Cannes 2016 Palme d’Or predictions


In just a few day’s time, we’ll know who and what will emerged victorious from this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Yes, over the weekend, the jury at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival will be deliberating and deciding on the newest group of award winners for the classiest fest out there. Highlighted by the incredibly prestigious Palme d’Or prize (their version of Best Picture), Cannes could just as easily launch something into the Oscar race as opposed to merely highlighting a smaller title. Historically, the festival has given us a bit of both, which makes it harder to accurately predict what a new jury will do each year. George Miller heads up this one, so perhaps that will favor an English language contender or something with more of a genre bent? But, perhaps that doesn’t matter? Predictions here are an even more inexact science than awards shows that have precursors of sorts. I’m still going to try, of course. Just know that these are basically shots in the dark. Regardless, enjoy them for what they’re worth!

As is usually the case with Cannes, there’s no guaranteed winners going into the final weekend, but I think the main contenders to keep an eye on across the board are Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, and Jeff Nichols’ Loving. Those four, along with perhaps Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation are the likeliest ones to contend for the Palme d’Or as well as possibly some acting prizes as well. The most buzz seems to surround Loving and Toni Erdmann, but there are interesting X factors out there too. It would be a slightly mainstream pick to go with Loving, but with the sort of reviews out of the fest for it, anything is possible. One thing is for sure though…Cannes could very well hold a surprise or two, so all eyes are on Miller and company on the jury. Hell, even though Olivier Assayas and Nicolas Winding Refn were booed for their latest projects (Personal Shopper and The Neon Demon, respectively), they could be in the hunt. It’ll be interesting to compare this to the ultimate winners, which is what I’ll likely do early next week.

Here now are my Cannes award predictions for 2016, with brief commentary to follow afterwards:

Palme d’Or

Prediction: Loving
Alternate: Toni Erdmann
Dark Horse: American Honey
Shocker: Paterson

Grand Prix

Prediction: Toni Erdmann
Alternate: The Handmaiden
Dark Horse: American Honey
Shocker: Personal Shopper

Director’s Prize

Prediction: Jim Jarmusch for Paterson
Alternate: Andrea Arnold for American Honey
Dark Horse: Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake
Shocker: Nicholas Winding Refn for The Neon Demon

Jury Prize

Prediction: Aquarius
Alternate: Julieta
Dark Horse: Graduation
Shocker: The Neon Demon

Best Actor

Prediction: Adam Driver for Paterson
Alternate: Peter Simonischek for Toni Erdmann
Dark Horse: Joel Edgerton for Loving
Shocker: Shia LaBeouf for American Honey

Best Actress

Prediction: Sasha Lane for American Honey
Alternate: Sandra Hüller for Toni Erdmann
Dark Horse: Ruth Negga for Loving
Shocker: Kristen Stewart for Personal Shopper

Best Screenplay

Prediction: Maren Ade for Toni Erdmann
Alternate: Jeff Nichols for Loving
Dark Horse: Jim Jarmusch for Paterson
Shocker: Paul Laverty for I, Daniel Blake

Basically, it seems to me like Cannes this year was a bit of a disappointment for most. Outside of Loving, most of the higher profile titles came up short, from Steven Spielberg’s The BFG to previously mentioned things like The Neon Demon and Personal Shopper, not to mention Sean Penn’s The Last Face, which was booed like few things have been in recent years. Still, I think you focus on Loving and Toni Erdmann for the big awards here, with things like American Honey and Paterson potentially showing up here and there. It’s all guesswork, so stay tuned early next week to see how the awards ultimately turned out…

Stay tuned to see what/who wins at Cannes in the coming days!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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