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Cannes Winners Diane Kruger & Sofia Coppola Oscar Chances + Bypassed Michael Haneke & Robert Pattinson

In the Fade Diane Kruger: Avenging Woman drama may give star chance to become next Isabelle HuppertIn the Fade with Diane Kruger: Fatih Akin's Avenging Woman drama may give its German-speaking star the chance to become next awards season's Isabelle Huppert.

Diane Kruger: 2017–2018 awards season's Isabelle Huppert?

(See previous post: “Cannes Winners vs. Oscar Nominations.”) The Cannes Film Festival's 2003 Female Revelation Chopard Trophy winner, Diane Kruger was Cannes' 2017 Best Actress winner for Fatih Akin's In the Fade / Aus dem Nichts.

If Akin's German drama finds a U.S. distributor before the end of the year, Kruger could theoretically become the Isabelle Huppert of the 2017–2018 awards season – that is, in case the former does become a U.S. critics favorite while we stretch things a bit regarding the Kruger-Huppert commonalities.

Just a bit, as both are European-born Best Actress Cannes winners who have been around for a while (in Huppert's case, for quite a while). Perhaps most importantly, like Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's Elle, Kruger plays a woman out for revenge in In the Fade.

Diane Kruger-Isabelle Huppert 'differences'

There is, however, one key difference between the two characters: in Elle, Isabelle Huppert wants to avenge her own rape; in In the Fade, Diane Kruger wants to avenge the death of her Turkish husband (Numan Acar) and their son (Rafael Santana) at the hands of white supremacist terrorists.

Another key difference, this time about the Kruger-Huppert Cannes Film Festival connection: although Isabelle Huppert became a U.S. critics favorite – and later a Best Actress Oscar nominee – for her performance in Elle, her (unanimous) Best Actress Cannes win was for another movie, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher / La pianiste back in 2001.

At that time, Huppert also became a U.S. critics favorite (winning Best Actress honors in San Diego and San Francisco; a runner-up in Los Angeles and New York), but, perhaps because of The Piano Teacher's sexually charged nature, she failed to receive a matching Oscar nod.

Last year's Cannes Best Actress, by the way, was Jaclyn Jose for Brillante Mendoza's Philippine drama Ma' Rosa. Huppert had been in contention as well, as Elle was in the running for the Palme d'Or.

Diane Kruger Best Actress Oscar nomination chances?

A Best Actress nomination for Diane Kruger at the German Academy Awards (a.k.a. Lolas) – for her first German-language starring role – is all but guaranteed. Curiously, that would be her first.

As for a Best Actress Oscar nod, that's less certain.

For starters, unlike the mostly well-reviewed Elle, In the Fade has sharply divided critics. For instance, whereas The Hollywood Reporter summarized Akin's film as a “thriller made riveting by an emotional performance from Diane Kruger,” The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it a “mediocre revenge drama” with “a not particularly good” star turn.

Besides, since the year 2000 just one “individual” Best Actress Cannes winner has gone on to receive an Oscar nomination for the same performance: Rooney Mara*, who, though one of the two leads in Todd Haynes' Carol (2011), was shortlisted in the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category so as not to compete with her co-star and eventual Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett.

Then there's the special case of Penélope Cruz; the 2006 Best Actress Oscar nominee – for Pedro Almodóvar's Volver – was a Cannes winner as part of that family comedy-drama ensemble†.

As an aside, despite their Cannes Best Actress win for performances in (at least partly) English-language films, no less than seven other actresses have failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards this century.

  • Björk, Dancer in the Dark (2000).
  • Maggie Cheung, Clean (2004).
  • Hanna Laslo, Free Zone (2005).
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist (2009).
  • Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy (2010).
  • Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (2011).
  • Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars (2014). Coincidentally, that same year Moore starred in Still Alice, which eventually earned her the Best Actress Oscar.

Warner Bros. will be distributing In the Fade in Germany later this year.

Regarding the Oscars, whether late in 2017 or late in 2018, seems like it would be helpful if Diane Kruger got a hold of Isabelle Huppert's – and/or Marion Cotillard's and Jean Dujardin's – U.S.-based awards season publicists.

* Rooney Mara shared the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award with Emmanuelle Bercot for My King / Mon roi.

† Also in the Cannes-winning Volver ensemble: Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Chus Lampreave, and Yohana Cobo.

The Beguiled trailer: Colin Farrell cast in the old Clint Eastwood role in Sofia Coppola's readaptation of the Civil War-set, lust & circumstance drama.

Sofia Coppola ends Cannes female drought

About 13 years ago, Sofia Coppola became the first American woman to be shortlisted for the Best Director Academy Award – for the Tokyo-set drama Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Coppola eventually lost in that category to Peter Jackson for the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but she did take home that year's Best Original Screenplay Oscar statuette.

There haven't been any other Oscar nominations since, but her father-daughter drama Somewhere, toplining Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, was the controversial Golden Lion winner at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.

This year, Coppola has become only the second woman to win the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award – for The Beguiled, an American Civil War-set drama based on Thomas P. Cullinan's 1966 novel of the same name (originally published as A Painted Devil).

With shades of Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus, The Beguiled follows a wounded Union soldier after he finds refuge at a girls' boarding school in Virginia. Sexual tension and assorted forms of pathological behavior ensue.

Tenuous Cannes-Oscar Best Director connection

From 2000 to 2016, 20 filmmakers† have taken home the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award.

Of these, only four have gone on to receive matching Best Director Oscar nominations – with no wins:

  • David Lynch, Mulholland Dr. (2001).
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (2006).
  • Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007).
  • Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher (2014).

Four other Cannes Best Director winners were bypassed by the Academy even though their movies featured – at least a sizable chunk of – English-language dialogue:

  • Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There§ (2001).
  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love (2002).
  • Gus Van Sant, Elephant (2004).
  • Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive (2011).

In other words, a Best Director Cannes Film Festival win is no guarantee of a Best Director Academy Award nomination.

Ultimately, Sofia Coppola's chances of an Oscar nod in the Best Director category depend on how well The Beguiled is received among Los Angeles and New York film circles, and how commercially successful – for an “arthouse movie” – it turns out to be.

† During that period, there were three Cannes Film Festival Best Director ties:

  • 2001: Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There§ & David Lynch for Mulholland Dr.
  • 2002: Im Kwon-taek for Painted Fire & Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love.
  • 2016: Cristian Mungiu for Graduation & Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper. Both films opened in the U.S. in spring 2017 and may thus be in the running during the upcoming awards season.

§ Ethan Coen co-directed The Man Who Wasn't There, but didn't receive credit in that capacity.

The Beguiled Nicole Kidman: Best Actress Oscar winner recipient of Cannes Film Festival 70th Anniversary PrizeThe Beguiled with Nicole Kidman. The Best Actress Oscar winner (The Hours, 2002) had two movies in the 2017 Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition; the other one was The Killing of a Secret Deer, also with Colin Farrell. Moreover, Kidman was the recipient of Cannes' special 70th Anniversary Prize.

'Sly' & 'elegant'

Also adapted by Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled will be distributed in the U.S. by Oscar veteran Focus Features (Brokeback Mountain, The Danish Girl). The film has generally received positive notices – e.g., “sly” and “elegant” in the words of Time magazine's Stephanie Zacharek – and could well become a strong awards season contender in various categories.?

The cast includes The Killing of a Sacred Deer actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, in addition to Kirsten Dunst (the star of Coppola's Marie Antoinette), Somewhere actress Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Angourie Rice, and Emma Howard.

Cullinan's novel also served as the basis for Don Siegel's The Beguiled, a 1971 Southern Gothic effort adapted by Irene Kamp and former Hollywood Ten member Albert Maltz.

In the cast of what turned out to be a major box office flop: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, and Jo Ann Harris.

? July 19 update: Four weeks after its June 23 U.S. debut, The Beguiled has collected only $9.8 million. Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, Sofia Coppola's psychological period drama has a 78% approval rating and a 7.3 average – solid, though hardly outstanding numbers.

Women directors at Cannes & the Oscars

For the record, Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva was the Cannes Film Festival's first Best Director winner, for The Story of the Flaming Years back in 1961.

The only woman to have directed a Palme d'Or winner is Jane Campion, for The Piano (1993). Early in 1994, Campion became the second woman to be shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Best Director category. The first one was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976).

'A Gentle Night' & 'Montparnasse Bienvenue'

Qiu Yang's short film Palme d'Or winner A Gentle Night should be automatically eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards. But competition, as usual, will be fierce.

In the last decade, the only short film Palme d'Or winner to have received an Oscar nomination was Juanjo Giménez Peña's Timecode (2016), in the Best Live Action Short Film category.

As for this year's Caméra d'Or (Golden Camera) winner, Léonor Serraille's Montparnasse Bienvenue / Jeune femme, its Oscar chances are virtually nil. As a “minor” French production, Montparnasse Bienvenue will likely not be submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, while its chances of getting U.S. distribution are slim at best.

Since 2000, the only Caméra d'Or winner to have been shortlisted for the Oscars was Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), a sleeper critical and box office hit that ended up nominated in four categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin).

Good Time Robert Pattinson: Ben and Joshua Safdie thriller bypassed at Cannes Film Festival but awards season contenderGood Time with Robert Pattinson: All but completely bypassed at the Cannes Film Festival, Ben and Joshua Safdie's crime thriller – co-written by Joshua Safdie and Ronald Bronstein – may turn out to be a key contender in various categories next awards season.

Bypassed Palme d'Or contenders

The Cannes Film Festival has historically been both U.S.- and eurocentric. In other words, filmmaking from other countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific tend to be ignored either at the awards ceremony or at the very outset – in other words, such films don't even get the chance to compete for the Palme d'Or.

This year was no different, with a mere two non-U.S., non-European productions (or co-productions) among the 19 films in the Official Competition: Naomi Kawase's Japanese romantic drama Radiance and Hong Sang-soo's South Korean romantic drama The Day After. Both came out empty-handed.

Among the other movies that failed to win any of the Official Competition awards, several may have a shot in some category or other come Oscar time. Notably:

  • The socially conscious family drama Happy End, produced by veteran Margaret Ménégoz (Pauline at the Beach, Europa Europa) and a Sony Pictures Classics release in North America.
    Dir.: Michael Haneke.
    Cast: Isabelle Huppert. Jean-Louis Trintignant. Mathieu Kassovitz.
  • The mix of time-bending mystery and family drama Wonderstruck, a Roadside Attractions / Amazon Studios release (on Oct. 20) in the U.S.
    Dir.: Todd Haynes.
    Cast: Julianne Moore. Millicent Simmonds. Cory Michael Smith.
  • The crime drama Good Time, an A24 release (on Aug. 11) in the U.S.
    Dir.: Ben and Joshua Safdie.
    Cast: Robert Pattinson. Jennifer Jason Leigh. Barkhad Abdi.

Cannes non-win doesn't mean weaker Oscar chances

It's good to remember that the lack of a Cannes Film Festival win doesn't necessarily reduce a film's, a director's, a screenwriter's, or a performer's Oscar chances. Case in point: last year's Cannes Best Actress “loser” Isabelle Huppert for Elle.

Here are a few other recent examples of Cannes Official Competition non-winners in specific categories that went on to receive Oscar nods:

  • Carol (2015): Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) nominee.
  • Two Days, One Night / Deux jours, une nuit (2014): Best Actress (Marion Cotillard) nominee.
  • The Great Beauty / La grande bellezza (2013): Best Foreign Language Film winner.
  • The Hunt / Jagten (2012): Best Foreign Language Film nominee (at the 2013 Academy Awards).
  • The Artist (2011): Best Picture and Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius) Oscar winner.

And here's a special case: Amour leading lady and 2012 Best Actress Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva could not have won the Best Actress Award at Cannes, as current festival rules prevent Palme d'Or winners from taking home any other Official Competition awards.

Anyhow, bear in mind that Isabelle Huppert (again), Julianne Moore, and Robert Pattinson – and their respective films – could theoretically remain strong Oscar contenders despite the absence of Cannes Film Festival Official Competition victories.

Mohammad Rasoulof and Leslie Caron among other notable Cannes winners

Besides those already mentioned in this two-part Cannes Film Festival article, notable winners at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival include:

  • Mohammad Rasoulof's Un Certain Regard sidebar winner A Man of Integrity. Having infuriated Iran's theocracy, in 2010 Rasoulof was sentenced to a year in prison following accusations of “filming without a permit.” He has been out on bail. In 2011, Rasoulof won Un Certain Regard's Best Director Award for Goodbye. Two years later, his Un Certain Regard entry Manuscripts Don't Burn won the International Film Critics' FIPRESCI Prize.
  • Veteran Leslie Caron and her 17-year-old pet rescue dog Tchi Tchi shared the Palm DogManitarian Award for their work in the British television series The Durrells in Corfu / The Durrells. Caron, who will be turning 86 on July 1, made her film debut in Vincente Minnelli's 1951 musical An American in Paris – that year's Best Picture Academy Award winner. She would be shortlisted twice for the Best Actress Oscar: Lili (1953) and The L-Shaped Room (1963). Last year, she was the subject of Larry Weinstein's documentary Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star and will next be seen in Thomas Brunot's short The Perfect Age.
  • Faces Places / Visages, villages, which offers a tour of the French countryside, won Cannes' Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary. The directors are veteran Agnès Varda (Cléo from 5 to 7, Vagabond), who turned 89 on May 30, and photographer/muralist JR. Faces Places is supposed to be Varda's swan song, following a career spanning more than six decades. Her 2008 César-winning documentary The Beaches of Agnès was one of the 15 semi-finalists for that year's Best Documentary Feature Oscar.

See below a comprehensive list of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival winners.

Leslie Caron The Durrells in Corfu: Best Actress Oscar nominee and her adopted Tchi Tchi win Palm DogManitarian AwardLeslie Caron in The Durrells in Corfu a.k.a. The Durrells. The TV series earned the veteran two-time Best Actress Oscar nominee (Charles Walters' Lili, 1953; Bryan Forbes' The L-Shaped Room, 1963) and her dog companion Tchi Tchi this year's Palm DogManitarian Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

2017 Cannes Film Festival winners

Official Competition

Palme d'Or: The Square (dir.: Ruben Östlund).

Grand Prix: 120 Beats per Minute (dir.: Robin Campillo).

Jury Prize: Loveless (dir.: Andrey Zvyagintsev).

Best Screenplay (tie):
The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou.
You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay.

Best Actress: Diane Kruger, In the Fade.

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here.

Best Director: Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled.

Best Short Film: A Gentle Night (dir.: Qiu Yang).

Short Film Special Mention: Katto (dir.: Teppo Airaksinen).

 

Un Certain Regard

Un Certain Regard Award: A Man of Integrity (dir.: Mohammad Rasoulof).

Jury Prize: April's Daughter / Las hijas de abril (dir.: Michel Franco).

Best Director: Taylor Sheridan, Wind River.

Best Actress / Best Performance: Jasmine Trinca, Fortunata.

Prize for Best Poetic Narrative: Barbara (dir.: Mathieu Amalric).

 

International Film Critics' FIPRESCI Prize

Official Competition:  120 Beats per Minute.

Un Certain Regard: Closeness (dir.: Kantemir Balagov).

Directors' Fortnight: The Nothing Factory / A Fábrica de Nada (dir.: Pedro Pinho).

 

Directors' Fortnight / Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

Prix SACD (Société des Auteurs Compositeurs Dramatiques) (tie):
Lover for a Day / L'amant d'un jour (dir.: Philippe Garrel).
Let the Sunshine In / Un beau soleil intérieur (dir.: Claire Denis).

C.I.C.A.E. Art Cinema Award: The Rider (dir.: Chloe Zhao).

Europa Cinemas Label: A Ciambra (dir.: Jonas Carpignano).

Prix Illy for Best Short Film: Back to Genoa City / Retour à Genoa City (dir.: Benoît Grimalt).

 

Critics' Week

Grand Prize: Makala (dir.: Emmanuel Gras).

Visionary Award: Gabriel and the Mountain / Gabriel e a Montanha (dir.: Fellipe Barbosa).

Gan Foundation Award for Distribution: Version Originale Condor, French distributor of Gabriel and the Mountain.

SACD Award: Léa Mysius, Ava.

Discovery Award for Best Short Film: Los desheredados (dir.: Laura Ferrés).

Canal+ Award for Best Short Film: The Best Fireworks Ever / Najpienkniejsze Fajerwerki Ever (dir.: Aleksandra Terpinska).

 

Other Cannes Film Festival 2017 Awards

70th Anniversary prize: Nicole Kidman.

Caméra d'Or for Best First Film: Montparnasse Bienvenue / Jeune femme (dir.: Léonor Serraille).

Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary: Faces Places / Visages, Villages (dir.: Agnès Varda, JR).

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury: Radiance (dir.: Naomi Kawase).

Queer Palm: 120 Beats per Minute.

Queer Palm for Best Short Film: Islands / Les îles (dir.: Yann Gonzalez).

Cannes Soundtrack Award for Best Composer: Daniel Lopatin, Good Time.

Vulcan Prize for Artist Technicians: Josefin Åsberg, The Square.

Kering Women in Motion Award: Isabelle Huppert.

Palm Dog: Einstein the Dog for The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).

Palm DogManitarian Award: Leslie Caron and the dog Tchi Tchi for The Durrells in Corfu.

Chopard Trophy for Male/Female Revelation: George MacKay and Anya Taylor-Joy.

 

Diane Kruger In the Fade image: Warner Bros.

The Beguiled trailer with Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning: American Zoetrope / Focus Features.

Robert Pattinson Good Time image: Elara Pictures / A24.

Leslie Caron The Durrells in Corfu image: Masterpiece / ITV, via POV.

Nicole Kidman The Beguiled image: American Zoetrope / Focus Features.


         
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