Suspense At Cannes: Mike Leigh a Palme d’Or Favorite, But is an Upset in the Works?

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The Cannes Film Festival is the year’s biggest movie event (follow all of Richard Corliss’ coverage here), and big drama is brewing in regards to its top prize: The Palme d’Or, which is to be bestowed Sunday.

The Irish bookmaking firm Paddy Power puts odds on the top competing titles and handicaps who is likeliest to win. Mike Leigh has been consistently hovering near the top of the list, with his acclaimed new film Another Year.

But the one late wild card of the festival was a Thai film, titled Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul – a film that was all but absent from the Cannes conversation until Friday when Paddy Power slotted it in just below Leigh in the odds.

Critics started scrambling to learn more about it, and found a looming, ominous trailer which evokes a spiritual-supernatural meditation on death and reincarnation:

There are plenty of big names in the competition this year, from Ken Loach to Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu. But in every contest there’s a dark horse, and Weerasethakul could be in a position pull the year’s biggest upset tomorrow.