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Did The 2024 Oscars Get A Cannes Boost?

May 29, 2023

CANNES – The past decade has been an Oscar boom for Cannes. The French institution has premiered a Best Picture winner in “Parasite” and landed nine nominees over that span including three alone this past January with “Elvis,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and Palme d’Or winner “Triangle of Sadness.” We’re not sure festival director Thierry Fremeux will land another Best Picture winner in 2024, but at least two Best Picture nominations seem very likely.
READ MORE: “Anatomy of a Fall” wins the Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
Let’s start with Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” which took this year’s Palme and was acquired by NEON following its festival debut. Full disclosure, this is the one major competition film we missed due to scheduling, but a competiting awards executive sung its praises to The Playlist without committing to a Best Picture nom (yet). If any studio can pull that off, however, it’s NEON. The independent distributor previously guided “Parasite” and “Triangle of Sadness” (all Palme winners) to Best Picture nominations. They had less success with 2021’s “Titane” but “Anatomy” is regarded as a much broader proposition. Triet will no doubt benefit from a strong Best Director campaign and star Sandra Hüller will fight for a Best Actress nomination in what, as you’ll soon discover, will be a very crowded field.
Before the festival began, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which debuted out of competition, was seen as the most awards-friendly play on la Croisette. With rave reviews (it currently has a higher Metacritic score than “Anatomy”) it seems like the easiest lock for a Best Picture nom out of this year’s expected contenders. It’s also a more creatively daring endeavor for Scorsese than his last nominee, “The Irishman,” and if that drama could land 10 nominations, no one should doubt that “Flower” won’t duplicate or surpass that tally. Leonardo DiCaprio is a frontrunner for a Best Actor nomination (he’s also a producer on the project) while Robert De Niro is in the mix for Best Supporting Actor. Lily Gladstone absolutely has a shot for a Best Actress nom, but considering the field we’d suggest some caution, especially with the social media champions who have not even seen the movie. Again, this is a tough Best Actress race that will find a handful of very frustrated contenders after the nominations are revealed. Additionally, Legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, and production designer Jack Fisk all seem likely for noms at this point in the season.
READ MORE: Todd Haynes on Natalie Portman’s “May December” scene everyone will be talking about [Interview]
In a surprise, Netflix secured the rights to Todd Haynes‘ well received “May December.” It may not be a Best Picture player at this point (book those Gotham and Spirit Awards tables though), but stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore are absolutely contenders in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress fields, respectively (this is assuming Moore goes Supporting, which she should). And don’t sleep on Sammy Burch‘s Black List selected screenplay either (Alex Mechanik has story by credit). If a potential SAG strike is a short one and Portman and Moore can hit the trail, this very American-centric tale could surprise.
The film that was best reviewed out of the festival and landed the second place Grand Prix honor, was Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest.” Distributor A24 has to be disappointed it didn’t take the Palme as that win would be the sort of calling card this masterpiece of a movie could use to enter the season (and entice AMPAS members to see it in a theater). The mini-major will no doubt screen thell out of “Zone,” but any campaign is going require Glazer to work the circuit (questionable) and it features a little-known lead in Christian Friedel and a second in the aforementioned Hüller whose priorities may be elsewhere (it’s clearly her year). That being said, the film is incredible, will be a staple of critics’ top ten lists (it could easily win LAFCA and/or NYFCC) and, oh yeah, it’s one of the more unconventional but stirring reminders of the Holocaust in decades. How A24 juggles the awards focus “Zone” will need alongside the already beloved Sundance and Berlin player “Past Lives” and a third potential Best Picture nominee in Sean Durkin’s “The Iron Claw” is a major question mark. Such troubles, eh?
Focus Features may or may not have something with Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City.” The reviews are on par with his last effort, “The French Dispatch,” which was shockingly ignored from even the most obviously deserving below-the-line categories in 2022. If “Asteroid” can surprise at the box office (“Dispatch still did a fantastic $46 million global as theaters were barely out of the pandemic and COVID strains were still rampant), then AMPAS members may take it more seriously for categories such as Original Screenplay, Production Design, and Cinematography.
READ MORE: Bryan Cranston on Wes Anderson, “Asteroid City” and, oh yeah, Cannes [Interview]
In the Animated Feature race, two potential nominees debuted on la Croissette. The Peter Sohn-directed Pixar entry “Elemental” closed the festival and earned very mixed reviews from the critics remaining in France (a bigger heads up should have been Disney not screening it beforehand). Still, we’d never count out the Disney division when it comes to landing one of the five noms in this category. More intriguing is Pablo Berger‘s emotional and creative “Robot Dreams,” another NEON acquisition out of the fest. With “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” looking like the only lock for a nod (we’re wary that AMPAS members will not vote for “Super Mario Bros”), the almost completely dialogue-less “Dreams” has an excellent shot to make the cut.
If Sundance dominates the Best Documentary field, then Cannes usually rules the International Film category (or at least the shortlist). In fact, Cannes world premieres have won this category six out of the last nine eligible years and six of the last 10 (don’t forget, Cannes was the only major festival that was completely canceled in 2020). Did another winner premiere over the fortnight this year? There certainly wasn’t a slam dunk in the “Parasite,” “Drive My Car” or “Son of Saul” vein, but the field is certainly worth watching.
Alice Rohrwacher‘s enchanting “La Chimera” has a shot at representing Italy (as does Marco Bellocchio’s more conventional “Kidnapped”). Japan will likely select Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s surprise screenplay winner “Monster” although Wim Wenders‘ Tokyo-set “Perfect Days” is a movie International Film voters would adore. Will Germany pick it even though its only connection is Wenders? Stranger things have happened.
Tran Anh Hung’s “The Pot-au-Feu” (which won the Directing prize) is probably the frontrunner for France (Jonathan Ricquebourg should also land some Cinematography consideration) while Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves” (which took the Jury prize) is an easy selection for Finland. In theory, Turkey will choose Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s acclaimed “About Dry Grasses” (its star, Merve Dizdar, won the Best Actress honor), and Tunisia will no doubt pick Kaouther Ben Hania’s “Four Daughters” after the director’s “The Man Who Sold His Skin” became the nation’s only nominee so far in 2021.
Among the Un Certain Regard slate, Rodrigo Moreno’s “The Delinquents” has an excellent shot at representing Argentina while Mohamed Kordofani’s “Goodbye Julia,” (which took the Freedom prize) could be just the second submission ever for Sudan. Kamal Lazraq’s “Hounds” (which won the UCR Jury prize) is a potential pick for Morocco. Joao Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora’s “The Buriti Flower” (won an honor for its ensemble) is likely in the mix for Brazil.
Pham Thien An‘s Director’s Fortnight selection “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” (which took the Camera d’Or) is a sure bet for Vietnam.
Among films that disappointed, Karim Aïnouz’s “Firebrand” still hasn’t been acquired at publication and star Alicia Vikander is, at best, looking at Golden Globe love. Jude Law received praise for his transformation (without a fat suit) into the notorious Henry VIII, but any awards love is a longshot at this point.
Oh, and don’t out “Perfect Days” star Kōji Yakusho, who took the Best Actor prize, in the Best Actor race. Yet another awards player for NEON this season.
Oscar season will continue to make waves this summer with Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” and, yes, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” on the immediate horizon. Awards season will truly kick off with the Venice, Telluride, and TIFF triumvirate which will is just three months away. Prepare yourselves.
Follow along with all our coverage from the 2023 Cannes Film Festival

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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