In our critics survey of the best movies at the Cannes Film Festival each year, it’s common to have the critics IndieWire’s polled disagree with the awards given by the festival jury itself. That is not the case for Cannes 2024. The best movies of the festival, picked by 55 critics, representing five continents, were topped by Sean Baker’s “Anora” in our poll, which, of course also won the Palme d’Or.

Last year, Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” topped our poll, differing from the Palme d’Or result, which went to Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.” It must be said that voter enthusiasm in our poll for “The Zone of Interest” was even that much stronger: It received nearly half of all votes for best film. “Anora,” which stars Mikey Madison, received about a quarter of the overall votes for best film this time (13 votes out of the 55 critics) with Mohammad Rasoulof’s “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” falling just two votes short from tying it. Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine as Light” and Jacques Audiard’s “Emilia Perez” each garnered nine votes, tying them for third place.

Miguel Gomes’ “Grand Tour” and Coralie Fargeat’s “The Substance” rounded out the top group for Best Film and earned additional honors elsewhere.

Intriguingly, “The Substance” did not even rank in our Best Screenplay category even though it won Best Screenplay from the festival jury in the Cannes closing ceremony awards. Instead, Sean Baker topped both Best Screenplay and Best Director in our poll, as well as Best Film, with Fargeat coming in second for Best Director. Her gruesome imagining of the politics of fame, beauty, and youth was hailed for its style and unforgettable brio.

Rasoulof’s “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” also came in second in the Best Screenplay category, though it’s absent from Best Director recognition. This is an intriguing phenomenon we’ve seen in this poll over the years: The critics who vote are very capable of distinguishing a screenplay from the other formal qualities of a film. Hence, Gabriel Sherman’s script for “The Apprentice” appears on the Best Screenplay list here, while the film itself appears in no other categories.

The unusually high number of ties this time around speaks to a relative lack of consensus in the below categories, at least once you look past “Anora” and “The Seed of the Sacred Fig.”

Also, last year, for the first time, IndieWire asked the critics to choose Best First Film at Cannes. In 2023 they picked Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s “Banel and Adama” and Molly Manning Walker’s “How to Have Sex.” This time around it was overwhelming acclamation for Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel’s “Armand,” starring Renate Reinsve.

See the full results below. For more of IndieWire’s Cannes coverage, go here. 

Best Film

1. “Anora,” Sean Baker
2. “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” Mohammad Rasoulof
(tie) 3. “All We Imagine as Light,” Payal Kapadia
(tie) 3. “Emilia Perez,” Jacques Audiard
(tie) 5. “Grand Tour,” Miguel Gomes
(tie) 5. “The Substance,” Coralie Fargeat

Best Screenplay

1. “Anora,” Sean Baker
2. “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” Mohammad Rasoulof
(tie) 3. “All We Imagine as Light,” Payal Kapadia
(tie) 3. “The Apprentice,” Gabriel Sherman
(tie) 3. “Grand Tour,” Telmo Churro, Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes, Mariana Ricardo
(tie) 3. “Kinds of Kindness,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou

Best Director

1. “Anora,” Sean Baker
2. “The Substance,” Coralie Fargeat
(tie) 3. “Emilia Perez,” Jacques Audiard
(tie) 3. “Grand Tour,” Miguel Gomes

Best First Film

“Armand,” Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

Click to the next page to see a list of critics who voted.

Continue Reading:The Best Movies of the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, According to 55 Critics
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