Cannes Film Festival 2010

Wednesday, July 27 by Ellen Wilson

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2010 was a world renowned event that filmmakers looked to with anticipation. The sixty third annual festival was held from May 12 to May 23, 2010 in Cannes, France. American film director Tim Burton presided as president of the jury which judged the many intriguing films competing for prestigious awards.    

Palme D’or (best film) “Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall his Past Lives,” won the most esteemed award given at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is about dying Uncle Boome exploring the reasons for his illness by contemplating his past lives. Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul compares the film’s theme of death and transformation to the current situation with cinema: this movie was shot on film, whereas most movies are shot with digital cameras. 

Grand Prix (runner-up) Grand prize winner “Of Gods and Men,” is about a group of Christian monks who want to stay in their monastery in Algeria despite being threatened by angry Islamic extremists. The film’s theme is ultimately about faith and how people deal with it – Christian and Muslim. 

Best Actor The prize was dually awarded to both Javier Bardem of Spain and Elio Germano of Italy. Bardem plays a clairvoyant, criminal father struggling with the love of his children and his moral redemption in“Biutful.” Germano also played a father who deals with his wife’s sudden death by doing deals with underworld figures in order to get ahead in the construction business in “La Nostra Vita.”

Best Actress Juliete Binoche won this award for her portrayal of a woman involved in a complex relationship with a man in "Certified Copy." Is she married or is this an affair? The film has us wondering. The film is about originals and copies and its theme resonates on a multitude of levels.

Best Director The story of Burlesque troupe leader is beautifully guided by French director Mathieu Amalric, who also plays the role of troupe leader, Joachim Zand. Amalric used a book by Colette and her experiences of early twentieth century dance halls as his inspiration for the film “On Tour.”

Best Screenplay Written and directed by Lee Chang-dong, “Poetry,” explores how a woman tries to find meaning in life by taking a poetry class after a teenager commits suicide. The film was well received by critics. 

Jury Prize Director Mahamet-Saleh Haroun won the award for “A Screaming Man,” which tells the tale of  Adam (Youssouf Djaoro) who is demoted and subsequently humiliated when his son, Abdel (Diouc Koma) takes over his job. In order to regain his position, he recruits his son into the civil war in Chad. 

Camera D’or (debut film) “Leap Year,” is about a journalist named Laura (Monica del Carmen), who develops a sadomasochistic relationship with a man. Director Michael Rowe paces this disturbing drama quite well, slowly revealing the darker psychological dynamics that drives Laura’s sadism.

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