Monday, May 25, 2015

Cannes 2015 Day 12









Marion Cotillard

Australian director Justin Kurzel, left, French actress Marion Cotillard and German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender






Izabel Goulart






Czech model Petra Němcová
Antonio Banderas with another young beauty on his arm, Nicole Kimpel, a Dutch investment consultant who is 20 years younger
Un Certain Regard Jury, Tahar Rahim, Haifaa al-Mansour, Jury president Isabella Rossellini, Nadine Labaki, and Panos H.Koutras







Juror Sienna Miller



Jurors Sienna Miller and Xavier Dolan






Awards presenter Michelle Rodriguez
Nailea Norvind, Robin Bartlett, Tim Roth, Mexican director Michel Franco, who won Best Screenplay for his film Chronic, and Sarah Sutherland



Tim Roth
Cast of Dheepan, Marc Zinga, Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, French director Jacques Audiard, and Vincent Rottiers




Jacques Audiard, winner of the Palme d’Or for Dheepan



Actress Shu Qi, Best Director Hou Hsiao-hsien, and actor Chang Chen from the Taiwanese film The Assassin



Vincent Lindon after receiving the Best Actor Award






The honorary Palme d'Or was given to French film director and professor Agnès Varda














A collection of pieces from The Hollywood Reporter:   

Red carpet photos from PopSugar: 

Los Angeles Times gallery photos: 

Best dressed from Vanity Fair:   

Cannes photos from The Telegraph: 

A French site that lists daily galleries of red carpet photos: 

Photo gallery from The Daily Mail: 

Also here: 

also vintage earlier looks of 18-year old model Charlize Theron: 

A glamorous view from the Business Insider: 

Celebrities arrive for the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, from The NY Daily News: 

Vogue guide to Cannes:  

Also here: 

Elle fashion photos:    

Photo Gallery from E-Online:  

Fashionista blog: 

Daily list of best dressed at Cannes from Blouin Art Info: 

Best Cannes festival dresses of all time, from Marie Claire: 

Best and Worst fashion choices from International Business Times: 

Most Memorable Moments ever at Cannes from The Huffington Post: 

Also the most iconic moments at Cannes from The Huffington Post: 

also seen here: 

and still more here: 

Most Stylish Day Ever: Cannes Film Festival 1975, from GQ magazine: 

Harper’s Bazaar at Cannes: 

Hollywood Life photo gallery:  

Another large gallery of photos: 

People magazine hits the Cannes red carpet: 

while also performing a running behind-the-scenes diary style: 

Here’s our 68 favourite pictures from the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival 


The Cannes Blues  Michal Oleszczyk from the Ebert site, May 23, 2015

As I write these words, I am sitting on the cold tile floor of the Palais des Festivals, Cannes’ chief venue, sporting four of the largest screening rooms, all bearing names of cultural legends: Lumière, Debussy, Bazin and Buñuel. The movie I am hoping to see is Joachim Trier’s competition entry, “Louder than Bombs”. I took my place at the very front of the line, so I think my chances of getting in are pretty high. I can now relax. The screening starts in two hours.

The art of queuing may be forgotten elsewhere, but at Cannes we owners of the blue and yellow festival badges get the chance to perfect it every year. As we watch the lucky “pinks” (or: holders of pink badges, second only to white ones over here) whizz by and enter screenings first, the sense of envy among the “blues” and “yellows” is palpable: only last night, just before I got shut out of a screening of Todd Haynes’ “Carol” (I miscalculated and showed up only an hour and a half before), I saw a fierce-looking Italian lady shake a fist in the direction of the fast-moving pink queue and saying: “Rosso!” as if she was saying: “Let’s tear down the bastille!”.

The whole system of dividing journalists into priority groups is a necessity at a place like Cannes; at any given time the number of people wanting to see the films is larger than the available seating. Still, the key of assigning color badges to people is so mysterious and non-transparent, it causes controversy every single year. Big outlets get “blue” all of a sudden, smaller ones are inexplicably granted a “pink” – and gossip starts brewing. “Did you hear of such-and-such…? He got pink and he’s only here for a first time?”. “Did you hear of Steven…? Got demoted to blue, I feel really bad for him…” Professor Zimbardo himself wouldn’t be able to devise a psychological game more engaging and pernicious than this.

Still, as much as I hate the long queuing, I take perverse pleasure in its small rituals. Since my scheduling is close to that of several of my friends, I usually run into them just as I enter the queue: the sense that we are in it together (and that just in case one of us can run and grab the others a sandwich or a coke) is reassuring. Also, where else would we get a chance to spend so much time together, actually talking and not merely exchanging messages and/or likes on Facebook? Even though some people curl up with their laptops and others get immersed in their Kindles (usually just finishing novels that were adapted into movies just about to premiere at the Festival, like Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt”), most people do talk and get to know each other, even if the initial bonding impulse comes from a jealous remark thrown in the general direction of the “pink” line.

Another ritual, of course, is to discuss competition movies and predict the jury’s verdict way ahead of the festival’s end. “It’s the Coens, they gotta award Lanthimos!” is the line that gets repeated the most this year, just like the words “Van Sant” have become enough to crack people up in the wake of the disastrous screening of “The Sea of Trees”. The sun may be scorching (thank God it hasn’t really rained this year!), the hand of your watch may seem to go backwards at times, but you are not alone, and you get to moan and bitch all you want; no one will judge you, since, yet again, we are all in it together.

And then… the beeping starts. The first “blue” admitted and having their badge scanned with an electronic beep sends a joyous wave down the queue, together with some anxiety for the very end of the line (“Will we get in…?”). We start to move, slowly but surely, to the accompaniment of the security guys urging us to remain calm. As we get closer and closer to having our own badge scanned, the flow of the line will get checked every once in a while: the festival staff is making sure there are still seats at the balcony. Once that much-awaited beep of our own comes, we hand in our backpack for the cursory security check with a smile. The seat we will get may be at a slant that makes all the on-screen faces look slightly Edvard Munch-ish, but still: we’ve made it. The lights go down. The Cannes intro begins: a succession of red-carpeted stairs hovering in mid-air and guiding us from the depths of the sea to the starry night, accompanied by Saint-Saëns’ “Le carnaval des animaux”. Before we know it, our hands are clapping. We are here, at the Cannes Film Festival, about to see a world premiere of something special – and we suddenly realize just how lucky we are. 



Cannes 2015: Palme predictions  Ben Kenigsberg’s predictions from the Ebert site, May 24, 2015

The awards for the Un Certain Regard sidebar were announced last night, and the top prize went to "Rams," an Icelandic charmer about two sheep-breeding brothers who, despite their semi-estrangement from one another, stubbornly resist slaughtering their family flock amid an outbreak of scrapie, the lamb equivalent of mad-cow disease. It's not as though the movie asks viewers to root for a public-health debacle: The siblings are really just clinging to a way of life, despite the animosity between them.

That ceremony was just a warm-up for tonight's main awards. And I still think the Palme will go to "Son of Saul," for the simple reason that it came out of nowhere—Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes, a Béla Tarr protégé, would be the first first-time feature director to win the Palme since Steven Soderbergh in 1989—and blindsided viewers with its audacity and approach to representing the Holocaust onscreen. Although the film's gambit of exploring a concentration camp in a first-person style made me uneasy, the close-cropped, shallow-focus cinematography reflects the myopia that allows the protagonist to function in the Sonderkommando.

I'm rooting for an award for "The Assassin," directed by Taiwan's long-overdue Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who should have received the Palme in 1998 for "Flowers of Shanghai." Perhaps part of the reason Hou has struggled to win is that he's an acquired taste, with an approach to narrative that's all his own: He's less concerned with characters than with the spaces between them; he often elides major plot points or alludes to them in passing. The film's chances might be significantly improved if the jury saw it twice, as the story plays much more straightforwardly the second time around. Seeing Hou's use of screen geometry applied in a martial-arts context—or, par for the course with this director, a context in which occasional martial arts is a disruption from oblique, slow-boiling intrigue—is nothing short of thrilling. Peg this one for Best Director, though I could easily see the jury swapping it with "Son of Saul."

Another film that pushed my admiration into ardor on second viewing, Todd Haynes's "Carol" deserves a major prize, and it's an obvious choice for a shared Best Actress award (although Rooney Mara, playing a character whose drama is more internalized than Cate Blanchett's, deserves it on her own). The way in which Haynes lays out the unspoken dynamic between two women is exquisite, with much of the heavy lifting done not by dialogue but by glances and gestures.

On Best Actor, the heavy favorite is Vincent Lindon in "The Measure of a Man," as a French family man struggling to pay his bills and break back into the job market, though the performance is pretty low-key. (It's one of several movies in this year's official selection that concern the virtues and limits of French liberalism.)

As for the Grand Jury Prize (second place) and Best Screenplay, my prediction is that the jury could flip them either way between Denis Villeneuve's "Sicario" and Yorgos Lanthimos's "The Lobster." Screenplay seems like the obvious place to honor Lanthimos's film, which has a somewhat lead-footed Charlie Kaufman–style conceit. "Sicario" has friends on the jury (it was shot by longtime Coen collaborator Roger Deakins, and Jake Gyllenhaal just starred in Villeneuve's "Enemy" and "Prisoners"), and Grand Jury Prize seems like a way to honor the film's craft without courting too much of a charge of favoritism. But if "Carol" wins big, expect Emily Blunt to take a dark-horse Best Actress award. 



Cannes 2015: Jacques Audiard's "Dheepan" wins Palme d'Or  Ben Kenigsberg on the announced Cannes prizes from the Ebert site, May 24, 2015

In a move that confounded expectations, a jury led by the Coen brothers awarded the Palme d'Or to Jacques Audiard for "Dheepan," an immigrant drama centered on three Sri Lankan refugees who live as a fake family in France. "Dheepan" had its fans, though reviewers were critical of the film's last act.

It was one of several French movies in the official selection—including "The Measure of a Man," about unemployment, and the opening-night film, "Standing Tall," which follows a troubled youth through social services—that explored the virtues and limits of French liberalism. Chief programmer Thierry Frémaux acknowledged in interviews that January's Charlie Hebdo attacks were on committee members' minds during the selection process. "Dheepan," which comes to involve violence in the Paris suburbs (albeit in a very different context), could be said to have contributed to a festival-long dialogue.


Other awards were more in line with predictions, at least in terms of the films cited. Hungarian director Lászó Nemes, a rare first-time feature filmmaker in competition, took the Grand Jury Prize (second place) for his controversial, aesthetically rigorous "Son of Saul," a Holocaust drama about a member of the Sonderkommando looking for a rabbi to help bury a boy. The jury prize—sort of third place, sort of "we don't know where else to put this"—went to "Dogtooth" director Yorgos Lanthimos's Charlie Kaufman–esque comedy "The Lobster," starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.

Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien, who appeared at Cannes with his first film in eight years, was named Best Director for "The Assassin," a martial-arts drama that pays just as much attention to screen space when the characters aren't fighting as when they are. A journalist at the poll-the-jury press conference that followed the awards asked why Hou didn't win the Palme, despite many critics' predictions that he would. Jury co-president Joel Coen noted the jury's enthusiasm for the film and said that a directing prize is "in many ways inseparable from an overall aesthetic prize" for a movie.

Best Actor went to Vincent Lindon for "The Measure of a Man," in the closest thing the night had to a lock. The jury offered a surprise, though, with Best Actress, splitting the award not between Rooney Mara and her co-star, Cate Blanchett, who plays her lover in "Carol," but between Mara and Emmanuelle Bercot in "Mon Roi." The brothers attributed the dual prize to the festival's rules, which have changed since they won multiple awards for "Barton Fink" in 1991. "It's a little bit of a chess game," Joel said, adding that the doubling was a way to acknowledge another festival highlight.

Best Screenplay went to Mexico's Michel Franco for his English-language feature "Chronic." "The film was born in Cannes," Franco said accepting the award, noting that Tim Roth, who stars in the film as an obsessed caregiver, was president of the Un Certain Regard jury that gave Franco's "After Lucía" a prize in 2012.

During the press conference, Chaz Ebert asked whether the jurors' work as honorary film critics at this event would influence their approach to filmmaking. "It's not that it will change me as an artist, but it will change me as a human being reflecting on what movies are," said jury member Xavier Dolan, who shared a jury prize last year for "Mommy."

Joel Coen concurred. The experience "profoundly changes your perspective as an audience member, in a very, very positive way," he said. 



Cannes 2015: Palme de Whiskers  Barbara Scharres from the Ebert site, May 24, 2015

The tension is palpable as the Cannes awards are soon to be announced! I don’t mean the Palme d’Or, folks, but the prestigious Palme de Whiskers, my just-for fun award for the Cannes festival’s Best Feline Performance. The most glittering soiree on the international feline social calendar is about to begin in the Palais de Kittycats along the legendary Croisette on the Cannes waterfront. In a special new feature, the lighting for the Palais will be provided through the efforts of thousands of mice running on wheels, a performance piece created at great expense.

Vogue is covering it once again, and Vogue film critic John Powers and novelist/screenwriter Sandi Tan send their amiable Chubs, plus impeccably groomed Nico, a sleek Siamese, to serve on the jury. “I don’t wear any fur but my own,” she repeats with a nose-in-the-air sniff. “I think that line is getting stale, you vain catty thing,” chortles Chubs, a delightfully speckled grey tabby, “That’s what you told the press last year.”

Joining the Palme de Whiskers jury for the first time this year is Bob, a remarkably fit middle-aged tomcat in a classic mackerel coat. Bob represents New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis, who had to shush the throaty jealous growls of Bob’s housemates Bill and Henry when they found out he was on the international jury.

In this year of a Coen brothers-headed jury for the Palme d’Or, it was only fitting that Tigger, Daryl, and Jerry, the three identical marmalade tabbies who took turns playing Ulysses in “Inside Llewyn Davis” join the jury too. Being former shelter cats, they are a little rough around the edges in the manners department despite their stardom. Bob looks askance when they start grooming each other in the middle of jury proceedings.

Coming all the way from Switzerland to head the Palme de Whiskers jury as a team are brother cats Jean and Luc, winners of the very first Palme de Whiskers for Godard’s “Film Socialisme” back in 2010. They were just a pair of cute grey-and-white kittens then, and now they’re all grown up but they still have those chirpy voices.

“They seem a bit under the weather,” whispers Nico. “How would you feel if you had to watch Jean-Luc Godard pander to that dog, who was such a scene stealer in ‘Goodbye to Language’” retorts Tigger. “They had to watch his disgusting drooling tongue in 3-D!”

Let’s take a look behind the scenes at the secret jury deliberations in a back room of the Palais de Kittycats. In the first order of business the assembled cats mount a howl of protest over the fact that there was a shocking lack of feline representation in the 2015 competition. Noting a similar underrepresentation of films directed by human females, the jury cats voted to express solidarity. With a chorus of snarls and hisses, they symbolically shred a photo of the festival artistic director with their claws.

Ensemble performances and walk-on parts seemed to rule this year, and the jury was not pleased. There were the two ginger kittens and an adult black cat tussling on a lap in “The Restless One,” the first part in the Miguel Gomes trilogy “Arabian Nights.” “Too slight,” say the Ulysses trio in chorus. Being the ensemble performance experts, the three also gave a paws-down to the animated cats of “Inside Out,” entertaining as they were. “Those were just virtual cats,” spits Jerry. A resounding no also to the walk-on role of two scruffy street cats in Natalie Portman’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” “Those poor things…that wasn’t acting,” says Darryl. Another no to the calico cat who runs into the bushes in Shin Su-won’s “Madonna.”

The jury was desperate enough to even take a look at a trailer for “Cat AWOL,” an obscure Thai romantic comedy for sale in the film market. The big black tomcat Johnny was the star, for sure, but he was clearly a non-professional. Humans were holding him down as he tried to struggle out of his ninja costume, and it didn’t look like that part was in the script.

Chubs suggested that this year’s best cat line in a movie was in Valerie Donzelli’s “Marguerite & Julien.” “The cat,” responds the pregnant heroine, when asked who fathered her child, since she hadn’t seen her husband in eleven months. Leave it to Bill to dismiss the proposal with a wave of his great white paw, reminding the jury that “Marguerite & Julien” stank worse than a week-old litter box.

And on it went until the magic hour when the world’s most beautiful cats began filing into the Palais de Kittycats in their glossiest coats and most extravagant collars. The more daring lady cats, my own Miss Kitty among them, didn’t even wear collars. As Miss Kitty, the mistress of ceremonies, jumps to the stage, the ceremony begins.

The jury is seated onstage in a row of cushy baskets with a crystal water bowl in front of each one. Jury co-presidents Jean and Luc open the envelope. The ears of many in the audience are laid back, tails are swishing, and shocked hisses are heard as the winner of this year’s Palme de Whiskers is announced as Stripey, the big caged tiger in Jia Zhang-ke’s “Mountains May Depart.” What an upset!  Sure, it was a fine, intelligent performance involving some playful paw batting, but a tiger?

Stripey couldn’t make it from China in time for the ceremony, and besides, the jury was a little afraid he’d try to eat some of the audience. Accepting on his behalf is last year’s winner Dac, the shining black tomcat from Asia Argento’s “Misunderstood.” A big hulking guy, Dac was clearly enjoying the opportunity to strut his stuff before the lady cats once more. There were whispers that he seems to have let himself go in the past year, looking less like the Brad Pitt of cats than the Gerard Depardieu of cats.

Just as chaos threatened to break out in a rush to the tuna buffet, Miss Kitty announced that the jury had created a new award. Jean and Luc padded back up to the microphone to announce that the first ever Kittycat Peace Prize would go to Dali, the little orange and white adolescent from Dalibor Matanic’s “The High Sun.” It wasn’t much of a part, but the jury felt that the appearance of a cat in a film about reconciliation after war was a good sign. Leaping gracefully to the stage, Dali, a little farm girl kitty, won everyone’s hearts with a shy mewing acceptance speech.

The satisfied purrs continued until dawn in the still brightly lit Palais de Kittycats. The jury regrets that no mice were harmed.  



For those more dog inclined, this year’s Palm Dog goes to Lucky, star of Miguel Gomes’s Arabian Nights.  Lucky the Maltipoo is a cross between a Maltese terrier and poodle, details on the win provided by Alex Ritman in the Hollywood Reporter, where Lucky beat out stiff competition from Bob, the shepherd dog from The Lobster, plus a labrador and a rottweiler to claim Cannes’ most curious prize.

Grand Jury Prize – "Bob" from The Lobster 
Palm DogManitarian award – I Am a Soldier

*          *          *          * 

Cannes critics ratings, a composite of  7 different critic scores, where some of the highest ratings might surprise you:  http://cannes-rurban.rhcloud.com/index.pl/2015 

The Cannes Criterion Forum is up and running:    
http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=513599 

The final Screendaily Jury Grid has Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassins and Todd Haynes’ Carol as the only films rated above 3, both receiving a 3.5 rating, while Son of Saul and Mountains May Depart are both listed at 2.8: 

Les Etoiles de la critiques is also complete as well, where Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre and the French film The Measure of a Man have remained the highest rated films throughout the fest. (By the way, to open up the screen, click on the link [Edition mobile : cliquez ici pour afficher l'image]): 
http://www.lefilmfrancais.com/cinema/123097/cannes-2015-tableau-final-des-etoiles-de-la-critique-11



The round-up of various links covering Cannes:

Screendaily still has paywalls, but if you click on the reviews, they are open to the public: 
http://www.screendaily.com/, also:  http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/cannes/reviews/


David Hudson does all the links for each review at Fandor:  https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/category/daily

The Film Center's Barbara Scharres and Michał Oleszczyk, also Ben Kenigsberg and Chaz Ebert at Cannes from the Roger Ebert blog:  http://www.rogerebert.com/cannes/cannes-2015-table-of-contents

Kevin Jagernauth, Oliver Lyttelton, and Jessica Kiang the indieWIRE Playlist:  http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/tag/cannes-film-festival   

a round-up of indieWIRE reviews:  http://www.indiewire.com/tag/cannes-2015

The Guardian collection of reviews:  http://www.theguardian.com/film/cannes-2015



David Jenkins from Little White Lies:  http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/features/festivals   

Daniel Kasman, Adam Cook, and likely others at Mubi:  https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/tag/Cannes%202015

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky at Cannes for The Onion A.V. Club:  http://www.avclub.com/features/cannes-film-festival/

Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa:  https://storify.com/cineuropa/cannes-2015

Sukhdev Sandhu and Robbie Collins from The Daily Telegraph:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/cannes-festival/2015-movie-reviews/


Eric Lavallee and Nicholas Bell from Ion Cinema:  http://www.ioncinema.com/category/news/film-festivals

Drew McSweeny and Guy Lodge & others from HitFix:  http://www.hitfix.com/movies/cannes-film-festival 

International Cinephile Society:  http://icsfilm.org/

Various writers at Twitch:  http://twitchfilm.com/festivals/cannes/ 


Glenn Heath Jr. from the L-magazine:  http://www.thelmagazine.com/tag/cannes-2015/

Cannes Diary from Film Comment:  http://www.filmcomment.com/blog

And, of course, George is back at Cannes this year, where he finds off the beaten track film fare:  http://georgethecyclist.blogspot.com  

The Coen brothers and their seven fellow jurors surprised the prognosticators and awarded Jacques Audiard the Palme d'Or for "Dheepan,"  a choice I was most comfortable with, especially after finally seeing the prime contenders for the award, "Carol" and "Son of Saul," earlier in the day.  They were both fine films, but didn't fit the profile of a Palme d'Or as cutting edge cinema that would stand the test of time.  

"Dheepan" may not quite measure up either, as such was the cinema this year, but Audiard is an auteur who has been in the on deck circle for a Palme d'Or for several years, especially since his "A Prophet" was denied it by the Isabelle Huppert jury in favor of Michael Haneke's "White Ribbon" in 2009. Joel of the Coens recognized the award went to a director more than a film, as when he announced the winner,  he didn't say "Dheepan," but rather "Jacques Audiard."  Audiard's two Sri Lanka co-stars joined him on stage.

It concluded a nice evening for France, as the two acting awards went to the French as well.  Vincent Lindon won the best actor award for his role as an unemployed factory worker in "The Measure of a Man."  He was the only award winner to go over to the jury box and personally thank each juror with kisses and hugs while all the while the delighted audience continued their applause. The shared best actress award went to Emmanuelle Bercot as an overwhelmed wife in "Mon Roi."  The other recipient was American Rooney Mara as the lover of Cate Blanchett in "Carol."  The division of this award was almost as surprising as the Palme d'Or, not only that it wasn't shared with Blanchett, but even more that it was the award given to "Carol," rather than one of the bigger awards.  But those will come in the future.  Todd Haynes was all smiles in accepting the award, as his movie will be strewn with Oscar nominations.  It could easily win the Best Picture Oscar, but is too conventional of a movie to be worthy of the Palme d'Or.

The Hungarian Aushwitz film "Son of Saul" by first time director Laszlo Nemes was awarded the Grand Prix for the second best film.  It had been touted for the Palme d'Or, but it wasn't as fully accomplished of a film such as "Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days," the Romanian film by a young director that was a consensus Palme d'Or in 2007.  If Nemes fulfills his promise, there is a Palme d'Or in his future.

The best director award went to Hou Hsiao-Hsien, a good choice, for "The Assassin." Michel Franco won the best screenplay for "Chronic." His star Tim Roth was sitting beside him in the audience.  Some thought he might win the best actor award.  He is the fourth Mexican to win an award in the last few years. The Jury Prize, for the third best film, went to Greek Yorgos Lanthimos for "The Lobster," full of strangeness right up the Coens' alley.

And once again Paolo Sorrentino was overlooked by a Cannes jury.  I saw his "Youth" for the second time earlier in the day and appreciated its richness and depth and pizzazz even more.  So did my audience in the packed Debussy. ("Carol" and "Son of Saul" were the other two movies replayed in the largest of the theaters on repeat Sunday, indicating Thierry Fremaux thought they were the movies with most appeal.)  It responded to it with much more laugher and enthusiasm than the audience of press I had seen it with five days ago.  I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been awarded the Palme d'Or, just as "Great Beauty" could have been, but was totally ignored by the Spielberg jury.

It was one of three Italian films in Competition, none of which received an award.  An Italian journalist in the press conference after the awards ceremony asked how that could be.  Ethan Coen said, "We had enthusiasm for more movies than we were able to recognize."  As it was, eight of the nineteen films were given an award.

Chaz Ebert asked the best question of the press conference even though it was long-winded and paid homage to her husband.  She wanted to know if this jury experience would make them better at their craft as actors and directors.  Xavier Dolan was the first to respond.  He said he was going to begin shooting a movie in twenty-four hours.  He didn't expect this experience to effect him as a filmmaker, but acknowledged he'd never had such a great time continually discussing cinema.  He felt it had changed him as a human being and then added he thought it had made him a better person.  Joel Coen quickly piped in, "You're not," but then grew serious and said that it had been an amazing experience for him as well and would "profoundly effect" him in the future as an audience member.

The first questions were why the jury gave the Palme d'Or to "Dheepan."  Ethan knew it hadn't been favored by the critics and said, "We are a jury of artists, not critics.  We found the film beautiful."  That was an unexpected description.  "Important," or "significant," or  "powerful," would be more obvious choices.  Jake Gyllenhaal liked the plot contrivance of three strangers becoming a family.  Dolan had nothing to say on the topic, but despite being the youngest on the jury by far at twenty-six, he spoke more at the press conference than anyone but the Coens.  He will no doubt be a jury president in the years to come and could well be accepting the Palme d'Or next year for the movie he will begin shooting tomorrow, "Its Only the End of the World" starring Marion Cotillard and Vincent Cassell.  I am already looking forward to it.  And I'm also looking forward to processing the seventy plus films I've just seen as I head to the Alps and begin conditioning my legs for The Tour de France commencing on July  4.

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