Which Cannes Films Have A Shot At The Oscars 2018?
Written by Enrique Lopez Oropeza
Arguably the main two main film-related awards in the world are the Cannes and the Oscars. Obviously, both of them are miles apart in their different approaches about what they consider to be the best films. The former is about the best movies shown only during the festival and the latter is about awarding the best of what came in the past year. Yet in theory, they really are about recognizing the best in the art of movie-making.
Not often something from Cannes translates into Oscar gold or even a nomination, which is why is so interesting to predict which will the “lucky” ones to enter the conversation. Just last year for example only 4 out of the 21 films up for the Palm d’Or were considered in Oscar’s main categories. So let’s take a recap into what happened at Cannes and see which ones have the best shot at being nominated into either the “Best Foreign Film” category or any of the “Top 5” (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress or Best Screenplay).
For starters, let’s review the Top 3 winners of the festival: “Loveless” (Jury Prize), “120 Beats Per Minute” (Grand Prix) and “The Square” (Palme d’Or), which by the way if they happen to be considered it seems it would only be in the Best Foreign Film category. Though a perfectly adequate winner of the Palme d’Or, “The Square” is the kind of film that would have easily missed being considered for the Foreign Film award at the Oscars, yet director Ruben Ostulnd is widely thought to have been snubbed a nomination for his 2014’s “Force Majeure”. The plot and themes of the film are probably not timely enough for the academy members so it would probably be out of realistic consideration if it wasn’t for what they “owe” to Ostulnd.
The one that seems already a lock for a Foreign Film nomination is France’s “120 Beats Per Minute”. In a year with so many politic-related news, a film about basic human rights and health policies is a shoe-in. Add the recent events of Australia’s mandate to allow gay marriage to become legal and also the fact that it was the favorite to win the big prize at Cannes by most of the jury. This screams of a nomination.
And then there’s “Loveless”. Director Andrei Zvyagintsev was previously nominated for 2014’s “Leviathan”, yet the intimate Russian tale might be a bit too personal for voters, in spite of its rave reviews. So, out of these three, “Loveless” could be the one that is not considered.
What about the other’s that were in contention for the big prize? Recently Terrence Malik’s “The Tree of Life” was nominated for Best Picture in 2012. You would have to jump 10 years back in time to see the same feat with Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist” and then other 8 years with Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. Basically, it’s something of an anomaly that happens once in a decade and this year doesn’t seem to break that rule. Therefore, the biggest chances for the remaining films might be in screenplay or in an acting category.
Nicole Kidman has a shot to being recognized with a Best Actress nomination for such an amazing year she had in both film and television. The problem is that she could split the votes between both “The Beguiled” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”. Yorgos Lanthimos is slowly building a career with American actors yet not to such a success as Sofia Coppola. So the best shot is to go with “The Beguilded”. However, don’t be surprised by a screenplay nomination for Lanthimos.
Okja was a film positively reviewed by both audiences and critics. Yet it seems to be already kind of forgotten and if it’s lucky enough to get the recognition it would be in a technical category such as visual effects or costume design.
Michael Haneke, though a Cannes darling, didn’t come up with the best of his work this year. That and the fact that he was already recognized with 2012’s “Amour”. So, probably “Happy End” will not be present at the ceremony.
“You Were Never Really Here” won the best actor prize at Cannes and it seems that Joaquin Phoenix is starting to campaign for a lead actor Oscar nomination. Yet this is a packed year and honestly, Gary Oldman is already believed to be a lock not only for a nomination, but for the win. So if any, Phoenix will have to stay with just a nomination
Germany’s official entry for the Foreign film is “In the Fade”. It stars this year’s best actress Diane Kruger. But sadly, it doesn’t seem that she’s campaigning for a nomination so it will probably only be considered in the Foreign Film category.
Besides that, the rest of the films don’t have a realistic chance to be considered. Either because of their themes or their formality, Cannes films are often seen too “artsy” for the Academy voters, and this year the trend seems to continue. It cannot be denied however the importance of having your film in both platforms as it’s a way of gaining both the art circle and the business recognition. And of course the possibility of having great films with more distribution and therefore more audience around the world.