Film Bitch History
Oscar History

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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« Celebrating Anne Heche at 50 | Main | Cannes winds down. What's winning the Palme? »

Cannes: 'Un Certain Regard' and 'Cinéfondation' Winners

At Cannes the "Competition" titles get most of the press but there's another competition that runs parallel each year which often hides films that are just as strong --some years critics argue that they're stronger. Nadine Labaki (Capernaum) presided this year over the jury judging the 19 films in "Un Certain Regard." That's the program Cannes officials often throw distinctive or high quality films from newer filmmakers in since they reserve the main competition for (mostly) legendary auteurs or Cannes mainstays. 


We first started tracking this picture because it's from the queer Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz who made Futuro Beach, a movie that we liked at the time but obviously undervalued as it really lingers in the memory (I still find myself thinking about it regularly 5 years later). His new film, which won the hearts of Labaki and her jury, also features the legendary Fernanda Montenegro but hers is, alas, a supporting role...

The reviews are strong. The film takes place in 1950s Rio de Janeiro and is a melodrama about two spirited sisters in a male-dominated culture. The Hollywood Reporter says it's "by turns seductive and sorrowful, tender and raw." and loves the leading performances from Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler (with high marks also to Montenegro who apparently only in the final act). Brazil often makes odd choices in the Academy submissions but it appears they have two viable candidates for Oscar submissions playing at Cannes (this and Bacurau which we previously covered though Invisible Life sounds more likely to appeal to Oscar tastes.) 

JURY PRIZE (essentially the 'runner-up')

FIRE WILL COME (Oliver Laxe, Spain/France/Luxembourg) 
This drama is about an ex-con returning to his small village with his elderly mother. But a fire arrives to devastate the town.


Chiara Mastroianni for CHAMBRE 212 (France)
This must be a wonderful feeling for Mastrioanni (the daughter of two legendary movie stars: Catherine Deneuve & Marcello Mastroianni) and the director Christophe Honoré who have worked with each other twice before this (Beloved and Love Songs).  She's a wonderful actor so we'll put this on our to-see list. This film is also referred to as "On a Magical Night" This film is about a woman who leaves her 20 year marriage and moves across the street into a hotel.


Kantemir Balagov for BEANPOLE (Russia)
We previously discussed this one. The director is only 27! 


LIBERTE (Albert Serra, France/Portugal/Spain/Germany)
This one sounds fascinating. It's about libertines expelled from Louis XVI's court. Serra previously directed this for the live theater and photos from that production are absolutely stunning. 

This is a prize for something the jury really loved a first sight, like a pet film. It's a tie. 

A Brother's Love

A BROTHER'S LOVE (Monica Chokri, Canada)
You may remember Monia Chokri as the female lead from Xavier Dolan's Heartbeats some years ago. She's now a director.

THE CLIMB (Michael Angelo Covino, US)
A story of a longtime male friendship threatened by one of the men sleeping with the other's fiancee


JEANNE (JOAN OF ARC) (Bruno Dumont, France)



The Short Films Jury with Claire Denis presiding. All of the winners of this prize receive grant money and the first prize winner is guaranteed presentation of his/her first feature film at Cannes in the future.


MANO A MANO (Louise Courvoisier, France)
This is a romantic drama between circus acrobats. 23 minutes long (Since Cannes is a "qualifying" film festival, this short is now eligible for consideration for the Oscar nomination in the live-action short film category)


HIÉU (Richard Van, US)
A Vietnamese-American father returns to his family for a surprise visit after a get-rich quick scheme. 24 minutes 


The Little Soul

AMBIENCE (Wisam Al Jafari, Palestine)
A music drama about young Palestinians trying to record a demo in a refugee camp. 

DUSZYCZKA (THE LITTLE SOUL) (Barbara Rupik, Poland)
An animated short about a decaying body and the tiny soul still inside of it. 9 minutes 

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Reader Comments (3)

"JURY'S COUP DE COEUR (EX-AEQUO): This is a prize for something the jury really loved at first sight..."

but aren't they seeing all these films for the first time? did they not love the un certain regard winner?

May 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I caught O Que Arde (Fire Will Come) and The Climb.

O Que Arde has an amazing premise but was SO dull in reality. I was really let down by it. I hope that Spain doesn't pick it as their Oscar submission over Pain and Glory. It's in the Galician language so there may be political pressure to pick a non-Castilian film.

The Climb has an amazing 10 minute opener, but it's about the relationship between a guy and his obnoxious best friend. After a few scenes, the obnoxious friend really starts to wear thin and you start to wonder why the film is so intent on praising such a toxic relationship.

The other UCR title I saw was Bull, which was such a downer and also started to wear thin after a while... hope 'Euridice Gusmao' was better than these!

May 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Oh man, I loved FUTURO BEACH at the time as I found myself relating to it a helluva lot. Excited for anything new from that director.

May 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

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