Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda has won the highest honor from the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d’Or for Shoplifters. He previously won the Jury Prize for 2013’s Like Father, Like Son. Shoplifters (review here) is the story of a family, both blood and cobbled together, who scrape by with multiple jobs and supplement their survival with minor thievery that threaten to tear their family apart.
US director Spike Lee, who has been vocal about losing out on the Palme for Do the Right Thing nearly 30 years ago came close tonight, winning the Grand Prix for BlacKkKlansman (review here) – the defacto 2nd place or runner-up prize. When asked by journalists what he thought of the state of the world right now he said, “I’m just going to quote the Peter Weir film, The Year of Living Dangerously. It’s the year of living dangerously.” Lee represented the sole win for an American in a competition very light on US films.
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki picked up the Jury Prize for Capernaum, her dark tale of a young boy who wants to sue his parents “for giving him life.” The win was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd at the Salle Debussy where the ceremony was simulcast live, directly across the hall from the Grand Palais.
A surprise award was announced by jury president Cate Blanchett in the form of a “Special Palme” Jean-Luc Godard for The Image Book after a special dispensation was given by Thierry Fremuax. Blanchett described Godard as “a cinematic artist who is continually striving to define and re-define what cinema can be.” This is only the director’s second win at Cannes; he earned a Jury Prize for Goodbye to Language (which he shared in a tie with Xavier Dolan) in 2014. Godard, famously a no-show to any festival events wasn’t here and last week showed up for his press conference via Face Time for journalists. The award was accepted by the film’s producers Fabrice Aragno and Mitra Farahani.
Best Actress went to a visibly shaken Samal Yeslyamova for Ayka and Best Actor went to Marcello Fonte for Dogman. The screenplay award was a tie this year, with Alice Rohrwacher winning for Happy as Lazzaro and Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar for 3 Faces. Pawel Pawlikowski was the director winner for Cold War (review here) his story of a pair of damaged lovers in post-war Poland.
But the most earth-shaking shock of the festival happened just before the Best Actress announcement. Actress Asia Argento came out as part of the introduction of the award with jury member Ava DuVernay and dropped this: “I have a few words to say – In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground. I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here again. He will live in disgrace, shunned by a film community that once embraced him and covered up his crimes. Even tonight, sitting among you, there are those who must still be held accountable for behavior that does not belong in this industry. … You know who you are, and most importantly, we know who you are, and we’re not going to allow you to get away with it anymore.”
This, combined with the women’s march last week in which the female members of the jury were joined on the red carpet to recognize that only 82 women have ever walked the red carpet as directors of an in competition film compared to 1,645 men, underlined that while two of the three female directors in competition (out of 21) won prizes but the Palme still eludes a solo win by a woman filmmaker.
Girl, (review here)a film about a young trans girl trying to make it as a ballerina, ended up with festival’s biggest haul. It won three separate awards from three separate sections; the Camera d’Or which recognizes the Best First Film, Best Performance (non-gender) for Victor Polster in Un Certain Regard and the Queer Palm, which awards the best LGBTQ film of the festival. Director Lukas Dhont thanked his young star as well as the actual Lara (the subject of the film), a girl from his youth who inspired the story.
Here is the full list of winner of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival from all sections.
Palme d’Or: Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Grand Prix: BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Actor: Marcello Fonte, Dogman
Actress: Samal Yeslyamova, Ayka
Jury Prize: Nadine Labaki, Capernaum
Screenplay — TIE: Alice Rohrwacher, Happy as Lazzaro andJafar Panahi, Nader Saeivar, 3 Faces
Special Palme d’Or: Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book (special dispensation by Thierry Fremaux)
Camera d’Or: Girl, Lukas Dhont
Short Films Palme d’Or: All These Creatures, Charles Williams
Short Films Special Mention: On the Border, Shujun Wei
Ecumenical Jury Prize: Capernaum, Nadine Labaki
Ecumenical Jury Special Mention: BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee
Queer Palm: Girl, Lukas Dhont
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Un Certain Regard Award: Ali Abbasi, Border
Best Director: Sergei Loznitsa, Donbass
Best Performance: Victor Polster, Girl
Best Screenplay: Meryem Benm’Barek, Sofia
Special Jury Prize: João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora, The Dead and the Others
Art Cinema Award: Climax (Gaspar Noé)
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “The Trouble With You” (Pierre Salvadori)
Europa Cinemas Label: Lucia’s Grace (Gianni Zanasi)
Illy Short Film Award: Skip Day” (Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas)
Grand Prize: Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt)
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: Woman at War (Benedikt Erlingsson)
GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: “Sir
Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Felix Maritaud, Sauvage
Short Film: “Hector Malot – The Last Day Of The Year (Jacqueline Lentzou)