2023 Cannes Critics Survey Picks Zone of Interest, Fallen Leaves – IndieWire

Written by on May 31, 2023

Just like last year, critics are quibbling with the film awarded the Palme d’Or. Not that there’s active dislike for Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” but the Palme d’Or winner topped a different category in the survey IndieWire sent to critics from all over the world. This time, 60 reviewers and journalists participated, with five continents represented.

Nearly half of all 60 voted for Jonathan Glazer’s loose Martin Amis adaptation, Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest”: 29 of the critics voted for it for Best Film. That’s a divergence with the Competition jury, which voted “Zone of Interest” the Grand Prix while “Anatomy of a Fall” took the Palme. The second title for Best Film chosen by the critics only received six votes, showing the intensity of enthusiasm for the Glazer film. That second title was Aki Kaurismaki’s “Fallen Leaves,” with “Anatomy of a Fall” placing third (receiving five votes).

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“Killers of the Flower Moon” and “The Pot-au-Feu” rounded out the Top 5, and placed even higher on the Best Directed Film list.

Such a divergence is not uncommon: Lukas Dhont’s “Close” and Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” placed higher on the critics’ best film list last year, with that year’s Palme placing fourth.

“Anatomy of a Fall” certainly did get major love from our critics, topping our Best Screenplay poll. This is quite revealing: celebrated for its writing, “Anatomy of a Fall” got 18 out of 60 votes for Best Screenplay. “The Zone of Interest,” on the other hand, only received one vote out of 60 for Best Screenplay and didn’t come close to cracking that category.

Our critics seem to be able to separate their appreciation of great writing from a film’s other formal qualities with great precision: “May December” and “Monster” rounded out the Best Screenplay category but only “May December” appears on another list.

On the other hand, Glazer won the top spot via quite the margin yet again for Best Directed Film. There, “The Zone of Interest” took 19 of the overall 60 possible votes. Again, quite a jump over the film to place second: “Killers of the Flower Moon,” with six votes.

There was a three-way tie for third place for Best Directed Film: Alice Rohrwacher’s “La Chimera,” Todd Haynes’ “May December,” and Tran Anh Hung’s “The Pot-au-Feu.”

For the first time, IndieWire asked the critics to choose Best First Film at Cannes as well. Two films each got 11 votes to tie for the honor: Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s “Banel and Adama” and Molly Manning Walker’s “How to Have Sex.”

See the full results below. For more of IndieWire’s Cannes coverage, go here.

Best Film

1. “The Zone of Interest,” Jonathan Glazer
2. “Fallen Leaves,” Aki Kaurismaki
3. “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet
4. “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Martin Scorsese
5. “The Pot-au-Feu,” Tran Anh Hung

Best Screenplay

1. “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet and Arthur Harari
2. “May December,” Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik
3. “Monster,” Yuji Sakamoto

Best Directed Film

1. “The Zone of Interest,” Jonathan Glazer
2. “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Martin Scorsese
(tie) 3. “La Chimera,” Alice Rohrwacher
(tie) 3. “May December,” Todd Haynes
(tie) 3. “The Pot-au-Feu,” Tran Anh Hung

Best First Film

(tie) “Banel and Adama,” Ramata-Toulaye Sy
(tie) “How to Have Sex,” Molly Manning Walker

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