La fin du monde

It’s 2 am, and too late to be typing. It was a full evening, beginning with the awards and ending with a windblown party at the Majestic Beach, with one last screening squeezed in between. The Cannes jury, chaired by Sean Penn, awarded the top prize, the Palme d’Or, to one of the last films they saw: Entre les murs (The Class) by French director Laurent Cantet. I’d heard nothing but raves about, and wouldn’t you know, it was one of the only films among the 22 competition entries that I had not seen. (I’d missed the screening in order to see Atom Egoyan accept his award from the Ecumenical Jury for Adoration.) Fortunately, I could catch a repeat screening immediately after the awards ceremony. It’s a wonderful film, and fully deserving of the Palme. You can also understand why why the jury gave it unanimous support—it’s one of the few very good films in competition the everyone seemed to like. Bold without being controversial, offensive, or especially demanding, it’s not the kind of picture to polarize an audience, or a jury—unlike Che.