For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Best Palme D'Or Winners, from Best to Worst

by ShaKha
Best Palme D'Or Winners, from Best to Worst by ShaKha
This was so much more difficult than the Oscar list. I truly love many of these films and a lot of them have led me to filmmakers who would become favourites. So, a lot of the films are kind of interchangeable, position-wise. Note: I like to call my film viewing “ethical viewing”. I tend to avoid films which intentionally cause harm to any animal, humans included, solely for the film. I do believe that art is important, but life is more important. Ax a result, I have turned off several Palme D’Or winners, because I felt that they caused undue harm to animals or were otherwise unethical. Since it would be impossible to rank these films, for… Read more

This was so much more difficult than the Oscar list. I truly love many of these films and a lot of them have led me to filmmakers who would become favourites. So, a lot of the films are kind of interchangeable, position-wise.

Note: I like to call my film viewing “ethical viewing”. I tend to avoid films which intentionally cause harm to any animal, humans included, solely for the film. I do believe that art is important, but life is more important. Ax a result, I have turned off several Palme D’Or winners, because I felt that they caused undue harm to animals or were otherwise unethical. Since it would be impossible to rank these films, for several reasons, I will list them here, as dishonourable mentions:
Le monde du silence (This film is a grey area, as Malle did not force his subjects to blow up dynamite underwater and hunt, but I could not watch it)
Padre padrone
The Tree of Wooden Clogs

Top 10

1)Taste of Cherry
2) if….
3) Underground
4) Secrets & Lies
5) All That Jazz
6) La classe operaia va in paradis
7) La Dolce Vita
8) The Third Man
9) The Cranes are Flying
10) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

20 More Brilliant Films

The Child
Rosetta
Viridiana
Missing
Miracle in Milan
Barton Fink
Brief Encounter
The Wages of Fear
The Son’s Room
Kagemusha
The Lost Weekend
The Tree of Life
Paris, Texas
The Piano
Blow-Up
Pelle the Conqueror
The Knack …and How to Get It
Jigokumon
MASH
The Mission

Even More Brilliance

The Ballad of Narayama
Yol
Farewell My Concubine
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Marty
Unagi
Apocalypse Now (Since I assume someone will ask, this film bypassed my ethics rule, because 1) I saw it in a class and 2) the cow’s death was simply filmed and not set up)
The Conversation
The Class
(This is where the films slowly fall from brilliance, although they continue the streak of great films)
Friendly Persuasion
Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Taxi Driver
The Pianist
Eternity and a Day
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
The Leopard
Torment
Rome, Open City
(The films below here have many redeeming attributes, but there are increasing numbers of glaring flaws)
Signore & signori
The White Ribbon
Pulp Fiction
Chronicle of the Years of Fire
Miss Julie
Dancer in the Dark
Il caso Mattei
Scarecrow
O Pagador de Promessas
Une aussi longue absence
Black Orpheus
When Father Was Away on Business (My least favourite film from one of my favourite directors)
The Best Intentions
Othello
The Hireling

These 10 films have little to no redeeming qualities (with my alternate winner for that year)

10) Man of Iron (Possession)
9) 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Zodiac)
8) Due soldi di speranza (Umberto D, over both films)
7) Sous le soleil de Satan (Wings of Desire)
6) Fahrenheit 9/11 (Life is a Miracle)
5) The Go-Between (Johnny Got His Gun)
4) The Tin Drum (The film that caused my ethical rule) (Apocalypse Now as sole winner)
3) Wild at Heart (I haven’t seen any other in-competition films for that year, so I would take this Palme home for safekeeping)
2) A Man and a Woman (Seconds or Signore & Signori)
1) Elephant (The Barbarian Invasions)

I would also like to note that just because I have rated a film highly, it does not necessarily mean that I felt it was the best film in its given year. For example, I felt that the Pianist was a great film, but the Palme D’Or should have gone to 24 Hour Party People. Since this list making is addictive, I may make my own alternate Palme D’Or list later, but two are enough for one day.

Read less