The 2013 Cannes Film Festival has come and gone, but in its wake have emerged some outstanding movies that viewers will be enjoying for years to come. It was a good year for American movies, but the French themselves walked away with the Palme d’Or, the festival’s biggest prize, for the controversial lesbian coming-of-age film, “Blue is the Warmest Color.”
Led by a jury that for 2013 included such notables as Steven Spielberg, Cannes Jury President; Director Ang Lee; and Actress Nicole Kidman, the film “Blue is the Warmest Color” caused buzz everywhere, even as politics (riots in the streets of Paris) played out over the issue of gay marriage.
Overview of notable American flicks
Many of the American movies featured at Cannes will likely be contenders for future Oscars, given the quality of the acting and directing seen there. Those receiving notable acclaim include the Coen Brother’s “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Another smashing success of the festival was Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” which garnered Bruce Dern an award for his acting.
That acting was up against such notable performances as Robert Redford as a man lost at sea in “All Is Lost” and that of Michael Douglas in “Behind the Candelabra.” Steven Soderbergh who directed the film matched his directing chops against such other notables as Jim Jarmusch with “Only Lovers Left Alive” and Sofia Coppola with “The Bling Ring,” which is sure to be popular for its storyline (based on real events) and setting among the celebrity culture of Los Angeles.
Actors and actresses who stole the show
Among those who scooped up prizes at the “ritziest film festival on the planet” (in the words of Vulture.com) were French actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux for “Blue is the Warmest Color.” Notably, these are the only two women other than Jane Champion to have won the festival’s top prize.
Another French actress to make a splash this year was Berenice Bejo (of “The Artist” fame), who aptly demonstrated she’s not a one-trick pony. Her role as a manipulative mother in “The Past” garnered her the “Best Actress Award” to Bruce Dern’s dark role as the unsympathetic but transformative father in the black-and-white father-son drama, “Nebraska.”
Other actors and actresses who seemed made for their film roles include Tilda Swinton in the vampire flick, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and Ryan Gosling in “Seduced and Abandoned.”
Not everyone fared as well, however. Billy Crudup and Clive Owen seemed terribly miscast as brothers from New York in “Blood Ties.” Noted Vulture, they “don’t even look like they’re from the same planet, let alone gene pool.” Critics also had harsh words for Roman Polanski’s Broadway adaptation of “Venus in Fur.”
All in all, however, it seemed to be a very good year for movies, based on the showing at Cannes. Even better, noted Metacritic, many of the films mentioned “already have distribution, release dates or have already appeared on TV (thanks HBO), and many more will be coming” soon to theaters near you.