Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cannes 2010: What are Uncle Boonmee's chances?

The Cannes Film Festival is over. Except for the awards in the main Palme d'Or competition, which are given out tonight.

According to pundits, a strong contender for the Palme d'Or emerged with Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (ลุงบุญมีระลึก ชาติ, Lung Boonmee Raleuk Chat).

Pundits also say there's no strong winner as there was last year when Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon took the Palme d'Or. Which films will the jury headed by Tim Burton like?

Movieline has a cheeky look at the odds.

The Thai filmmaker ... is a critics’ darling, in the same camp as Hou Hsiao-Hsien. In fact, the more pretentious the critic, the more he or she will usually champion Joe’s films. That aside, this film is by far his most coherent and accessible — though not coherent enough for me to even begin to plot it out successfully. Amid some excellent scenes — Monkey Ghosts with piercing red laser eyes; a catfish who performs cunnilingus on a princess swimming in a creek — the film (kind of) tells the tale of a dying man living in a remote forest who’s visited by a series of ghosts. Weerasethakul probably had Tim Burton at Monkey Ghosts. That mixed with critical adulation is looking like gold.
ODDS: 3 to 2.

If Twitter buzz is anything to go by, then Uncle Boonmee seems like a good bet.

Says Cédric Succivalli as On The Croisette:

And for the record my Palme d'or goes to Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. I was flabbergasted by it.

Critical reception is mixed though. Adding to the two earlier roundups of reviews, here's one more from Film Business Asia's Derek Elley:

Compared with many films connected to art projects or installations, Boonmee is relatively accessible, though with Weerasethakul "accessible" is a relative term. For general viewers and the unconverted, Boonmee is fractionally less jejeune and less borderline silly than Tropical Malady and actually more abstruse than his last movie, Syndromes and a Century. It deserves to be seen on screens rather than hung in art galleries but will not convince those outside Weerasethakul's tiny international fan club that he is in any way a major filmmaker, however many prizes he wins at festivals.

What time are the awards handed out? I'll check back later.

(AFP photo by Yahoo! News)

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