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Cannes Award winners: how they’ll impact the Oscar race

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Ultimately, many Cannes winners don’t register in the United States, unless they break through at the box office, as “Parasite” did.

Outside of Cannes, “Parasite” is the most notable example of a Palme d’Or winner who won big prizes not only at the global box office but also at subsequent awards, including four Oscars: Best film, director, original screenplay and International Cinema. (Only “Marty” in 1955 also followed a Palme d’Or with an Oscar for Best Picture.) Cannes is a powerful marketing platform, but winning the top prize didn’t make films such as “Dheepan possible. “by Jacques Audiard (2015) or” The wind that shakes barley “(2006) and” Me, Daniel Blake “(2016) by Ken Loach among the Oscar contenders. France did not submit “Dheepan” that year, instead sending Paul Verhoeven’s most popular Cannes entry “Elle”; French star Isabelle Huppert won an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

The truth is that outside of the Best International Film category, it takes some box office success to push a Cannes award winner into an Oscar nominee. “The Pianist”, “Pulp Fiction”, “The Mission”, “MASH” and “Apocalypse Now” are among the Palme d’Or winners for having also won Oscars. And Holly Hunter won Best Actress at Cannes and at the Oscars for “The Piano”, winner of Jane Campion’s Palme d’Or.

This year, at Cannes’ most sublime awards ceremony of all time, the authors named Verhoeven (“Benedetta”) and Audiard (“Paris, 13th arrondissement”) returned home empty-handed, as well as the authors. American contenders Wes Anderson (Searchlight’s “The French Dispatch”), Sean Penn (MGM’s “Flag Day”), and Sean Baker (A24’s “Red Rocket”), while Jury President Spike Lee made his way to through the ceremony, initially giving the winner of the first prize (the brilliant of Julia Ducournau the family drama “Titane” which tips the balance of the genre.

“We call it a cover,” said Lee, after calling Cannes a “second home” since 1986. After that, bilingual jury member Tahar Rahim sat down next to Lee and translated for him. “In my 63 years of life, I’ve learned you have a second chance,” Lee said later during the ceremony before nearly jumping again. “This is my second chance. I apologize for ruining everything, it took a lot of suspense from the night.

“Titanium” only marked the second time a director (after Campion) has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, which has tried to be more inclusive after criticism in recent years. There has been debate to know if this daring film about an exotic dancer and serial killer (discovery Agathe Rousselle) who adopts the identity of the missing son of a fire chief stuffed with steroids (Vincent Lindon, winner of the prize for the best actor at Cannes in 2015 for Man “) would have to settle for a lower price. Ducournau thanked Lee for giving him a” perfect night, “she said,” because it’s not perfect “, and the jury for “being inclusive and fluid”.

“I’ve never seen a pregnant woman by a car,” Lee said at the jury press conference, which is one of the many provocative moments in “Titanium”.

“I don’t think what I do defines me as a woman,” Ducournau said at the press conference. “I thought of Jane Campion because she was the first woman to receive this award. As the second woman, I feel like I belong to a movement that is on the move. There will be a third, fourth and fifth woman. She got emotional while answering the last question about feeling free as a filmmaker. “It’s never easy to be free. You have to fight all the time. We must fight for freedom. Freedom can only come from within; it’s a fight every day.

Critique of

“The worst person in the world”

Whether France will submit an outrageous “Titanium” to the Oscars will spark debate. (The winner of the Erotic Palme “Blue Is the Warmest Color” was not the country’s official choice in 2013.) Other nominees include the relationship drama “Paris, 13th District” (IFC Films), the black adaptation and white Audiard from the graphic novel “Killing and Dying” by Adrian Tomine, and “Everything went well” by François Ozon (Cohen Media). Japan could submit “Drive My Car” by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, a story 3-hour film about an actor / theater director (Hidetoshi Nishijima) rehearsing a production of “Uncle Vanya”, which won the award for best screenplay for its adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story, and still has no distributor American.

Photocall “Annette”

cannes film festival

It is likely that the heated discussions about “Titanium” and the festival’s opening film, Leos Carax’s Sparks Brothers musical, winner of the Best Director award, “Annette”, will inspire more moviegoers to taste the films, as well. than their prices in Cannes. (Adam Driver’s courageous singing performance will be a staple for actors.) And the award for Best Actor at Cannes by American Caleb Landry Jones could spark more distributors’ interest in the era’s massacre drama. Australian director Justin Kurzel “Nitram”, who is looking to land an exit after his Friday debut in Cannes.

Neon had a good evening, as the distributor of “Parasite” won the Palme d’Or two years in a row, invested in “Titane” and “Memoria” before the festival, and landed “The worst person in the world” by Joachim Trier. ”Before star Renate Reinsve won the award for best actress. “There’s a lot of me in Julia,” said Reinsve, who almost gave up acting before Trier offered her the role of a young woman struggling with her career choices and romantic relationships. It could be a hit on the arthouse circuit, and will likely be Norway’s Oscar bid.

“A hero”

The jury debate was “intense”, filmmaker and actress Mati Diop (“Atlantic”) said on the red carpet, which may have explained the two tied votes, for the Grand Prix – “A Hero” of Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi and Sony Pictures Collection of the classics “Compartment No.6” – and Jury Prize – “Ahed’s Knee” by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s first English film, “Memoria” ( Neon). The director’s latest film “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives”, winner of a Palme d’Or in 2010, stars Tilda Swinton, whom the filmmaker thanked profusely. It turns out that Farhadi was right to refuse to join the Cannes 2021 jury (after being invited to the 2020 non-festival), because he wanted to bring his film into Competition.

Winning at Cannes raises a film’s profile in its home country, often leading to an Oscar submission. Thus, we can expect Iran to submit “A Hero” (Amazon Studios) for Best International Film, as Farhardi has already won Oscars twice, for “A Separation” and “The Salesman”. And Finland is expected to submit the train film “Compartment # 6”, which Sony Pictures Classics will push, as usual. Israel will wait for the victor of Ophir before submitting.

Mamoru hosoda

Anne thomson

Another Israeli filmmaker, Ari Folman, will likely be back in the Oscar race after the foreign-language Oscar nominee “Waltz with Bashir” with the holocaust fable “Where’s Anne Frank? an animated feature film that Folman hoped to reach children around the world. The film is still looking for a North American distributor. Another lively competitor could be Mamoru Hosoda’s inventive “Belle” (GKids), inspired by the French fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”, about rural schoolchildren battling alter egos in a digital universe, depending on their strengths and their weaknesses. This could mark his second nomination for an animated feature film after “Mirai”.

Other snobs included “Bergman Island”, the summer romance of Mia Hansen-Løve’s married writers, with Tim Roth and magnetic Vicky Krieps in a story and Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie (“Worst Person in the World”) in an other. , which could be an arthouse success for IFC Films. Other titles from the Cannes selection that did not take into account the festival’s prices could well play in cinemas, in particular the Franco-American hybrid story of Tom McCarthy, Oscar winner, “Stillwater” (30 July, Focus), starring Oscar-worthy Matt Damon as a thug. of water in Marseille; Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” (Searchlight), with its star ensemble; Baker’s pornstar in the Texas fable “Red Rocket” (A24); IFC’s exuberant and godless lesbian nun story “Benedetta”; and Eva Husson’s British love story “Mothering Sunday” (Sony Pictures Classics), starring rising stars Odessa Young and Josh O’Connor.

Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin, Director Tom McCarthy and Camille Cottin arrive

Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin, director Tom McCarthy and Camille Cottin on the “Stillwater” red carpet during the 74th Cannes Film Festival on July 8, 2021.

Michael Buckner for PMC

Less likely to prove a commercial entry at the box office is Sean Penn’s MGM pickup, “Flag Day,” a true ’70s crook drama in which he stars alongside his daughter Dylan Penn, one of the many Cannes films about sad men. who can’t help but shoot themselves in the foot (“Red Rocket”, “Stillwater”, “A Hero”).

Cannes aired more documentaries than usual. “Val”, a laudatory portrayal of actor Val Kilmer, who battles throat cancer and was too ill to attend Cannes, by Ting Poo and Leo Scott (A24 / Amazon) and the innovative “The Velvet Underground ”aroused positive reactions on the Croisette. “, By Todd Haynes (Apple), which is expected to reappear on the fall festival circuit, as well as two films looking for buyers:” The Story of Film: A New Generation “by Mark Cousins ​​and” JFK Revisited: Oliver Stone: Through the Looking Glass, ”which brings together all of the published files on the JFK assassination into a cohesive conspiracy theory.

The truth is, after the pandemic, the specialty market has never been harder to analyze, as filmmakers, exhibitors, distributors and the media try to make sense of an evolving film landscape. The first step was to set up a robust virtual market in Cannes followed by a real live festival, which was far from being pre-established. The industry is recovering. And small annoyances like the Covid tests spat aside, some 19,000 participants reveled in the wonder of returning to the experience on the big screen. “I was happy to be back in crowded auditoriums,” Farhadi said.

Amen to that.

See the full list of Cannes winners here.

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