Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Every Cannes competition film ranked and reviewed

From Jarmusch to Penn. We ponder all 21 films competing for the Palme d’Or

Sun, May 22, 2016, 15:02

   

Who else does this for you? Over the last 10 days, we have reviewed each of the 21 films in competition in Cannes. Here they are conveniently ranked from the best to the, well, least good.

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1. PATERSON

Hugely touching, funny tone poem from the great Jim Jarmusch.

Review here.

2. AQUARIUS

Kleber Mendonça Filho presents a lovely story of ageing defiantly. Sonia Braga is super.

Review here

3. TONI ERDMANN

Very funny, very long German romp treating the gulf that opens up in families.

Review here

4. AMERICAN HONEY

Another lengthy bum-buster. Andrea Arnold takes a bunch of kids about the mid-west with wild and crazy results.

Review here.

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5. THE NEON DEMON

Many, many people hated it, but few could ignore its noise and confidence. Argento alert!

Review here 

6. I, DANIEL BLAKE

Ken Loach very much himself with his best film for close to a decade.

Review here

7. SIERANEVADA

The longest of the long. Cristi Puiu’s Romanian family drama moved from comedy to despair with great dexterity.

Review here

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8. ELLE 

By Golly, Paul Verhoeven’s revenge thriller is going to be controversial. It’s not about the violence; it’s about the attitude.

Review here.

9. GRADUATION

Another fine Romanian film. Former Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu tackles everyday corruption in a rich drama

Review here

10. LOVING

Out own Ruth Negga is smashing in this retelling of an extraordinary story from the civil rights era.

Review here.

11. MA LOUTE

Bruno Dumont’s absurdist drama annoyed a lot of people, but the craft was unmistakable.

Review here

12. THE SALESMAN 

Asghar Farhadi, director of A Separation, returns to mysteries within marriage to convincing effect.

Review here

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13. THE HANDMAIDEN

Park Chan Wook by way of Sarah Waters. High-end melodrama.

Review here

14. JULIETA

Pedro Almodovar and Alice Munro make unlikely, but compatible, bedfellows.

Review here

15. MA’ ROSA

Brillante Mendoza’s social realist thriller from the streets of Manila fairly stirs the blood.

Review here

16. THE UNKNOWN GIRL

A rare (maybe unprecedented) dud from the Dardenne brothers.

Review here

17. FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON

Rather lovely, rather empty melodrama featuring Marion Cotillard in distress.

Review here

18. STAYING VERTICAL

Alain Guiraudie follows up Stranger by the Lake with a muddled, surreal oddity.

Review here

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19. PERSONAL SHOPPER

Self-important, arrogant meta-ghost story that (here we go again) divided the critics.

Review here

20. IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD

Xavier Dolan’s shrill family drama was the biggest disappointment of the event.

Review here

21. THE LAST FACE

No competition for the worst film in the Palme d’Or race. Indeed, Sean Penn’s medical drama might be the worst to play in the last decade.

Review here

Donald Clarke