What to do in Cannes? Dardenne brothers opt to collect their second Palme d’Or
What to do in Cannes, a small resort town on the French Riviera?
In the case of the filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, one thing they got to do was collect a Palme d’Or – their second – for the Belgian drama The Child / L’Enfant, the story of a petty crook (Jérémie Renier) who sees his newborn child as a good way to make a quick buck. When things don’t quite go according to plan, he is forced to rethink his long-term goals.
The Dardenne brothers had previously taken home the Palme d’Or back at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, when their teen drama Rosetta topped the Official Competition.
Since 1949, when Cannes began selecting one (at times two) top film(s), there have been only four other double winners:
- Francis Ford Coppola for The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979; tied with Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum).
- Bille August for Pelle the Conqueror (1988) and The Best Intentions (1992).
- Emir Kusturica for When Father Was Away on Business (1985) and Underground (1995).
- Shohei Imamura for The Ballad of Narayama (1983) and The Eel (1997; tied with Abbas Kiarostami’s A Taste of Cherry).
Palme d’Or ‘favorites’ Hidden & Battle in Heaven
The Dardenne brothers’ victory was – at least – somewhat of a surprise, as the Palme d’Or buzz had mostly centered on Michael Haneke’s Paris-set, psychological-political thriller Hidden / Caché, in which Daniel Auteuil is the embodiment of the (in their view) besieged post-colonial European bourgeoisie. Juliette Binoche plays his wife; veteran Annie Girardot (Rocco and His Brothers, The Organizer) his mother.
Another top Official Competition contender had been Carlos Reygadas’ Battle in Heaven / Batalla en el cielo. Some critics were impressed, with the Parisian daily Le Monde, for one, calling Reygadas’ sexually explicit psychological drama “a magnificent film about the mystical erotic pleasure of lost souls in the megalopolis of Mexico City.”
Although Hidden failed to win the Palme d’Or, Michael Haneke wasn’t forced to go searching for something else to do while in Cannes. After all, he was named the Official Competition’s Best Director. That marked the (Munich-born) Austrian filmmaker’s second major Cannes win this century; four years ago, his psychological drama The Piano Teacher / La pianiste, starring Isabelle Huppert in the title role and Annie Girardot as her abusive mother, was the Grand Prix winner.
As for Carlos Reygadas, he hopefully had a good Cannes guidebook, as Battle in Heaven failed to win a single award. Three years ago, Reygadas’ first feature, Japón, received a Golden Camera (Caméra d’Or) Special Mention as the runner-up in that category.
Grand Prix winner Broken Flowers
Cannes’ secondary (and misnamed) Grand Prix was awarded to Jim Jarmusch’s U.S. comedy-drama Broken Flowers, the tale of a perennial bachelor who sets out to meet a young man who may be his son.
Curiously, star Bill Murray faced a similar challenge in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, released last year – was Owen Wilson truly his son? – while Broken Flowers’ basic narrative of a man meeting the various women in his life is, once you reverse genders, akin to what’s seen in Julien Duvivier’s Un carnet de bal (1937) and its Duvivier-directed Hollywood remake, Lydia (1941), in which Marie Bell and Merle Oberon, respectively, become reacquainted with the men in their lives.
Besides Murray, the Broken Flowers cast includes two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange (Best Supporting Actress for Tootsie, 1982; Best Actress for Blue Sky, 1994), Best Supporting Actress nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry, 1999), Tilda Swinton, Julie Delpy, Best Actress nominee Sharon Stone (Casino, 1995), Mark Webber, Jeffrey Wright, and Frances Conroy.
More Cannes winners: Tommy Lee Jones & Hana Laslo
Cannes’ Jury Prize (third prize) went to Wang Xiaoshuai’s Shanghai Dreams, a love story set among workers relocated to a remote part of China during the 1960s.
Tommy Lee Jones (Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for The Fugitive, 1993) was chosen Best Actor for his portrayal of a Texas rancher attempting to uncover the truth behind the killing of his titular best friend, an undocumented Mexican worker (Julio Cedillo), in Jones’ own directorial debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. The crime Western also earned Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) the Best Screenplay award.
Hana Laslo was named Best Actress for her work in Amos Gitai’s Israeli road movie Free Zone, in which she plays a cabdriver taking Natalie Portman and Hiam Abbass to collect money owed to the former’s husband.
The Golden Camera for Best Film was shared by American Miranda July for the romantic comedy-drama Me and You and Everyone We Know and Sri Lanka’s Vimukthi Jayasundara for the political/psychological drama The Forsaken Land.
What to do in Cannes? Discuss politics at the premiere of Revenge of the Sith
And speaking of politics and movies…
Set in a galaxy far, far away from low-budget fare like The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Free Zone, Me and You and Everyone We Know, and The Forsaken Land, George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was screened out of competition at Cannes.
As quoted in The Associated Press, the two-time Best Director Oscar nominee (for American Graffitti, 1974; Star War, 1977) asserted that the apparent parallels between his movie’s intergalactic wars of the future and the earthbound wars of the present are mostly a coincidence.
“When I wrote [Revenge of the Sith}, Iraq didn’t exist. We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn’t think of him as an enemy at that time. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate, just as we were doing in Vietnam. … The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we’re doing in Iraq now are unbelievable.”
Below are this year’s Palme d’Or competition films (and their directors) not mentioned in the text above, in addition to a partial list of Out of Competition and Un Certain Regard entries.
Cannes Film Festival movies
Palme d’Or Competition
- David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence.
- Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies.
- Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Best of Our Times.
- Masahiro Kobayashi’s Bashing.
- Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu’s To Paint or Make Love / Peindre ou faire l’amour.
- Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City.
- Dominik Moll’s Lemming.
- Hiner Saleem’s Kilometre Zero.
- Johnnie To’s Election.
- Marco Tullio Giordana’s Once You’re Born You Can No Longer Hide / Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti.
- Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.
- Lars von Trier’s Manderlay.
- Wim Wenders’s Don’t Come Knocking.
Out of Competition
- Woody Allen’s Match Point.
- Christian Carion’s Merry Christmas / Joyeux Noël.
- Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul.
- Michel Piccoli’s C’est pas tout à fait la vie dont j’avais rêvé.
- Seijun Suzuki’s Princess Raccoon.
Un Certain Regard
- Alain Cavalier’s Le Filmeur.
- Sergio Machado’s Lower City / Cidade Baixa.
- James Marsh’s The King.
- François Ozon’s Time to Leave / Le Temps qui reste.
- Cristi Puiu’s The Death of Mr. Lazarescu / Moartea Domnului Lazarescu.
- Juan Solanas’ Northeast / Nordeste.
Mafia drama The Consequences of Love tops David di Donatello Awards
From what to do in Cannes to what to do in Rome: The 2005 edition of the David di Donatello Awards, the Italian film industry’s equivalent to Hollywood’s Academy Awards, was held on April 29 in Rome.
Paolo Sorrentino’s psychological mafia thriller The Consequences of Love / Le Conseguenze dell’amore, starring Toni Servillo as a reclusive businessman and Olivia Magnani (Anna Magnani’s granddaughter) as a hotel waitress, was the surprise big winner, topping the following categories: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Servillo), Best Screenplay (Sorrentino), and Best Cinematography (Luca Bigazzi).
Just as surprising was the fact that Gianno Amelio’s father-son drama The Keys to the House / Le Chiavi di casa, Italy’s submission for the 2005 Academy Awards (it ultimately failed to be shortlisted) and the Italian Film Journalists’ Nastro d’Argento winner, won one single award, for Best Sound.
Among the other 2005 David di Donatello picks were Czechoslovakia-born Barbora Bobulova, named Best Actress for her portrayal of a workaholic getting in touch with her inner self in Sacred Heart / Cuore sacro; Alejandro Amenábar’s Spanish euthanasia drama The Sea Inside / Mar adentro as Best European Film; and Clint Eastwood’s U.S.-made boxing (and euthanasia) melodrama Million Dollar Baby as Best Foreign Film.
Veteran filmmakers Dino Risi (Il Sorpasso, The Tiger and the Pussycat), 88, and Mario Monicelli (The Passionate Thief, The Girl with a Pistol), 90, and American superstar Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Jerry Maguire), 42, were among the recipients of Honorary David di Donatello statuettes.
A partial list of this year’s David di Donatello winners and nominees can be found further below.
Indian Film Academy Awards: Intimate India-Pakistan relations + ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ revisited
In other film award news, at a June 11 ceremony at Amsterdam’s Arena Stadium, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) selected Yash Chopra’s Veer-Zaara, about the doomed love between an Indian Air Force pilot (Shah Rukh Khan) and a wealthy Pakistani woman (Preity Zinta), as their Best Film. Besides, Veer-Zaara topped the following categories: Best Director, Actor, Supporting Actress (Rani Mukherji), Story (Aditya Chopra), and Make-Up.
Veer-Zaara’s Rani Mukherji turned out to be a double winner, as she was also named Best Actress for her performance in Kunal Kohli’s romantic comedy You and Me / Hum Tum, which, like Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally…, revolves around two characters who see each other sporadically until love rears its crowd-pleasing head.
If that weren’t all, Mukherji was also a IIFA Award loser, as she had been been competing against herself in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work in Mani Ratnam’s action drama Yuva.
It should be noted that IIFA’s voting process, a sort of Academy Awards and People’s Choice Awards mélange, is conducted in two stages: on a chosen weekend, members of India’s film industry gather to vote in the “popular” and technical categories; the winners in the technical categories are decided in that first round, while the names of the five nominees in each popular category are then posted on various international websites so the filmgoing public can select the winners.
A partial list of this year’s Indian Academy Award winners and nominees can be found further below.
Tribeca Film Festival: Banned Chinese film wins top prize
From Amsterdam to New York City: Li Shaohong’s Stolen Life, a Chinese drama that has been banned in its country of origin, was voted Best Film as this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Director Li expressed hope that the ensuing publicity will help to get his film “green-lighted so my people in China can watch [it] soon.”
Stolen Life follows a young woman (Zhou Xun) whose college dreams take an unexpected turn after she begins a relationship with a delivery boy (Wu Jun).
Tribeca’s Best Actress was Felicity Huffman, one of the stars of the American television hit series Desperate Housewives. In Duncan Tucker’s Transamerica, she portrays a born-again Christian who also happens to be a pre-operative (male-to-female) transsexual and the father of a son (Kevin Zegers) she didn’t know existed. William H. Macy, Huffman’s husband and the film’s executive producer, accepted the award in her place.
Cees Geel was named Best Actor for his performance as a former drug dealer who, facing imminent death, must start making plans for his future – or lack thereof – in Eddy Terstall’s Dutch drama Simon, The Netherlands’ official submission for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. (Like The Keys to the House, Simon failed to make the cut.)
Spanish Civil War
Also at Tribeca, Péter Forgács’ El Perro Negro: Stories from the Spanish Civil War, a Dutch-Hungarian production about the travails of a Catalan family of industrialists during Spain’s bloody 1930s, was chosen as the Best Documentary Feature.
Director Forgács has explained that his film attempts to show that there were villainous murderers on all sides of that conflict, which left in its wake between 600,000–1 million dead.
More than 250 films from 45 countries were shown at Tribeca. Judges included actress Whoopi Goldberg, author Tom Wolfe, and pop personality Sheryl Crow.
Below is a partial list of David di Donatello and International Indian Film Academy Award winners and nominees, in addition to a partial list of winners at the Moscow and Seattle film festivals.
David di Donatello
A Children’s Story / Certi bambini.
The Keys to the House.
* The Consequences of Love.
Manual of Love / Manuale d’amore.
2046 (Hong Kong).
3-Iron (South Korea).
Hotel Rwanda (U.K. / Italy / South Africa).
* Million Dollar Baby (U.S.).
Gianni Amelio - The Keys to the House.
Davide Ferrario - After Midnight / Dopo mezzanotte.
Andrea Frazzi & Antonio Frazzi - A Children’s Story.
Ferzan Ozpetek - Sacred Heart.
* Paolo Sorrentino - The Consequences of Love.
Stefano Accorsi - Provincia meccanica.
Giorgio Pasotti - After Midnight.
* Toni Servillo - The Consequences of Love.
Kim Rossi Stuart - The Keys to the House.
Luca Zingaretti - Alla luce del sole.
* Barbora Bobulova - Sacred Heart.
Sandra Ceccarelli - La Vita che vorrei.
Valentina Cervi - Provincia meccanica.
Maria de Medeiros - Il Resto di niente.
Maya Sansa - L’Amore ritrovato.
Erika Blanc - Sacred Heart.
* Margherita Buy - Manual of Love.
Lisa Gastoni - Sacred Heart.
Giovanna Mezzogiorno - L’Amore ritorna.
Galatea Ranzi - La Vita che vorrei.
Johnny Dorelli - Ma quando arrivano le ragazze?.
Silvio Muccino - Manual of Love.
Raffaele Pisu - The Consequences of Love.
Fabio Troiano - After Midnight.
* Carlo Verdone - Manual of Love.
New Director: Saverio Costanzo - Private.
Screenplay: The Consequences of Love - Paolo Sorrentino.
Producer: Rosario Rinaldo - A Children’s Story.
Cinematography: The Consequences of Love - Luca Bigazzi.
Editing: A Children’s Story - Claudio M. Cutry.
Music: Ma quando arrivano le ragazze?- Riz Ortolani.
Production Design: Sacred Heart - Andrea Crisanti.
Costume Design: Il resto di niente - Daniela Ciancio.
Documentary Feature: Un Silenzio particolare - Stefano Rulli.
Special David di Donatello
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
Cecchi Gori Group.
Indian Film Academy Awards
You and Me.
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Ashutosh Gowarikar – Swades.
David Dhawan – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Farah Khan – Main Hoon Na.
Kunal Kohli – You and Me.
* Yash Chopra – Veer-Zaara.
Kareena Kapoor – Aitraaz.
Priyanka Chopra – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
* Rani Mukherji – You and Me.
Shilpa Shetty – Phir Milenge.
Urmila Matondkar – Ek Hasina Thi.
Nana Patekar – Ab Tak Chhappan.
Saif Ali Khan – You and Me.
Salman Khan – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Shah Rukh Khan – Swades.
* Shah Rukh Khan – Veer-Zaara.
* Abhishek Bachchan – Yuva.
Amitabh Bachchan – Veer-Zaara.
Pankaj Kapur – Maqbool.
Paresh Rawal – Aitraaz.
Zayed Khan – Main Hoon Na.
Divya Dutta – Veer-Zaara.
Esha Deol – Dhoom.
Kishori Ballal – Swades.
* Rani Mukherji – Veer-Zaara.
Rani Mukherji – Yuva.
Screenplay: Abbas Tyrewala & Vishal Bharadwaj – Maqbool.
Editing: Hussain Barmawala – Aitraaz.
Cinematography: Asim Bajaj – Chameli.
Art Direction: Sharmista Roy – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Costume Design: Vikram Phadnis – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Score: Salim Merchant & Salim-Sulaiman – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Cinematographer V. K. Murthy & actress Shabana Azmi.
Moscow Film Festival
Film: Dreaming of Space (Russia), dir.: Alexei Uchitel.
Jury Prize: Frozen Land/ Paha maa (Finland), dir.: Aku Louhimies.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg, Dear Wendy (Denmark / Germany / France / U.K.).
Actor: Hamid Farahnejad, Left Foot Forward on the Beat (Iran).
Actress: Vesela Kazakova, Otkradnati ochi / Stolen Eyes (Bulgaria / Turkey).
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jeanne Moreau.
Seattle Film Festival
New Director: Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Chetyre / 4 (Russia).
New American Film: Swimmers, dir.: Doug Sadler (U.S.).
Documentary: Based on a True Story, dir.: Walter Stokman (The Netherlands).
Audience Award for Best Film: Innocent Voices / Voces inocentes (Mexico), dir.: Luis Mandoki.
Jérémie Renier The Child image: Les Films du Fleuve.
Natalie Portman and Hana Laslo Free Zone image: Bac Films.
Toni Servillo The Consequences of Love image: Indigo Film.
Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta Veer-Zaara image: Yash Raj Films.
“What to Do in Cannes? Collect Your Second Palme d’Or + Italian & Bollywood Winners” last updated in July 2019.