Cannes Best Film 2022: Critics Survey Picks Close, Decision to Leave


Critics quibbled a bit about the Cannes jury awards this time around.

A divisive time indeed.

During the last two editions of Cannes, the critics polled by IndieWire were in tune with the jury’s choices, at least for the best film. In 2019, they chose “Parasite” and “Titane”, both winners of the Palme d’Or. In 2022, critics are shaking things up.

This year’s Palme d’Or winner, “Triangle of Sadness,” tied with “EO” for fourth place in our Best Picture ranking. Consensus was not on the agenda this time around. And more critics voted in our survey than ever before: 75 in total, representing five continents and some 20 countries.

Critics voted “Close” by Lukas Dhont as the best film of the festival. The tender drama about two 13-year-old best friends sneered at by their classmates for being too ‘close’ has been described by some as ‘heartbreaking’. The emotional film tied for the Grand Prize, but many thought it would take home the Palme itself. Not that there is universal praise for the Belgian film. IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave the film a “B-” grade, and our staff reviewers opted out of including it among their own picks for the festival’s top 13 films.

But those who admire “Close” don’t just seem to like it, they adore it. And coming after his feature debut, the controversial “Girl,” which cast a cisgender boy in a trans role and featured a violent ending, Ehrlich wrote “bordering on emotional pornography,” this new film is a breakthrough. .

The film “Close” ex-aequo for the Grand Prize, “Stars at Noon” by Claire Denis was not part of the final ranking of our poll, since it received only one vote for the best film among the 75 critics who participated.

“Decision to Leave,” the dark thriller by Park Chan-wook who was also a strong contender for the Palme, came in second for Best Picture from our voters. And he also represented the poll’s closest alignment with the Vincent Lindon-led jury awards: he won Best Director for Park at the festival and in this survey. “Close” also tied for second place in our Best Directed Picture category with Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sadness,” which performed better in our Best Directed Picture and Screenplay categories than in Best Picture.

Albert Serra’s “Paiction,” an elliptical narrative perforation of French colonialism in Tahiti that Eric Kohn compared to Apichatpong Weerasethakul and David Lynch, came third on the best picture list. He was completely excluded from the jury prizes.

Another film that was ruled out by the jury topped our best screenplay ranking: “Armageddon Time,” James Gray’s autobiographical reflection on his youth in New York in the 80s. The jury awarded this prize to “Boy from Heaven”, which only two of our voters chose. “Triangle of Sadness” came in second on our Best Screenplay list, while “Showing Up,” co-written by Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, came in third.

“Showing Up,” about a sculptor (Michelle Williams) preparing to open a new show, also tied for third in our Best Directed Film category, for Reichardt. She tied with David Cronenberg for “Crimes of the Future.” These two films were excluded from the Cannes Jury Prizes.

See the full results below. For more on IndieWire’s Cannes coverage, head here.

Best film

1. “Close”, Lukas Dhont
2. “Decision to leave”, Park Chan-wook
3. “Pacification”, Albert Serra

Best Screenplay

1. “Time for Armageddon”
2. “Triangle of Sadness”
3. “Introduce”

Best Film Directed

1. “Decision to leave”, Park Chan-wook
(tie) 2. “Close”, Lukas Dhont
(tie) 2. “Triangle of sadness”, Ruben Östlund
(tie) 3. “Crimes of the Future”, David Cronenberg
(tie) 3. “Introduce”, Kelly Reichardt

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