Festival de Cannes 70: Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

Now a two-time, back-to-back, Oscar winner for Best Director for Birdman and then The Revenant. But not the exceptional 21 Grams. Or Babel. or Amores perros. That’s a bunch of discussions for another time altogether. Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s win at Cannes in 2006 was another notch on the bedpost of Mexican film-makers that year, with fellow nationals Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) also at the chair of terrific movies. Brave, incomparable movies. Babel was a multi-character piece, over several main story strands (as was 21 Grams, though the narrative time-shifts were a world apart). Iñárritu sets a formidably different tone in each of the stories, though we’re never allowed to assume this is not one complete movie. He gets intense and emotive performances from his large cast (ensembles won the acting prizes in Cannes this year), and manages to surprise us with both the faces we know, and those new ones we do not – Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barraza rightly got the most attention, and were eventually nominated for Oscars. Compellingly sluggish and rather gloomy, Babel still hits hard somehow.

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