it, regardless of its great reviews.

There you have it. Another year at Cannes has ended and this year seemed more competitive than the previous one. Sure we don’t have the totally groundbreaking ones, but we don’t have total clunkers this year (though the closest would have been Michel Hazanavicius’ The Search and Atom Egoyan’s Captives). I’m excited the most for Dolan, Ceylan, Assayas, Dardennes, and Cronenberg, so I hope we’d get to see them sooner. For the Un Certain Regard, Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja, Pascale Ferran’s Bird People, and Ryan Gosling’s Lost River (bad reviews be damned) are on the top of my list. Who do you think will end up winnign this year? Can Dolan be the youngest Palme director winner? is third time the charm for Marion Cotillard? Can Channing Tatum and Kristen Stewart add Cannes winner on their names? And can Naomi Kawase shift careers as the next Nostradamus now? I bet you’re excited to find out.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl