Movies

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Stills from ‘I, Daniel Blake’ and ‘Amour’

Stills from ‘I, Daniel Blake’ and ‘Amour’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

To get over the disappointment of the Cannes Film Festival not being held this year, here a round-up of movies that bagged the prestigious Palme d’Or in the last 10 years

For the first time since 1946, the Cannes Film Festival — often touted to be the most revered film festival — will not be held this year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several critics and film enthusiasts have expressed disappointment on social media, though Cannes director Thierry Frémaux announced that the festival will be screening its Official Selection at partnering festivals like Venice International Film Festival in September.

Today would have been the fourth day at the French Riviera under normal circumstances. Now that Cannes is out of question, we give a round-up of films that won the coveted Palme d’Or in the last decade.

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

Based on the Buddhist book A Man Who Can Recall His Past Lives, this movie deals with the concept of reincarnation. Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the movie focuses on its central character, Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar), who decides to spend his last days in Isan when he comes to terms with the news of his kidney failure. He lives with his sister-in-law Jen and nephew Tong. One day, out of the blue, Boonemee’s dead wife and his long lost son reappear in life, as he begins to contemplate his life and illness. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives became the first Thai movie to win the Palme d’Or.

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

The Tree of Life (2011)

Terrence Malick is one filmmaker whose work has been consistently representing the Big Three — Berlin, Venice and Cannes. This could be argued as his most experimental film. The Tree of Life is Terrence Malick’s passionate attempt in discovering the meaning of life, whereby he chronicles the childhood memories of Mr O’Brien and intercuts with visuals of the origins of the universe, in the most unassuming fashion. It was aided by terrific performances from Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain. Initially, the movie faced extreme reactions from its première at Cannes, even warranting boos and walk outs. But it subsequently bagged the top prize.

The Tree of Life is on YouTube

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Amour (2012)

‘Devastating’ is one word you would come across in most reviews for the heart-rending French drama, Amour, wherein its director Michael Haneke piercesa sword into our hearts by showing us the harsh reality of losing a loved one. The movie centres around an elderly couple who live alone in an apartment, cut off from society. The husband Georges Laurent (played by the great French actor Jean-Louis Trintigent) has to take care of his wife Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) paralysed on the right side of her body.

Haneke’s cold-blooded treatment of the everyday-ness of the characters might cause discomfort for viewers, but it is what it is. Here is a fun fact: Jean-Louis Trintigent was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, making him the oldest to be nominated in this category. A word of caution: do stack up with tissues when you watch it.

Amour is on Amazon Prime

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)

She and her boyfriend indulge in a steamy love-making session, but her thoughts are somewhere else. Flashes of a woman, a stranger that she ran into that morning, appear. She is smitten by her boy-ish charm and blue hair that she cannot stop thinking about her. Blue Is The Warmest Colour, if anything, was an unapologetic celebration of lesbian love and sex. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, this French drama explores the relationship dynamics of the lead characters and how it changes, as the world inches close to accepting the LGBTQ+ community. At its Cannes screening, the movie courted controversy when critics made a plea to trim the explicit sex scenes.

Despite positive reviews, the movie was trashed by LGBTQ+ community for the overt sexualisation of lesbian love. Which is why last year’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, another movie on lesbian romance, was widely seen as the movie that inverted the male gaze of Blue Is The Warmest Colour.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour is on Netflix

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Winter Sleep (2014)

Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the movie is based on the vintage classic, The Brothers Karamazov, by Russian novelist-philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky. Much like the celebrated novel, Winter Sleep is about the tug-of-war between the haves and the have-nots and the powerful and the powerless. Though there have been several film adaptations of Karamazov Brothers, the movie was unanimously acknowledged “fresh” by the critics.

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Dheepan (2015)

In this heart-wrenching drama, acclaimed French filmmaker Jacques Audiard examines the oft-forgotten tales of immigrant crisis. Dheepan is about three Tamil refugees who flee from chaos (read: the Sri Lankan Civil War) to settle in Paris, where another chaos awaits them. We get to see the day-to-day harassment and struggle that Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan), Yalini (Kalieswari Srinivasan) and Illayaal (Claudine Vinasithamby) face in an alien land. Though the movie won Palme d’Or, there were back-and-forth arguments among critics that Dheepan was less deserving.

Dheepan is on Netflix

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Ken Loach’s movies have always been about the human condition with regard to their social background. One such is the moving film I, Daniel Blake.

Daniel Blake (played by comedian Dave Johns) has to sail through the bureaucratic system in England, when he is robbed of his support allowance, even though he is deemed unfit by his doctor. With I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach made a powerful commentary on resilience and the failure of the system when it comes to protecting workers and drafting pension policies. Upon its release, the movie spawned heated debates in Parliament, forcing the then government to rethink its economic policies. Competing against Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta, Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman and Sean Penn’s The Last Face, the movie was a surprise win at Cannes.

I, Daniel Blake is on Netflix

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

The Square (2017)

In this satire, Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund uses art as a device to highlight the politics around contemporary artworks, mainly addressing questions like ‘What constitutes art in the first place?’ Set inside the Royal Palace Museum in Stockholm, the movie is about an art curator Christian (Claes Bang) who has his own personal issues to deal with, while he also has to promote a new art installation called The Square. In addition to making a case for how you perceive art, the movie also held a mirror to society, showing the price we pay for political-correctness.

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Shoplifters (2018)

Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s heart-rending portrait of an impoverished family that survives by shoplifting, created waves among the festival audience when it opened to favourable reviews at its première in Cannes. The movie centres around the lives of individuals who masquerade under the blanket of a dysfunctional ‘family’. Shoplifters, whose last act left the audience misty-eyed, makes a larger statement on globalisation and the effect it has on a certain section of people, in a muffled tone without explicitly spelling out things. In a way, one could argue that both Shoplifters and Parasite are distant cousins and they fight a common enemy: capitalism. Shoplifters became the first Japanese movie to bag the Palme d’Or prize.

Shoplifters is on Netflix

‘Amour’ to ‘Parasite’: Movies that won top prize at Cannes Film Festival in the last decade — and where to watch them

Parasite (2019)

South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is a spiritual sequel to the director’s previous movie, Snowpiercer, a blazing action drama that too dealt with class politics and the survival of the fittest. Much like the family from Shoplifters, Parasite too is about a family that struggles to rise above a storm called crony capitalism. Circumstances force an underprivileged family to cook up fake identities, beginning to infiltrate and loot a wealthy family in Japan. Bong Joon-ho’s smart social commentary resonated with the bourgeois of the world, translating into box-office figures and awards. Parasite was the first South Korean movie to win the top prize at Cannes. The previous South Korean movie, Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy (2003), only won the Grand Prix.

Parasite is on Amazon Prime

Compiled by Srivatsan S

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 7:54:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/amour-to-parasite-movies-that-won-top-prize-at-cannes-film-festival-in-the-last-decade-and-where-to-watch-them/article31600766.ece

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