Ahead of Sunday evening’s announcement of the festival’s Palme d’Or winner, Cannes anointed its champions of the Un Certain Regard sidebar.
The winners are a refreshingly unique bunch that ought to benefit from the added attention. Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s "Dogtooth" took home the top honor, and I can attest to its merits.
This fascinating Orwellian drama about parents who withold their children from society with a series of twisted games forms a thrilling, sharply realized parable. The true Cannes discovery of the year, it stunned everyone I know who saw it.
Later in the night, audiences wandered out of the Debussy theater, where "Dogtooth" received an encore screening, in a visible daze.
If it were possible to bottle up that impact and hand it to potential distributors, the movie would have it made. Instead, somebody needs to take a chance on this memorable work. It wouldn’t be Cannes without the risk-taking.
The full list of winners from Un Certain Regard:
UN CERTAIN REGARD PRIZE
"Dogtooth," Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)
UN CERTAIN REGARD JURY PRIZE
"Police, Adjective," Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania)
SPECIAL PRIZE UN CERTAIN REGARD 2009
"No One Knows About The Persian Cats," Bahman Ghobadi (Iran) and "Father of My Children," Mia Hansen-Love (France)