Justine Triet won the Cannes Film Festival: the French director lifted the Palme d'Or for “Anatomy of a Fall”, a family drama that convinced the jury headed by Ruben Östlund.
Set in a remote area of the French Alps, the film stars Sandra, a German writer who lives in a mountain chalet with her husband Samuel and their eleven-year-old son Daniel.
One day Samuel is found dead, immersed in the snow in front of his house. The investigators suspect that it may not be suicide and decide to investigate, ending up incriminating the man's wife. During the trial, when the woman is questioned about her relationship with her husband, the portrait of a difficult and tormented relationship emerges: Sandra shows a sometimes disturbed personality and her son, forced to assist, experiences a deep inner conflict.
This film can be defined as a judicial thriller which has an enviable pace and a simply impeccable incipit. It was not among the best in the competition, due to some forced narrative passages, but the prize can be awarded by virtue of the extraordinary performance of the protagonist Sandra Hüller .
The other prizes
The Grand Prix went to “The Zone of Interest” by British director Jonathan Glazer, a film that puts a German family at the center of the plot who lives next to the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during World War II. Inspired by the novel of the same name by 2014 by Martin Amis (writer who passed away on 19 May, precisely in the same hours in which the first screenings of the film took place in Cannes), from whose narrative basis a film was born that starts from a really strong staging idea. This is the film that deserved the Palme d'Or. Another very important film was the splendid "Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismäki, one of the most moving and poetic titles of the entire event, which had to settle for the Jury Prize .
The very elegant "Monster" by Hirokazu Kore-Eda has earned recognition for the best screenplay: the Japanese author, winner of the Palme d'Or in 2018 for "A family affair", thus enriches his already large showcase of trophies. Much less deserved is instead a generous award for best director to Tran Anh Hung, a Vietnamese naturalized French director who only partially convinced with his "La passion de Dodin Bouffant", starring Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche. The title of best debut film went to a film presented in the Quinzaine des cinéastes: the Vietnamese film “L'arbre aux papillons d'or” by Thien An Pham.
Actress and actor
As far as interpretations are concerned, Merve Dizdar's victory in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's magnificent film "About Dry Grasses" raises some doubts: the Turkish actress is undoubtedly good, but we would have preferred Natalie Portman or Julianne Moore for "May December" by Todd Haynes, or – if his film hadn't won a more important recognition – the masterful Sandra Hüller of “Anatomy of a Fall”. Instead, we fully agree with the award for best actor, which went to Kōji Yakusho's moving performance in “Perfect Days” by Wim Wenders: the Japanese actor magnificently portrayed a humble man who works as a cleaner in Tokyo's public toilets. In addition to his work routine, he manages to cultivate his passions every day (music, books, photography and trees) and to find beauty even in small things.