At the start of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund told a roomful of journalists that he would rather win his third Palme d’Or than an Oscar. This year, at least, the previous Cannes winner, who won for “The Triangle of Sadness” and “The Square,” will have to be content to hand the Palme d’Or to someone else.
As president of this year’s jury for the 76th festival’s official competition, Ostlund leads a team of nine writers, directors and actors (as well as two writer-director-actors): Palme d’Or winner Julia Ducournau (“Titane”), Brie Larson, Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni, Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani, Paul Dano, French actor Denis Ménochet, Afghan director Atiq Rahimi and Argentinian director Damián Szifron. The group spends the festival watching two to three competing films each day, and Ostlund said they gather every third film during the 10-day festival to consider them. That process culminates on Saturday, May 27, when the group meets for the last time and votes on the winner of the Palme, as well as awards for acting, writing, directing and a few other categories. The ceremony will take place at 8:30 p.m
There is no exact science for predicting the Palme d’Or competition. Each jury member gets one vote, including the president, and jurors are instructed to keep their reactions to the films in mind during the festival. In the past, some people have followed this rule better than others, and rumors continue to spread. The films with the most critical support aren’t always the obvious front-runners (the acclaimed “Toni Erdmann” lost to the sentimental “I, Daniel Blake” in 2016), though wild, subversive filmmaking often overrides more traditional storytelling (check out ” The triangle of sadness” and “Titane”, winners of the last two years). It can be all too easy to make assumptions about jury preferences based on their own work. At the same time, the Cannes-obsessed need every clue for this guessing game.
IndieWire’s annual Palme d’Or predictions list only includes odds for films already shown at the festival. It’s updated daily as new films are screened, so check back to see the latest odds from the festival.
What you need to know
1. “Zone of interest”
Glazer’s first film since “Under the Skin” is a tense and gripping look at an Auschwitz commandant (Christian Friedel) and his wife (Sandra Huller) through the unusual lens of their family life. The critics love it, and the jury will almost certainly appreciate its daring approach. A serious Palme d’Or contender, until part of the jury finds it too cold. Read our review.
Shoplifters director Kore-eda returns with his latest bid for a second Palme, a sentimental look at a young child who may or may not be the victim of bullying; As her single mother tries to get to the bottom of it, the film takes on a “Rashomon” perspective that deepens. Kore-eda’s subtle approach may be almost too understated for some, but his cinematic confidence (and the emotional clarity of his ideas) is undeniable. Read our review.
3. “Youth (Spring)”
Chinese author Wang Bing’s sprawling look at textile workers whose work is shipped around the world is an intricate depiction of an underrepresented world. (It’s a rare documentary in competition and the first for the “Dead Souls” director.) It’s been praised for its sensitive approach, but its glacial pace, rambling style and daunting 218-minute running time make it less likely to find you. consensus required for palm. Read our review.
Corsini’s latest French drama (he was last at Cannes in 2021 in “The Divide”) has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding sex scenes with underage actors. Other than that, the film is a thoughtful and grounded look at two black teenagers who return to Corsica with their single mother and struggle to make sense of their broken family. Despite the strong performances, the film’s emotional arc is a bit too pedestrian to usher in serious Palme potential. Read our review.
5. “On the dry grass”
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkish director Ceylan won the Palme d’Or for “Winter Sleep” and is a regular at Cannes with his languid, darkly funny character studies, which can be a bit of an acquired taste. His latest, a gripping yet slow-moving look at a disgruntled high school teacher who runs into trouble with one of his admiring students, will satisfy plenty of Ceylan fans thanks to his thoughtful examination of the nihilistic character’s worldview. But it’s hard to see how the jury could square this particular cinematic challenge with other strong options.