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2024 Cannes Film Festival Best Bets

by Scott Kacsmar
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Cannes Palm d'Or

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival is set to take place from May 14 through May 25. It is one of the biggest annual international film festivals in the world, and this year’s festival should include more films from some of the most well-known filmmakers in history

There are a few big awards that are handed out at Cannes by a panel of judges, and sure enough, you can bet on the winners from a large group of nominees at a top-rated sportsbook like BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more).

We have the betting markets below with our thoughts on how to approach them for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The Palme d’Or (Golden Palm)

The most prestigious prize at the Cannes Film Festival is the Palme d’Or (“Golden Palm”). This goes to the top film at the festival, and some of the best in history have won it, including Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979), and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994). It was won in 2023 by Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet.

There are 19 films listed at odds to win the Palme d’Or at BetOnline. We wanted to briefly go over the top 8 films, which range in odds from +400 to +700 in what could be a tight race.

These films will all make their world debut at Cannes in May.

Parthenope (+700 at BetOnline)

Parthenope is an Italian-French film directed by Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) and starring Gary Oldman. It is about a woman who bears the name of her city, but is she a myth or siren?

Sorrentino’s work has been honored twice before with wins at the Cannes Film Festival, including a Jury Prize for 2009’s Il Divo.

Limonov: The Ballad (+600 at BetOnline)

Limonov: The Ballad is a film by Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov and starring Ben Whishaw (This Is Going to Hurt, Paddington). It is a biopic about Russian writer and politician Eduard Limonov, founder of the National Bolshevik Party.

Serebrennikov’s 2016 film The Student won the François Chalais Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

This is a very Russian film, and no Russian filmmaker has won the Palme d’Or since Mikhail Kalatozov back in 1959 for The Cranes Are Flying. That was when it was still the Soviet Union.

The Apprentice (+600 at BetOnline)

Yep, it’s a film about Donald Trump. Director Ali Abbasi (Holy Spider) is looking at the early years of Trump’s business career, and Sebastian Stan (Pam & Tommy) will play the lead role with Jeremy Strong (Succession) serving as lawyer Roy Cohn, a big influencer on Trump’s politics.

Kendall Roy and the Winter Soldier cosplaying as Cohn and Trump? Should be fun, but the plot may be a little too American for the panel at Cannes in France.

Caught By the Tides (+600 at BetOnline)

Caught By the Tides is a Chinese film about lost lovers. It is directed by Jia Zhangke and starring Zhao Tao. The duo collaborated on the acclaimed 2018 film Ash Is Purest White, which was also screened at Cannes.

In fact, Zhangke’s last 5 films will all have been screened at the Cannes Film Festival, so he is a known commodity to this community. His 2006 film Still Life won the Golden Lion, the highest award at the Venice International Film Festival.

Kinds of Kindness (+600 at BetOnline)

The latest film from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite, Poor Things) is an anthology film with an ensemble cast that includes Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, and Hunter Schafer.

Lanthimos is a co-writer on the film, so you can expect his usual style of dark comedy. But with a big part of the cast returning from Poor Things, he has been on an award show run with his last few films doing very well.

Stone is also seemingly at the peak of her career, and her follow-up movie to her Oscar-winning performance in Poor Things will certainly draw a lot of attention.

The Shrouds (+500 at BetOnline)

Legendary body horror director David Cronenberg is back with The Shrouds, considered his most personal film to date. It stars Vincent Cassel as Karsh, a grieving widower, who builds a device that will help people connect with the dead. Diane Kruger and Guy Pearce also star in it.

Originally a Netflix series, the company backed out, leading Cronenberg to finish the script as a film that he considers “autobiographical.”

The director famous for Videodrome (1983) and The Fly (1986) hopes to deliver another classic here.

Bird (+500 at BetOnline)

Bird is a drama written and directed by Andrea Arnold (American Honey) and starring Irish actor Barry Keoghan (Saltburn). In this film, Keoghan plays the father of 2 young boys, but he doesn’t devote much time to them, leading them to seek attention elsewhere.

Arnold’s raw, emotional dramas have been successful at Cannes in the past. While she has never won the Palme d’Or, her films Red Road (2006), Fish Tank (2009), and American Honey (2016) all won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Keoghan is becoming a big star in his own right, so this is tied for the 2nd-highest odds to win the top prize.

Megalopolis (+400 at BetOnline)

The odds-on favorite to win the Palme d’Or is the sci-fi epic Megalopolis, a passion project of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now). The 85-year-old director first conceived the idea for this film in 1979 and has spent decades trying to get it made.

Megalopolis stars Adam Driver as Cesar, an idealist who tries to rebuild a New York City-type metropolis that was destroyed in an accident. He clashes with both the mayor (Giancarlos Esposito) and his socialite daughter (Nathalie Emmanuel) in the process.

The director spent $120 million of his own money to get this movie made, so you have to be rooting for him to deliver the goods here.

The Pick for Palme d’Or Winner

For the record, the Cannes Jury selecting the winner of the coveted Palme d’Or is a 9-person panel where filmmaker Greta Gerwig (Barbie) is the Jury President. Other members include actress Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), French actor Omar Sy (The Intouchables), actress Eva Green (Casino Royale) and Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona (Society of the Snow).

So, before you go thinking this is a panel of snobby European film critics, think again. These are people you likely are familiar with, and they are no doubt not above voting for friends in the business or showing some favoritism.

Megalopolis is a fine film to root for as you’d love to see an 85-year-old director get his due on what could be his final film. But sci-fi has historically not done well at all at Cannes for the most prestigious award.

Some of these other films may also be too small in stature to win over voters as the child actors in Bird could detract from Keoghan’s performance, and The Apprentice might just make the voters groan about the onslaught of Trump biopics to come.

But the person who has been cleaning up at award shows lately has been Lanthimos, and he has something cooking with Emma – who wants to go by Emily now – Stone as his leading lady.

Kinds of Kindness may be an anthology film, which is always tricky, but people really love Stone and Jesse Plemons right now, and it’s sure to have Lanthimos’ unique brand of comedy. That feels like the underdog pick here to make, but you are getting good value even on the favorite (Megalopolis) given the +400 odds.

Pick: Palme d’Or Winner – Kinds of Kindness (+600) at BetOnline

The Camera d’Or (Golden Camera)

The other Cannes Film Festival award with a betting market at BetOnline is the Camera d’Or, or the Golden Camera. This award started in 1979, is awarded by an independent jury, and it goes to the best 1st feature film presented in a Cannes selection (Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, or Critics’ Week).

This is for the best debut feature film from a new director. Riley Keough and Gina Gammell recently won the Camera d’Or for 2022’s War Pony. The 2023 winner was Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell from Vietnamese director Pham Thien An.

There is a long list of nominees at BetOnline, but we wanted to highlight the top 5 with odds all better than +1000:

  • Locust (+500) – Directed by KEFF, a Taiwanese-American, it is a coming-of-age gangster epic set in modern-day Taipei.
  • Vingt Dieux AKA 22 (+500) – Directed by Louise Courvoisier, it is a French film about a carefree teenager who must take care of his 7-year-old sister, so he tries to make an award-winning comté cheese to win the prize money.
  • Diamante Brut AKA Wild Diamond (+500) – Directed by Agathe Riedinger, it is a French coming-of-age drama about a girl obsessed with her physical appearance and becoming famous, so she responds to a casting call for a reality TV series.
  • September Says (+700) – Directed by Ariane Labed (Greek-French), it is about sisters, named September and July, experiencing tension on holiday in Ireland after September is suspended from school.
  • Julie Zwijgt (+800) – Directed by Leonardo Van Dijl, it is a Sweden-Belgium production about Julie, a star tennis player who remains quiet at an elite tennis academy as the team’s coach is under investigation and suspended.

Since these are all new directors, it is impossible to judge their past work. There is an overwhelming coming-of-age theme here with the films. That could give something like Locust an edge since it seems to take a different approach with the gangster epic scope.

If you wanted to bet money on which film you’d most like to see here, maybe you’d go with Locust. But an independent jury in Cannes may relate more to Diamante Brut.

This one is really a coin flip. We’ll go with the French film about the girl obsessed with fame as the director hopes to launch a famed career from here.

Pick: Camera d’Or Winner – Diamante Brut (+500) at BetOnline

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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