It is not so simple to be a child in the land of Uncle Sam. Whatever the environment from which one comes or the city where one grows up, the traps are numerous on the path which leads from childhood to adulthood: bullying, violence and toxic masculinity, among others. Especially since adults are struggling with their own demons: depression, alcohol or drug addiction. These are some of the pitfalls that highlight very well aftersunthe first film directed by Charlotte Wells, which won the Prix de la Critique and the prestigious Grand Prix du Festival.
This feature film relates the journey of a young girl during the holidays spent with her father (Paul Mescal, revealed by the series normal people) when she was 11 years old (Frankie Corio). This story, woven on the basis of muddled memories, had already been unveiled during Cannes Critics’ Week. Combining holiday memories, family films and present reflection on the fragility of family ties, the film navigates between happy memories and moments of uncertainty of a recently divorced father. A man who, under his joking exterior, turns out to be a bit lost and a prey to melancholy.
A childhood full of pitfalls on an Indian reservation
The Jury Prize was awarded to the film war pony, directed by Gina Gammell and Riley Keough. He had already won the Golden Camera at Cannes 2022 and was awarded the Louis Roederer Foundation Prize for Revelation, awarded by the jurors led by actress Elodie Bouchez. So many well-deserved rewards for this rich portrait of two young people – a very young teenager and a young adult – from the Pine Ridge reservation, who are trying to find their way in the face of the mirages of the American dream. The feature film was able to seduce and touch well beyond the Rockies by the accuracy of its actors and the truth that emerges from the film. Inspired by the experiences of two friends of the directors, the film depicts well the difficulty of growing up in an environment without landmarks or prospects other than drugs and easy money.
The Jury Prize was awarded to the film Palm trees and power lines, directed by Jamie Dack. A feature film that draws the portrait of a vulnerable high school girl who has fallen under the influence of an adult whose behavior is not so innocent.
As for the Public Prize of the city of Deauville, it was awarded to the director John Patton Ford for his film Emily the Criminal which follows the destiny of a student who has become a scam artist in order to repay her loan. So many films that demonstrate that there is something rotten in the land of Uncle Sam and that the first to suffer are the teenagers and children…
However, the territory does not lack talent in front of and behind the camera. After Lucy Boynton, Jesse Eisenberg and Thandiwe Newton, it was Ana de Armas’ turn to be awarded a prize recognizing her place at the heart of the New Hollywoodtrophy awarded for her portrayal inspired by star Marylin Monroe in the film Blonde hair by Andrew Dominic.
An all-weather complicity
Other feature films deserved to be rewarded by the jury such as 1-800-Hot-Nite which, during a crazy night reveals the dreams and expectations of a young boy and his duo of friends from the poor neighborhoods of LA. A film inspired by the childhood of its author, Nick Richey.
Another sibling will certainly remain etched in the minds of the Deauville public, that of Stay Awake : a duo of brothers united and welded in the accompaniment of their mother (Chrissy Metz) addicted to drugs. A first film full of sensitivity directed by Jamie Sisley. Hopefully like the movie Pig by Michael Sarnoski last year, they will find their way to the big screen thanks to this selection from Deauville.