At the halfway mark, the Cannes Film Festival has given us a mix of good and bad films in the official competition section. Some of my favourite films are in the running for the Palme D’Or.

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most original talents to have emerged in recent years. He arrived at Cannes six years ago with Dogtooth (which won a prize in the Un Certain Regard section), and then with Alps. With his English language debut The Lobster, Lanthimos bolsters his status. Its absurd and wickedly funny premise is that, in a surreal and dystopian future, loveless single people are invited to a hotel to find a partner within 45 days or else they will be turned into an animal of their choice, to be mentioned before check-in. Colin Farrell plays David, an architect who, when he is left by his wife, has to check into a hotel. This society values coupledom; he has to find a new partner with whom he shares defining characteristics. This film is a superb and touching satire on couple-fixated society.

Another outstanding film is Carol, featuring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, one of the favourites for the top award this year. Todd Haynes’ drama shows the points of light that helped lead the gay community out of the shadows in the 1950s. This film is an exquisite and majestic love story between Cate and Rooney’s characters. Carol is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Prince of Salt and is set in the early ‘50s, when a relationship between women was enough to trigger moral outrage; it forces Carol to give up custody of the daughter she shares with estranged husband, played by Kyle Chandler. The shout of “Bravo" at the end of the press screening at Salle Debussy seemed right for this bold and beautiful film. Cate Blanchett is a sure contender for the Best Actress award.

Nanni Moretti’s My Mother is a family relationship drama. His film The Son’s Room dealt with a couple mourning the death of their son; this time he confronts the loss of one’s mother. My Mother follows Margherita as she struggles through her latest film project. Overcome by grief and lack of preparation, Margherita descends into a spiral of insecurity and emotional turmoil. Moretti has clearly made another personal work.

For me, the most impressive competition title so far is Mon Roi, French director Maïwenn’s follow-up to Polisse, which won a Jury prize at Cannes in 2011. Vincent Cassel and Emmanuelle Bercot play a couple with varying views on life. They fall in love, get married, have a kid and wind up squabbling constantly. Emmanuelle Bercot should be on the Best Actress shortlist for this, and the film’s screenplay might be up for an award as well.

With Amy, Asif Kapadia once again reiterates his status as a great documentarian after Senna. The Amy Winhouse documentary is heartbreaking and extraordinary. The film portrays the rise and fall of the late British singer, who lost control of her life when fame and drugs and alcohol overtook her. However, this film has generated a lot of controversy. Mitch Winehouse, father of Amy, has insisted that he wants to disconnect himself from the film and that he may take legal action. Asif has responded to this, saying: “"It wasn’t the intention to upset anyone but just to show what was going on in her life. There’s a lot of turmoil, there’s a lot of stuff going on in her life and that’s why things turned out the way they did". Amy is screening at Cannes in the Out of Competition section.

The Cannes Film Festival will be held from 13-24 May.

Sunil Doshi is a film producer and a regular at Cannes.

Also read-

Cannes Diary III: Changing times

Cannes Diary II: A good beginning

Cannes 2015: A prelude

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