Which Cannes Film Will Win the Palme d’Or? Let’s Rank Their Chances | Festivals & Awards

It’s worth keeping in mind that critics haven’t seen any of these films, and in some cases, we don’t even have a really strong sense of what a particular movie is about. Also important: Handicappers will sometimes base their predictions on who the jury president is, assuming that the kind of film that he or she makes is the one that will be the front-runner. That logic rarely works out, though: Steven Spielberg presided over the jury that gave the Palme d’Or to “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” while Joel and Ethan Coen’s jury awarded “Dheepan,” which is nothing like a Coen brothers film. At this point, the only thing certain about the jury is that the president will be Greta Gerwig—the rest of the committee will be announced shortly—but, seriously, if you’re trying to figure out which Competition film is most like “Lady Bird” or “Barbie,” you’re probably going about this all wrong.

With that in mind, here are my way-too-early Palme d’Or rankings, including info about each film. Remember: I’m not judging these films on their potential quality, just by what I think has the best chance of winning. If nothing else, consider this a handy guide to some of the most anticipated movies at this year’s Cannes. It’ll be like you’re there—and you don’t even need to speak French.

19. “Motel Destino”

Brazilian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz is no stranger to Cannes: His 2019 film “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” screened in Un Certain Regard, and his 2023 costume drama “Firebrand,” which starred Alicia Vikander and Jude Law, played in Competition. His latest is described as an erotic thriller that, according to a press release, is set at “a roadside sex hotel under the burning blue skies of the coast of Northern Brazil, run by the boorish Elias and his frustrated, beautiful wife Dayana. When 21-year-old Heraldo finds himself at the motel, after messing up a hit and going on the run from both the police and the gang he let down, Dayana finds herself intrigued and lets him stay.” “Motel Destino” doesn’t have the star power of “Firebrand,” which doesn’t usually have much bearing on what ends up with the Palme d’Or, but the movie’s genre trappings may keep it from being a serious contender. 

18. “Marcello Mio”

The world may have recently started obsessing over nepo babies, but hallowed cinematic bloodlines are nothing new. French filmmaker Christophe Honoré investigates the phenomenon in a fascinating way with “Marcello Mio,” which stars Chiara Mastroianni as a fictional version of herself. Although an accomplished actress in her own right, she’s struggling with the burden of being the daughter of Marcello Mastroianni, the Italian icon who starred in films like “La Dolce Vita” and “8 1/2.” So she decides to do something radical, remaking herself as her late father, which includes dressing up as him and insisting everyone call her Marcello. Adding to the movie’s meta quality, Chiara Mastroianni’s own mother, the equally iconic Catherine Deneuve, plays her mom. Will “Marcello Mio” be little more than a cheeky gimmick or a thoughtful, poignant exploration of family, loss, destiny and art? Once we know the answer to that question, we’ll better know its Palme odds.