Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter critic and one of Locarno's independent jury members, took an early guess at the awards.
Young, aka @jigsawlounge, tweeted on Saturday:
“Hunches: Golden Leopard: GOODBYE FIRST LOVE. Best Director: Loktev, THE LONELIEST PLANET."
Young, sitting on the Fipresci jury of international critics, has not given any of the 20 films in the international competition more than 6/10. He told swissinfo.ch: “Overall in the competition I did not find an outstanding film that I wanted to recommend strongly to others. I found maybe six or seven films which I think are by talented directors.” Several did not deserve to be in the running, he added, including Last Days in Jerusalem (“The kind of thing you would find on TV on a bad Tuesday night.”)
On the plus side, Young said the atmosphere in Locarno surpassed other festivals and the Minnelli retrospective was “the great hit of the festival”. “The best film I’ve seen here was the first one: Some Came Running, by Minnelli.”
Under Olivier Père’s direction, the festival was understandably trying to perform a tricky balancing act between bringing big Hollywood movies and their stars and challenging, cutting-edge cinema. “How you put those two things together in one festival, that’s a tough one. You need Harry Potter, never mind Olivier Père.”
His overall rating for the international competition selection: around 5/10. “Not to the level I would have hoped for.”
Jessica Dacey in Locarno, swissinfo.ch