(Cannes) The 21 films selected in official competition have been presented, the jury is now called upon to deliberate to establish its prize list. In a vintage of very good quality, but from which no big favorite really stands out from the pack, the game of predictions becomes very random…

To the traditional question “Whose Palm?” “, which always arises when the jury is about to announce the winners, no one is really able to answer. This is what is said at each edition, but this truth is even more blatant this year. Around the Palais des festivals, everyone goes by their title, never the same, crossing their fingers that the prediction proves true.

But how to spot trends when no one yet knows what kind of dynamic animated all nine members of the jury, who remained completely discreet throughout the duration of the festival? Ruben Östlund, the president, however explained on the first day that he intended to bring together the jury regularly every three films. Logically, the jury would have already met six times. What titles were picked or eliminated during these encounters? Nothing has filtered out of these discussions.

Several feature films in the running for the Palme d’Or have also won critical acclaim, starting with Dead Leaves, an utterly charming melancholic comedy by Aki Kaurismäki. Impregnated with this humor specific to the Finnish filmmaker and to those whose laughter is the politeness of despair, the story orchestrates the meeting between two beings who have never known love, who convince themselves of being made for each other. another, without asking too many questions. From both the international critics consulted by the specialist journal Screen and the French critics, surveyed by Le film français, Dead Leaves obtained the highest rating.

Perfect Days, which marks the return of Wim Wenders to fiction, follows very closely. Starring the excellent Kôji Yakusho, this kind of existential road movie explores the journey of a man who now seems to want to be satisfied with a simple life by working on the maintenance of public toilets in Tokyo, while satisfying his passion books and music. His absence from the list would be really surprising.

Then comes May December, a film by Todd Haynes in which Natalie Portman plays an actress who settles down for a while with the woman she is soon to interpret in a biographical drama inspired by the latter’s life. Julianne Moore, who plays the one who was accused of misappropriation of a minor 20 years earlier, is obviously a candidate for the interpretation prize.

Sandra Hüller, remarkable in Anatomy of a Fall, is also a serious candidate. Justine Triet’s courtroom drama, much-loved by critics too, takes the form of a gripping investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal fall of a man who jumped out of the window on the upper floor of the winter chalet he occupied not far from Grenoble. To the circumstances of what could just as easily be an accident, a suicide or a murder, is added the ruthless dissection of a couple’s relationship.

The jury could also set their sights on The Zone of Interest, a chilling drama by Jonathan Glazer in which a Nazi commander in charge of the operations of the Auschwitz camp dreams of his small suburban life with his family while the gas chambers belch their smoke. nearby. Add to this list Dry Herbs, another of these feature films based essentially on the quality of the dialogues, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, a filmmaker always offering remarkable intellectual exercises. Some also give a very good chance to the docufiction The daughters of Olfa, by Kaouther Ben Hania, where a mother tells how her two eldest daughters became radicalized and joined the ranks of the Islamic State group.

And then there are those who divide opinion. If we rely once again on the moods of the critics listed by Screen and Le film français, certain works seem to be perceived differently, depending on the cultural baggage that we carry with us. This is the case of The Passion of Dodin Bouffant. This feature film by Tran Anh Hùng, in which Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel pay homage to the art of love and cooking, has greatly won over international critics, much less French critics. Opposite phenomenon for Towards a bright future. This autofiction by Nanni Moretti is generally praised by the French press, shunned by the international press. Last Summer, by Catherine Breillat, is also praised by some, decried by others, regardless of nationality this time.

It could very well be that all of these titles end up on the honor roll, but it is just as plausible that none of them will be retained. Seven prizes will be awarded at a ceremony to be held this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (Montreal time). Recall that around President Ruben Östlund are actress Brie Larson, directors Julia Ducournau, Maryam Touzani and Rungano Nyoni, actors Denis Ménochet and Paul Dano, as well as Atiq Rahimi, writer and director, and director Damián Szifrón.

Palme d’Or: Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Triet)

Grand Prix : The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer)

Jury Prize: Fallen Leaves (Aki Kaurismäki)

Screenplay Award: The Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher)

Best Director Award: Last Summer (Catherine Breillat)

Best Actress Award: Julianne Moore (May December)

Prix ​​d’interpretation masculine: Kôji Yakusho, Perfect Days (Wim Wenders)