Amat Escalante

inside llewyn davis 04

Three-hour lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Color was announced the winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a choice that many foresaw as likely but not a sure thing. The jury that awarded the honor was led by Steven Spielberg and also included Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz and Lynne Ramsay. For the second place Grand Prix winner, they picked the latest from the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis, while for Jury Prize (considered the third biggest deal) they chose Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s Like Father, Like Son. Like Father, Like Son was also recipient of an honorable mention from the Christian-based Ecumenical Jury, whose top prize went to The Past — the star of which, Bérénice Bejo, was named Best Actress by the main Cannes jury. Blue is the Warmest Color also earned multiple honors from the fest, taking the critic choice FIPRESCI Award for the In Competition category. The biggest surprise of today’s announcement seems to be Spielberg and Co.’s naming of Bruce Dern as Best Actor for the new film from Alexander Payne, Nebraska. After the jump, you can find a full list of main jury winners (from the festival website) and other honorees announced over the weekend accompanied by links to our review of the film where available.



Amat Escalante is the youngest director by a considerable margin to have a film In Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, though he’s no stranger to having his films shown there – his debut Sangre and follow-up The Bastards have both showed up in Un Certain Regard in previous years. His third feature, Heli, sees the director graduate to the big(ger) leagues, joining the likes of Soderbergh, Ozon, Miike and the Coen Brothers this year in the festival’s most esteemed banner, competing for the prized Palme d’Or. It’s a grim start for Escalante’s latest, which opens with a man being thrown and hanged from a bridge, the motivation behind which we do not realize for quite some time. Like many – arguably too many – entries into the so-called New Mexican Wave of recent years, the narrative focal point to Heli is a combination of neo-realism (early glimpses of the titular character performing rote manual labor cement this) and visceral brutality, absolutely unforgiving in the depths it dares audiences to plunge.

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published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.23.2015

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