The Cannes Film Festival is possibly the most prestigious on the annual film calendar. And the Golden Palm, better known as the Palme d’Or, is the most prestigious film award of any kind (I believe). That includes the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Oscars, among others like the Golden Globes, are more commercial driven. Cannes is more focused on the craft or filmmakers than their appeal. The competition is stronger with a more diverse group of filmmakers. Don’t have an invitation? Sorry, but you literally need one.
A Palme d’Or loser isn’t just a film that didn’t win the award. To make the list, the film had to of been in competition. The award winners are the best of the best. In an elite group, a nomination is still prestigious. These are not upsets. The films on this list are not chosen because they deserved to win the Palme d’Or more than the winner did. They are the best among other elitists.
7. Lawless (2012) – Winner: Amour (Michael Haneke – Austria)
The hybrid of the gangster and western genres managed to blend so well together, though I think the gangster genre has a litte edge. John Hillcoat did a great job with The Proposition fitting the western genre, being set in the Australian outback. Lawless captures the gangster genre with the plot revolved around prohibition, where outlaws became heroes when the law was corrupt. And with the Great Depression still young, desperation can become necessitation.
The film is based on the book The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant. Matt’s grandfather Jack (Shia LeBeouf), and great-uncles Forrest (Jason Clarke), and Howard (Tom Hardy), live and work in Franklin County, Virginia. The local police look the other way out of respect for the brothers. The federal law doesn’t fancy that. The Bondurants alone don’t have the full capacity to defeat Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce). And the presence of Rakes hurts business. With big timers like Floyd Banner, business has the opportunity to expand. The egos are what drive the Bondurant brothers. Jack, being the runt of the litter, feels the need to to really excel just to be recognized as equal to Howard and Forrest. The relationship of those who live in Smalltown, USA gives true meaning to the phrase “it’s a small world.” But it’s not just coincidence. Everyone knows everyone.
This article was first posted on May 29, 2013