The Zone of Interest
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Film The best films of the Cannes Film Festival 2023, according to 60 critics

The best films of the Cannes Film Festival 2023, according to 60 critics



The Zone of Interest

Just like last year, critics are quibbling with the Palme d’Or award-winning film. Not that there’s an active dislike for Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” but the Palme d’Or winner topped another category in the poll IndieWire sent out to critics around the world. This time around 60 reviewers and journalists attended, with five continents represented.

Nearly half of all 60 voted for Martin Amis’ adaptation of Jonathan Glazer’s Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest”: 29 of the critics voted it Best Picture. This is a difference with the competition jury, which voted “Zone of Interest” the Grand Prix while “Anatomy of a Fall” took the Palme. The second Critics Choice Best Picture title received just six votes, demonstrating the intensity of enthusiasm for Glazer’s film. That second title was Aki Kaurismaki’s “Fallen Leaves,” with “Anatomy of a Fall” in third place (receiving five votes).

“Killers of the Flower Moon” and “The Pot-au-Feu” completed the Top 5 and placed even higher in the list of best directed films.

Such a divergence is not unusual: Lukas Dhont’s “Close” and Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” both placed higher on critics’ best films lists last year, with that year’s Palms in fourth place.

“Anatomy of a Fall” certainly received great acclaim from our critics, topping our Best Screenplay poll. This one is quite revealing: celebrated for its screenplay, ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ got 18 out of 60 votes for best screenplay. “The Zone of Interest,” on the other hand, received just one vote out of 60 for Best Screenplay and didn’t come close to topping that category.

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

On the other hand, Glazer once again won first place by a decent margin for Best Directed Picture. There, “The Zone of Interest” took 19 of a possible 60 votes overall. Again, a big jump on the film to take second place: “Killers of the Flower Moon”, with six votes.

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

For the first time, IndieWire has asked the critics to also choose the best first film at Cannes. Two films each received 11 votes 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 coverage of Cannes, head here.

Best Movie

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

Best Screenplay

1. “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet & 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. “The Flower Moon Killers”, Martin Scorsese
(tie) 3. “The Chimera,” Alice Rohrwacher
(tie) 3. “May December”, Todd Haynes
(tie) 3. “The Pot-au-Feu”, Tran Anh Hung

Best first film

(tie) “Banel and Adam”, Ramata-Toulaye Sy
(tie) “How to have sex”, Molly Manning Walker

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