Date: 05 May 2013, Science, Technology and Culture
Question setter: John Karslake

Cannes Film Festival 2013

The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. Since 1939 there have only been seven double winners. Will the 2013 Palme d'Or award go to a previous winner?


Answer: No
Confidence level: 31%
Mean confidence level (all requests): 40.33%

Currently the nominations include 3 previous winners. They all appear to be on pretty long odds and the critics do not seem to think that there is enough originality in any of their offerings to give them a good chance. Two of them could do reasonably well at the box office though - Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra" on the life of Liberace and the Coen brothers' eagerly awaited "Inside Llewyn Davis". They may be too mainstream to win the Palme d'Or. Polanski is the third previous winning hopeful and he is given the longest odds of any of them. Perhaps the fact that he is still a wanted man in the US would prevent some of the judges voting for him, however good his film.
There are enough fashionable and interesting newcomers into the scene to be pretty sure that the old winners will not triumph this time.

Outcome: No
Score: 31
Mean score (all respondents): -19.67

Expert opinion:

Answer: No

Selected Expert Answer from John Karslake:
There are three previous winners contesting the Palme d'Or this year -Soderbergh, Polanski & the Coen Brothers. The latter may be putting forward the best film of the 3 but it is probably not innovative enough to make the judges feel the Coens need any more of a leg-up by winning in Cannes in 2013. Polanski's inclusion surprised many and "LA VÉNUS À LA FOURRURE (VENUS IN FUR)" is probably not going to overcome the baggage he brings. As for Soderbergh, "BEHIND THE CANDELABRA" will probably better box office than Cannes contender, breaking little new ground. Asghar Farhadi with "LE PASSÉ (THE PAST)", is on a roll, having won at Berlin & an Oscar for Best foreign language film. He is a newcomer, and therefore fresh, to Cannes. I think he has a good chance. It is always difficult to predict Cannes, so my feeling is that it will be Farhadi or one of these four: James GRAY -"THE IMMIGRANT", Mahamat-Saleh HAROUN - "GRIGRIS", KORE-EDA Hirokazu - "SOSHITE CHICHI NI NARU (LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON)" or Alexander PAYNE - "NEBRASKA". James Gray is reckoned to be more popular in France than at home in the US and may be helped if the jury president, Steven Spielberg favours his countrymen. All in all we are most likey to see a new winner for the Palme.

Answer: Yes

Selected Expert Answer from Mettletest Panellist:
Although the favourites for Cannes this year are Mahamet Saleh Haroun, — "Grigris" and Asghar Farhadi, — "The Past", I think the Coen Brothers could easily pip them. Just look at the composition of the jury; Steven Spielberg will preside this year and five of his fellows would favour straightforward mainstream films. That is six out of nine. If they vote where their hearts would like to, for the films they actually enjoy most, then the Coens' movie, "Inside Llewyn Davis", would almost certainly prevail. The real threats to them come from "Nebraska"directed by Alexander Payne and James Gray's "The Immigrant". Sense says Coen and I think in 2013 the brothers will become the eighth double winners.

Outcome: No

Comment on outcome from Mettletest Panellist:
The 2013 Cannes film festival saw the presentation of the Palme d'Or to Abdellatif Kechiche's romantic drama "Blue is the Warmest Colour". This big hearted story of lesbian love, explicit without being pornographic, had become the favourite in the last week of the festival and duly came through. Well, it was a close run thing. I was reckoning on the Coen Brothers joining the sparse ranks of the double winners and they nearly made it, finishing as runners up to Kechiche.