Moretti on stage for a second palm, a competition still very open

In search of a second Palme: crowned twenty years ago, the Italian Nanni Moretti returns to compete in Cannes with “Tre Piani”, at the dawn of the second week of a festival in which nothing is yet play.

The spearhead of a cinema at the crossroads of the intimate and the political, a major voice in European 7th art, the Roman won the Director’s Prize in 1994 for “Diary”, a story of his own fight against cancer, then the Palme d’Or in 2001 with “La chambre du fils”, a heartbreaking film about the loss of a child. He is a regular at the Croisette where he had also presented the comedy “Habemus Papam”, with Michel Piccoli as Pope seized by doubt.

In “Tre Piani”, as usual, the director will appear on screen in one of the roles, that of Vittorio, a magistrate, but the screenplay is this time adapted from a novel by Israeli Eshkol Nevo, “Three floors”, the plot of which he transported to Rome.

The film interweaves the stories of several homes, in a three-storey building in the Italian capital, according to the synopsis unveiled by the producers: a family with a seven-year-old daughter, a young mother whose husband makes long stays at the foreigner, a couple of magistrates faced with a painful choice …

It “addresses universal themes such as guilt, the consequences of our choices, justice and the responsibility that comes with being a parent,” the filmmaker said in his production notes. His thirteenth film, shot before the pandemic and which patiently waited to be presented this year in Cannes, could resonate with the news: it also tells “our tendency to lead isolated lives”, he adds.

– Seydoux uncertain –

Presented on the same day as an adaptation of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami by Hamaguchi Ryusuke and the latest film by French director Mia Hansen Love, will “Tre Piani” shake up the competition? This sixth day comes to close a week marked by several strong works: “Annette”, by Leos Carax, the opening film, a veritable cinematographic fireworks display with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, at the top of the ratings given by international critics on the early days and compiled by Screen International magazine.

The film by Norwegian Joachim Trier, “Julie (in 12 chapters)”, a subtle portrait of a young woman plagued by the doubts and questions of the time, moved the Croisette and revealed an actress, Renate Reinsve, 33, when Paul Verhoeven, 82, has not left indifferent but is not unanimous with “Benedetta”, on a lesbian nun in the Middle Ages.

Two films (“La Fracture”, featuring the “yellow vests” and the hospital in need of funds, signed Catherine Corsini and “Le Knee d’Ahed” by Nadav Lapid, very critical of Israel) carry political messages which could catch the eye of the jury chaired by the American Spike Lee. The latter promised that the decisions would be “democratic” and that he himself would take into account “the originality, the performance of the actors, the work of the camera” and the “emotion” conveyed by the works.

The second week could reshuffle the cards: from Monday, Cannes hits hard by lining up a bunch of international stars to star in Wes Anderson’s latest film, “The French Dispatch”, from Tilda Swinton to Timothée Chalamet via Adrien Brody and Léa Seydoux. The presence of the latter (showing in three films in competition) is uncertain: she has tested positive for Covid and is awaiting a medical green light to possibly join Cannes.

And, like Nanni Moretti, two other directors already webbed are in the line to join the club of nine doubly crowned filmmakers, by the awards ceremony on July 17: Jacques Audiard and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

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