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May 21, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

The Cannes Film Festival is going into its final hours without a clear frontrunner for its top Palme d’Or prize, which will be presented on Sunday. British director Mike Leigh’s Another Year has received the most positive reviews, but few of them can be described as fervent. Indeed, a host of international journalists are complaining about what they have judged to be, with few exceptions, an overall bland, often depressing, and slow-moving collection of features at this year’s festival. Two actors, they indicate, are the leading candidates for the male acting award — Javier Bardem for Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu’s Biutiful, and Lesley Manville for Leigh’s Another Year. Doug Liman’s Fair Game, the only U.S. film included in the competition, received solid reviews, but most critics agree that it broke no new ground, cinematically or politically. (On comment boxes connected to U.S. reports about the movie, conservatives are already denouncing it as liberal fabrication, pointing out in particular that reviews suggest that it avoids reference to the 2006 confession of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage that he was the source who “inadvertently” revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson to syndicated columnist Robert Novak in 2003. The film stars Naomi Watts as Plame Wilson and Sean Penn as her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.)