At the start of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund told a roomful of journalists that he would rather win his third Palme d’Or than an Oscar. For this year, at least, the previous Cannes winner for “Triangle of Sadness” and “The Square” will have to settle for handing the Palme d’Or to someone else.
As the president of this year’s jury for the Official Competition of the 76th festival, Ostlund is leading a team of nine writers, directors, and actors (as well as two writer-director-actors): Fellow Palme d’Or winner Julia Ducournau (“Titane”), Brie Larson, Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni, Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani, Paul Dano, French actor Denis Ménochet, Afghan director Atiq Rahimi, and Argentinian director Damián Szifron. The group will spend the festival watching two to three competition films per day, and Ostlund has said that they will gather to deliberate every three films over the course of the 10 day festival. That process will culminate on Saturday, May 27, when the group will meet for a final time and vote on the Palme winner along with prizes for acting, writing, directing, and a few other categories. The ceremony will take place at 8:30 p.m.
There is no exact science to predicting the Palme d’Or race. Each juror gets one vote, including the president, and jurors are instructed to keep a tight lid on their reactions to movies over the course of the festival. In the past, some have abided by this rule better than others, and rumors run rampant either way. Films that receive the most critical support aren’t always the obvious frontrunners (the acclaimed “Toni Erdmann” lost to the sentimental “I, Daniel Blake” in 2016), though wild, subversive filmmaking often supersedes more traditional storytelling (just look at “Triangle of Sadness” and “Titane,” the winners of the last two years). It can be all too easy to make assumptions about jury preferences based on their own work. At the same time, for this guessing game, Cannes obsessives need all the clues they can get.
IndieWire’s annual list of Palme d’Or predictions only includes odds for movies that have already screened at the festival. It is updated daily as new films screen, so check back to see the latest odds throughout the festival.
|Rank||Director||What You Should Know|
|1. “The Zone of Interest”||Jonathan Glazer||Glazer’s first movie since “Under the Skin” is a tense and riveting look at an Auschwitz commander (Christian Friedel) and his wife (Sandra Huller) through the unusual lens of their domestic life. Critics adore it and the jury will almost certainly appreciate its daring approach. It’s a serious Palme contender as long as some of the jury doesn’t find it too cold. Read our review.|
|2. “Monster”||Hirokazu Kore-eda||“Shoplifters” director Kore-eda returns with his latest bid for a second Palme in this sentimental look at a young child who may or may not be a victim of bullying; as his single mother attempts to get to the bottom of that, the movie adopts a “Rashomon” perspective that gets deeper as it goes along. Kore-eda’s subtle approach may be almost too understated for some, but his filmmaking confidence (and the emotional clarity of his ideas) is undeniable. Read our review.|
|3. “Youth (Spring)”||Wang Bing||Chinese auteur Wang Bing’s sprawling look at textile workers whose work is shipped around the world provides an intricate depiction of an underrepresented world. (It’s the rare documentary in competition and the first time there for the “Dead Souls” director.) It has been praised for its sensitive approach, but its glacial pace, wandering style, and daunting 218-minute runtime make it less likely to find the consensus necessary for the Palme. Read our review.|
|4. “Homecoming”||Catherine Corsini||Corsini’s latest French drama (she was last at Cannes with “The Divide” in 2021) has been overshadowed by controversy associated with sex scenes shot with its underage cast. Setting that aside, the movie is a thoughtful and grounded look at two Black teens who return with their single mother to Corsica and struggle to make sense out of their broken family. Despite strong performances, the movie’s emotional arc is a bit too pedestrian to make inroads to serious Palme potential. Read our review.|
|5. “About Dry Grasses”||Nuri Bilge Ceylan||Turkish director Ceylan won the Palme for “Winter Sleep” and is a Cannes regular with his languid, darkly funny character studies that can be a bit of an acquired taste. His latest, an engrossing but nevertheless slow-moving look at a disgruntled high school teacher who runs into a problem with one of his admiring students, will satisfy plenty of Ceylan fans thanks to its thoughtful investigation of its nihilistic character’s worldview. But it’s hard to see how a jury could converge on this particular cinematic challenge with other strong options.|