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The five biggest winners and losers from Cannes

By
Joshua Rothkopf
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It's all over but the shouting at this year's Cannes Film Festival—by many estimates, one of the strongest editions in years. Granted, it all started off with the distinctly mediocre Money Monster, not a movie one should fly thousands of miles to see. Then it eased into Woody Allen's latest, Café Society, itself barely considered amid the overshadowing controversy related to Dylan Farrow's abuse allegations.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Cannes Film Festival

Amazingly, a film festival managed to happen. Here are the five biggest winners and losers that emerged out of Cannes 2016:

1. Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake takes the Palme d'Or Loach, 79 and already a Palme winner for his 2006 drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley, now becomes one of the most honored directors in British history. Our critic calls I, Daniel Blake a movie "with a clear-headed and undiluted mission…and a whole load of passion and fury." Read our review

2. Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann wins nothing One of the festival loveliest surprises—and a film that unified positive opinion like no other—was this German comedy about the complex relationship between a wacky dad and his workaholic adult daughter. Of course, Toni Erdmann can't be called a loser; it's too good a picture for that and will have a wonderful theatrical run. Still, no love from the jury? Read our five-star review

3. Sean Penn continues to give global intervention a bad name Only months after his Rolling Stone El Chapo interview revealed a sorry grasp of journalistic ethics, Penn arrived on the Croisette with The Last Face, an embarrassing doctors-without-borders drama which prioritized the romance between Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem over the plight of their patients. Our critic's verdict: one star. Read our review

4. Xavier Dolan wins the Grand Prix to grumbles The mega-talented 27-year-old claimed the fest's second highest honor for his melodrama, It's Only the End of the World. The movie, a feature-length domestic argument, was likened to a headache by many. Our reviewer called it "his worst by a wide margin, talky and unsatisfying." If you factor in Dolan's bitchiness toward his critics, he left the fest damaged but with the last laugh. Read our review

5. The bloom is off Drive's Nicholas Winding Refn In 2011, the stylish Dane could do no wrong. But with The Neon Demon, starring Elle Fanning as a Los Angeles fashion model, he's apparently made a movie even more vacuous than Derek Zoolander on a bad day. Our critic was mixed, leading us to believe that the film will continue to be debated. But vociferous boos at the festival were a daunting first reaction. Read our review   

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