Monday, May 29, 2017


The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival has come to the close and "The Square", a surreal social commentary on the wealthy, took the top prize of the Palme d'Or. This was the follow-up from Ruben Ostlund, who brought us the 2014 Swedish hit, "Force Majeure", and co-stars Elizabeth Moss and Dominic West. "120 Beats Per Minute", Robin Campillo's drama on the rise of AIDS activists in 1990's France, received the Gran Prix or the runner-up award.

Sofia Coppola has become only the second female to win the Best Director prize for her upcoming remake of the Civil War drama, "The Beguiled" following Yuliya Solntseva who won for her 1961 drama about Russian resistance to Nazi occupation, "Chronicle of Flaming Years". Not to take anything away from the talented Ms Coppola nor have I actually seen the movie yet but I suspect the motivation behind giving her the award was more about making a political statement than of the actual merit of "The Beguiled". This is due to all the chatter about the lack of female directing winners in the seventy years of the fest and the very mixed critical reaction to the film.

Joaquin Phoenix was named Best Actor for "You Were Never Really Here" while the Best Actress award went to Diane Kruger for "In the Fade". I was surprised to learn that this was the first film, Fatih Akin's drama about the widow of a German-Turk battling against neo-Nazis, that the German-born actress has actually spoken her native language.

The Pedro Almodovar-led jury had a tie for the Best Screenplay award, giving writer and director, Lynne Ramsay the prize for "You Were Really Here" and Greek director, Yorgos Lanthimos and co-writer, Efthymis Filippou for "The Killing of a Sacred Deer".

Finally, to mark the 70th anniversary of the fest, a special award was given to Nicole Kidman who appeared in four projects at Cannes; award winners, "The Beguiled' and "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" as well as John Cameron Mitchell's "How To Talk To Girls at Parties" and Jane Campion's television program, "Top of the Lake". Why her? Well, why not.

Here is a partial list of winners from the 2017 Cannes Film Festival:

Palme d'Or: "The Square"

Grand Prize: "120 Beats Per Minute"

Jury Prize: "Loveless"

Best Director: Sofia Coppola, "The Beguiled"
Best Actress: Diane Kruger, "Aus dem Nichts (In the Fade)"

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, "You Were Never Really Here"
Best Screenplay: (Tie) Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou, "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" and Lynne Ramsey, "You Were Never Really Here"
Camera d'Or (Best First Feature): "Jeune Femme" ("Montparnasse-Bienvenue")
Best Short Film: "A Gentle Night"
Special 70th Anniversary Prize: Nicole Kidman
Un Certain Regard Prize: "Lerd (A Man of Integrity)"
Un Certain Regard Jury Prize: "Las Hijas de Abril" (April's Daughter)
Un Certain Regard Prize for Best Direction: Taylor Sheridan, "Wind River"

Un Certain Regard Prize for Best Actress: Jasmine Trinca, "Fortunata"
Un Certain Regard Prize for the Best Poetic Narrative: Mathieu Amalric, "Barbara"