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:The Mission (1986)

The Mission

Roland Joffé

The Mission is director Roland Joffé’s fuzzy effort at an epic in David Lean style without David Lean’s sense of emotional proportion. In fact, Lean’s most important screenwriting collaborator, Robert Bolt, wrote The Mission, which concerns a Jesuit missionary (Jeremy Irons) who establishes a church in the hostile jungles of Brazil and then finds his work threatened by greed and political forces among his superiors.

Robert De Niro is briefly effective as a callous soldier who kills his own brother and then turns to Irons’s character to oversee…

Film:Missing (1982)

Missing

Costa-Gavras

The peril facing a lone American amid Third World political turmoil is elegantly communicated in this important film from Costa-Gavras (Z), adapted by the director and Donald Stewart from Thomas Hauser’s nonfiction book. The key to its power onscreen stems from the decision not to center the action merely on the disappearance of Charles Horman (John Shea), but also on the search for him by his father Ed (Jack Lemmon)—and on Ed’s discovery of a son he never knew. The Oscar-winning script flows freely between that search and Charles’s earlier experiences in…

Film:Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas

Wim Wenders

Something like a perfect artistic union is achieved in the major components of Paris, Texas: the twang of Ry Cooder’s guitar, the lonely light of Robbie Muller’s camera, the craggy landscape of Harry Dean Stanton’s face. In his greatest role, longtime character actor Stanton plays a man brought back to his old life after wandering in the desert (or somewhere) for four years. He has a 7-year-old son to get to know, and his wife has gone missing. The material is much in the wanderlust spirit of director Wim Wenders, working from a script by Sam Shepard and…

Film:Kagemusha

Kagemusha: (The Shadow Warrior)

Akira Kurosawa

In his late color masterpiece Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior) director Akira Kurosawa returned to the samurai film and to a primary theme of his celebrated career—the play between illusion and reality. Sumptuously reconstructing the splendor of feudal Japan and pageantry of war, Kurosawa creates a soaring historical epic that is also a somber meditation on the nature of power. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Kagemusha for the first time in its full-length version.

Film:All That Jazz

All That Jazz

Bob Fosse

Choreographer-turned-director Bob Fosse (Cabaret, Lenny) turns the camera on himself in this nervy, sometimes unnerving 1979 feature, a nakedly autobiographical piece that veers from gritty drama to razzle-dazzle musical, allegory to satire. It’s an indication of his bravura, and possibly his self-absorption, that Fosse (who also cowrote the script) literally opens alter ego Joe Gideon’s heart in a key scene—an unflinching glimpse of cardiac surgery, shot during an actual open-heart procedure.

Roy Scheider makes a brave and largely successful…

Film:Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Soderbergh

Winner of the Palm d’Or and Best Actor awards at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, sex, lies, and videotape transformed the independent film industry and turned writer-director Steven Soderbergh into the envy of aspiring filmmakers everywhere. Sly, seductive, and coolly intelligent, the movie explores the sexual shenanigans and personal preoccupations of its four central characters, revolving around a selfish lawyer (Peter Gallagher) who responds to his wife by having an affair with her free-spirited sister (Laura San Giacomo). But when the lawyer’s college…

Film:Pelle the Conqueror: (Pelle erobreren)

Pelle the Conqueror: (Pelle erobreren)

Bille August

Pelle the Conqueror is a Scandinavian drama which won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film and a Best Actor nomination for Max (The Exorcist) Von Sydow. Set at the end of the 19th century, it tells of a widowed Swedish farmer who goes looking for a better life in Denmark with his young son, Pelle (a fine Pelle Hvenegaard). Much like Life is Beautiful (1998) the heart of the film is the bond between father and son and their dreams for a better world. Although the photography brings an austere beauty to the bleak coastlands of…

Film:Under the Sun of Satan

Under the Sun of Satan: (Sous le soleil de Satan)

Maurice Pialat

Film:Smooth Talk

Smooth Talk

Joyce Chopra

Fifteen-year-old Connie Wyatt (Laura Dern) may be too young to drive, but she’s already driving the boys crazy. Her suspicious mother (Mary Kay Place) wants to keep her safely at home, but free-spirited Connie would rather while away the languid summer days hanging out with her friends and flirting with boys at the local burger stand. But when she flirts with an older, handsome and predatory stranger (Treat Williams), she isn’t prepared for the frightening and traumatic consequences.

Film:When Father Was Away On Business

When Father Was Away On Business: (Otac na sluzbenom putu)

Emir Kusturica

In the tumultuous 1950’s, as Tito’s Yugoslavia resists the pressures of Stalinism, a young boy narrates the story of his family’s troubled world. Mesha (Miki Manojlovic), a minor party official in Yugoslavia has been sent away to the mines for fooling around with the voluptuous communist party official. The drama unfolds through the eyes of Mesha’s six year-old naïve son, Malik, who thinks Papa is away on business.

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