Honor roll: Festival de Cannes Jury Awards for Feature Films

Each of these films has been nominated for a Festival de Cannes Jury Awards for Feature Films. They are ranked by honors received.

Film:4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days: (4 Luni, 3 Saptamini si 2 Zile)

Cristian Mungiu

Otilia and Gabita share the same room in a University’s dormitory. They both study in a small town’s University in Romania, during the last years of communism. Otilia rents a room in a scruffy hotel. They meet Mr Bebe. Gabita is pregnant; abortion is illegal. None of them has ever faced such situation before.

Film:The Wind That Shakes the Barley

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Ken Loach

Ireland 1920: workers from field and country unite to form volunteer guerrilla armies to face the ruthless “Black and Tan” squads that are being shipped from Britain to block Ireland’s bid for independence.

Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy, in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom.

As the freedom fighters’ bold tactics bring the British to breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But, despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families who fought side by side, find themselves pitted against one another as sworn enemies, putting their loyalties to the ultimate test.

Film:The Child

The Child: (L'enfant)

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Dispossessed twenty-year old Bruno (Jérémie Renier) lives with his eighteen-year-old girlfriend Sonia (Déborah François) in Seraing, an eastern Belgian steel town. They live off Sonia’s unemployment benefits and the panhandling and petty theft committed by Bruno and his gang. Their lives change forever when Sonia gives birth to their child, Jimmy. She returns home after Jimmy’s birth to find that Bruno has sublet their apartment to total strangers. After an initial and promising change of heart about becoming a father and changing his ways, Jimmy becomes little more to Bruno than a new source of wealth. Desperate for money and unable to face his parental responsibilities, Bruno sells Jimmy to a black market connection, who promises to find the child an adoptive home. Realizing the error in his actions Bruno sets out to try and undo his callous deed, leading him to a powerful personal transformation.

Film:Fahrenheit 9/11

Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore

To anyone who truly understands what it means to be an American, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 should be seen as a triumph of patriotic freedom. Rarely has the First Amendment been exercised with such fervor and forthrightness of purpose: After subjecting himself to charges of factual errors in his gun-lobby exposé Bowling for Columbine, Moore armed himself with a platoon of reputable fact-checkers, an abundance of indisputable film and video footage, and his own ironically comedic sense of righteous indignation, with the singular intention…

Film:Elephant (2003)

Elephant

Gus Van Sant

Elephant, the elegant and unsettling movie from Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting), depicts students at a high school before and during a harrowing, Columbine-style shooting. The movie follows one young boy who takes over the wheel from his drunken dad while returning from lunch, then loops back in time and follows another student who crosses paths with the first, then loops back and follows another—all captured in long, unedited tracking shots that are serene and unhurried, even when two boys in camouflage gear, carrying…

Film:The Son's Room

The Son's Room: (La Stanza del Figlio)

Nanni Moretti

Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti’s signature talent for the overheard, unexpected, and happened-upon detail lends The Son’s Room, the story of a grieving middle-class family, the unnerving quality of an unwanted surprise. Giovanni (Moretti) is a successful psychoanalyst whose family life is remarkably placid and enviously intimate: his beautiful wife (Laura Morante) and two intelligent, attractive teenage children are unafraid of their emotions. When his son, Andrea (Giuseppe Sanfelice), drowns in a diving accident, Giovanni is driven to suspend his…

Film:Dancer in the Dark

Dancer in the Dark

Lars von Trier

Masterpiece or masquerade? Lars von Trier’s digicam musical split the critics in two when it debuted at Cannes in 2000. There were those who saw it as a cynical shock-opera from a manipulative charlatan, others wept openly at its scenes of raw emotion and heart-rending intensity. There is, however, no in-between. Dancer in the Dark is that rarest of creatures, a film that dares to push viewers to the limits of their feelings.

In her first and most probably last screen performance (she has foresworn acting after her bruising on-set rows with von Trier),…

Film:Rosetta

Rosetta

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Rosetta follows a troubled young woman as she goes through her difficult life. That is, it follows her literally: the entire film is shot with handheld cameras, usually right behind the heroine. Rosetta (Emilie Dequenne) lives in a Belgian trailer park with her alcoholic mother, making a little money selling clothes that she’s mended. When she finally gets a job and begins a friendship with a coworker, she believes she’s reaching some degree of the normal life she desperately craves. But when she loses her job, she takes turns that may ruin any chance for…

Film:Eternity and a Day

Eternity and a Day: (Mia aioniotita kai mia mera)

Theo Angelopoulos

Acclaimed Greek director Theo Angelopoulos (Ulysses’ Gaze) won the Palm d’Or at the 1998 Cannes film festival for his extended rumination on the conflict between life and art, Eternity and a Day. Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) stars as Alexander, a reclusive, terminally ill writer who rescues a young Albanian refugee and embarks and a dreamlike odyssey into his own past. Comparisons to Bergman’s Wild Strawberries leap to mind here—Alexander remains old and bearded even as he interacts with his wife (Isabelle Renauld) and family as they…

Film:The Eel

The Eel: (Unagi)

Shohei Imamura

Catching his young wife having sex with another man, a jealous husband stabs her to death. Hardly the regular way to start a comedy but, as a filmmaker, Shohei Imamura has always operated according to his own rules. The Eel, his first film after an eight-year break, traces the slow rehabilitation of a man self-exiled from society. The murder serves as prelude to the main action in which, having served eight years in jail, Takuro Yamashita is paroled to a remote lakeside settlement. He sets up as the world’s least talkative barber, his sole confidant the…

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