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Cannes 2023: Favourites Films to Win the Palme d’Or

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Scarlett Johansson stars in Asteroid City, directed by Wes Anderson |
Scarlett Johansson stars in Asteroid City, directed by Wes Anderson | Photo: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis /Cannes FDC

With the fast approaching of the day when a ceremony will reveal the winning film of the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, some films are already in the lead to take the prize home.

The Cannes Film Festival kicked off on May 16th with the premiere of the film “Jeanne Du Barry,” starring American actor Johnny Depp. Over the past few days, nearly 20 films in the official selection, competing for the Palme d’Or, have been screened at the Grand theatre Lumière, in Cannes.

But which films stand a real chance to win the prize? With a very diverse list of 21 productions competing for the Palme d’Or in 2023 – seven of them directed by women – the competition is certainly fierce.

Here are three films with chances to win the Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore stars in May December

May December

If a massive streaming platform buying a production is anything to go by, Todd Haynes first feature since documentary The Velvet Underground screened out of Competition two years ago – is his fourth to play in Competition – is off to a good start when, halfway the Cannes Film Festival this year, Netflix bought ‘May December’ for $11 Million.

The film, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, portrays a scandalous age-gap relationship and debuted on Saturday to a six-minute standing ovation. Oscar-winner Julianne Moore plays the “December” to Charles Melton’s much-younger “May,” who was just 13 when the two fell in love. As a result of a 20-year age gap, their marriage ignited a scandal that captivated national tabloids in the past. Now, decades later, their enduring bond faces a pivotal moment of examination when May travels to Georgia to study the life of Moore’s character, whom she’s set to play in a film.

The Old Oak, Ken Loach’s new film, is competing for a Palme d’Or in Cannes

The Old Oak

The Old Oak, Ken Loach’s new film starring Debbie Honeywood and Ebla Mari, is another strong contender to win the Palme d’Or in 2023. The British production tells the story of a pub landlord in a previously thriving mining community who struggles to hold onto his pub, whilst tensions rise in the town when Syrian refugees are placed in the empty houses in the community. Loach is used to the red carpet in the French riviera: Two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and I, Daniel Blake (2016), received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making him one of only nine filmmakers to win the award twice. Loach also holds the record for most films in the main competition at Cannes, with fifteen films.

Steve Carell stars in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City | Photo: 87 Productions/Focus Features

Asteroid City

If Tiktokers could vote for best films shown in Cannes, Wes Anderson would win by a landslide with his very distinctive cinematic style that, in 2023, has been getting social media users to turn their own lives into 20-second movies wrapped with ‘The French Dispatch’ song “Obituary” by composer Alexandre Desplat.

In Asteroid City he unashamedly repeats the formula, with his signature pastel colour palette and symmetric shots. The story of a convention organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition that is disrupted by world unexpected events could barely worth a short film. But with his several lateral tracking shots that long have been one of his trademarks, Wes proves that cinema can be creative and captivating to a younger audience that is more used to watch streamed content – or to chronicle their lives in 20-second short videos posted on TikTok.

The list of 21 films in competition in Cannes also includes  Firebrand by Karim Aïnouz,  Rapito (Kidnapped) by Marco Bellocchio, Les Filles d’Olfa (Four Daughters) by Kaouther Ben Hania, L’Été dernier (Last Summer)  by Catherine Breillat, Kuru Otlar Ustune (About Dry Grasses) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer, Club Zero by Jessica Hausner, Monster by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kuolleet Lehdet (Fallen Leaves) (Fallen Leaves) by Aki Kaurismäki, Il Sol dell’ avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow) by Nanni Moretti, La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher, Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu) by Tran Anh Hùng, Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall) by Justine Triet,  Jeunesse (Le Printemps) (Youth (Spring)) by Wang Bing and Perfect Days by Wim Wenders.

On Saturday, after 11 days of Festival, the Jury will give the awards during a Closing Ceremony scheduled to take place on May 27 from 8:30 pm (Central European Time

 CET) and broadcasting live on France 2.

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

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Cannes opens with French comedy and honorary award for Meryl Streep

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Actress Juliette Binoche hands an award to Meryl Steep
Meryl Streep receives a honorary Palme D’Or from Juliette Binoche | Photo: Andrea Rentz

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival officially opened last night with Quentin Dupieux’s Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act), and an honorary Palme d’Or awarded to American actress Meryl Streep.

Presented Out of Competition as a world premiere on the Croisette last night, May 14, this four-part comedy was also released in all French cinemas on the same day. The film stars Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard playing squabbling actors filming a movie produced and directed by artificial intelligence.

The opening ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes, hosted at the  Grand Théâtre Lumière, also had American actress Meryl Streep as a guest of honour.

Streep received the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’or, 35 years after winning the Best Actress award for Evil Angels, her only appearance in Cannes until last night.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me: ’Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes so fast. So fast,″ added Streep. “And it has, and it does. Except for my speech, which is too long,” said the three time Oscar award-winning actress.

Last year French Film director Justine Triet won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or for her murder mystery film “Anatomy of a Fall” becoming the third female filmmaker ever to win the prize, which was first awarded in 1955. 

The 77th Cannes Film Festival is set to run until May 25th, when the Palme d’Or winners will be revealed, 2024.

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films
The Science Behind Pixar can be seen at CaixaForum Madrid until 8 September.

CaixaForum Madrid is currently hosting The Science Behind Pixar exhibition, created by the Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. The exhibition is divided into eight sections, corresponding to the steps in the process Pixar uses to transform an idea into a film. With specific examples from some of their most famous films, the public will be able to experiment with the techniques behind the modelling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering of animated films.

This is the third collaboration between the ”la Caixa” Foundation and Pixar Studios. In 2015, Pixar: 25 Years of Animation, represented a thorough review of this pioneering company’s work in computer animation in its 25 years of history. Subsequently, Pixar, Building Characters (which has travelled to five CaixaForums since 2020) focused on the visual design of the Pixar characters to best transmit the story and fit in with the other elements of the film. Now, the eight sections of The Science Behind Pixar will give visitors an insight into every stage of the technical process used by Pixar’s artists and computer scientists

The aim of the new exhibition is to peel away, layer by layer and in a way that is attractive for all audiences, the scientific, computer and mathematical concepts that lie behind our favourite Pixar characters. To do this, the exhibition is organised into eight sections, each of which explains in depth one specific step of Pixar’s technical process: Modelling, which allows characters to be created in 3D; Rigging, in which the virtual bones, muscles and joints are developed; design of Surfaces and Sets; Animation, which brings the story to life; Simulation, which provides automated movements; Lighting, which enhances the emotional impact, and Rendering, which turns 3D scenes into 2D images.

Throughout 815 square metres in CaixaForum Madrid, visitors will learn about all these steps that Pixar pays passionate attention to in order to bring its worlds and characters to life. Dozens of interactive and audiovisual elements will reveal what is hidden behind Pixar films, from the first-ever computer-animated feature film – Toy Story – which opened over two decades ago, to the release of Turning Red.

To better understand the science and maths that go into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, visitors will see audiovisuals and hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. They will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive elements.

In the Sets & Cameras section, for example, visitors will discover how camera placement and angles created a bug’s-eye view for A Bug’s Life; in Modelling, they will try their hand at creating a digital sculpture from an artist’s sketch and in Lighting they will use lights to solve challenges similar to ones Pixar faced in creating underwater scenes with virtual light in Finding Nemo. The exhibition route also includes human-size recreations of many Pixar film characters, such as Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story), Dory (Finding Nemo), Mike and Sulley (Monsters, Inc.), Edna Mode (The Incredibles) and WALL·E (from the film of the same name).

Throughout the months that the exhibition will remain at CaixaForum Madrid, the ”la Caixa” Foundation will be offering various activities to bring the art and science of Pixar closer to all audiences. In addition, the general public can take a guided tour and families can choose between the family tour and the animated stories workshop-tour, where visitors can make a short, animated clip to understand all the phases of the creative process after visiting the exhibition.

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Switzerland wins Eurovision song contest with non-binary singer

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Non-binary singer Nemo, winner of the Eurovision 2024
Singer Nemo performed ‘The Code’ for Switzerland | Photo: Alma Bengtsson

After the very last set of scores had come in, The Code, performed by rapper Neno, was announced as the clear champion of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 with a points tally of 591 and a lead of 44 points. 

Croatia finished in second place with Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna on 547 points. The other spot on the podium finish went to Ukraine, ending up in third place thanks to alyona alyona & Jerry Heil with their song Teresa & Maria, on 453 points.

Scores on the night were awarded in two stages, as is traditional at the Eurovision Song Contest. The first results to come in were from the juries, followed by the reveal of the public vote.

Once the initial points from 37 juries had come in, Switzerland already had secured the lead on the scoreboard with 365 points.

Nemo is the first nonbinary artist to win Eurovision.

“I’m mostly just really grateful for this experience and all the friends I’ve made along the way. This was one of the most queer representations we’ve seen at Eurovision which was amazing, I want to shout out all the other queer artists this year,” said the artist who was born in Biel, a small bilingual town in Switzerland.

Nemo’s triumph in Malmö is Switzerland’s third win at the Eurovision Song Contest to date, following victory by Lys Assia in 1956 and Céline Dion in 1988.

Switzerland first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, winning the very first edition of the competition, which it also hosted. 

It has been a controversial year for the song contest festival launched in 1956. For weeks, the question of whether Israel should be allowed to compete or not while engaged in a military conflict in Gaza dominated the media surrounding the event and attracted pro-Palestine activists to the Swedish city of Malmö. Eden Golan, a 20-year old singer representing Israel, was booed during a dress rehearsal; It has been reported that she was confined to her hotel room, while in Malmo to perform at Eurovision, after a series of threats against the Israeli delegation. Hours before the grand final, on May 11th, Dutch rapper Joost Klein, who represented the Netherlands, was disqualified from Eurovision 2024 over what the organisers described as an “incident” involving a female member of the production crew.

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