After 21 world premieres, nearly two weeks of red-carpet parades and hundreds of thousands of camera flashes, the 76th Cannes Film Festival ends Saturday with the presentation of its top award, the Palme d’Or.
One of cinema’s most sought-after awards will be decided this year by a jury, chaired by two-time Palme winner, Swedish director Ruben Östlund. A brief ceremony will precede the closing night film of the ceremony, the Pixar animation “Elemental”.
Any of the 21 films running in Cannes’ main competition lineup could win the Palme d’Or. Among the critical favorites of this year’s festival are Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” a chilling Martin Amis adaptation about a German family living next to Auschwitz; “Fallen Leaves,” filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki’s deadpan romance fizzles out; and “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justin Triet’s twisty French Alps courtroom drama.
Two of them — “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest” — star German actor Sandra Hüller, a potential candidate for Best Actress.
Treat and Hüller were among those who arrived for Saturday’s closing ceremony, as was Glazer. Also seen on the red carpet – an early indication of potential winners – were “Perfect Days” director Wim Wenders and his star Koji Yakusho, and “Monster” director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Both Vander (“Paris, Texas”) and Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”) have previously won the Palme d’Or.
Quentin Tarantino, who won Cannes’ top prize for “Pulp Fiction,” attended the ceremony to pay tribute to filmmaker Roger Corman.
The festival’s Un Certain Regard section handed out its awards on Friday, giving the top prize to Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature, “How to Have Sex.”
Saturday’s ceremony sets out to cap off a Cannes edition that hasn’t lacked for pageantry, stars or controversy.
The biggest wattage came out of the premiere competition. Martin Scorsese debuts his Osage murder epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a towering vision of American exploitation with Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Harrison Ford’s indie farewell, begins with a tribute to Ford. Wes Anderson premieres “Asteroid City”.
The festival opened on a note of controversy. “Jeanne du Barry”, a period drama co-starring Johnny Depp as Louis XV, played as the opening night film. The premiere marked Depp’s highest-profile appearance since the conclusion of his explosives trial last year with ex-wife Amber Heard.
The selection of “Jean du Barry” added to the criticisms of Cannes for being too hospitable to men accused of abusive behavior.
Cannes, which requires films in competition to adhere to France’s strict theatrical window rules, has remained at a standoff with Netflix in recent years. Yet, surprisingly, a Netflix release could potentially win the Palme. After Todd Haynes’ “May December”, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, premiered in competition, Netflix acquired it for distribution in North America for $11 million.
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