On Sunday, May 28th, 2017, the winners of the Cannes Film Festival were announced.
Jury Prize: Loveless-dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev: Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev previously won Best Screenplay for his film Leviathan at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Grand Prix: 120 Beats Per Minute-dir. Robin Campillo: This film is about act-up activists in Paris during the AIDS crisis in the 1990’s. Many people thought that this was going to win the Palme, but The Square won instead.
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix for You Were Never Really Here: Joaquin Phoenix is a brilliant actor and deserves an award. Interestingly, he is now dating Rooney Mara, and Rooney Mara won Best Actress at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for Todd Haynes’ film Carol.
Best Actress: Diane Kruger for In the Fade: Although German-born, Diane Kruger has done mostly American films including National Treasure and Inglorious Bastards. In the Fade is her first German film where she speaks German. In the Fade is directed by Fatih Akin. His film The Edge of Heaven won Best Screenplay at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In the Fade winning Best Actress is a good 10-year anniversary gift for the German filmmaker.
Best Director: Sofia Coppola for The Beguiled: Sofia Coppola is most famous for her film Lost in Translation which won Best Original Screenplay at the 2004 Academy Awards. The Beguiled is a remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 film of the same title starring Clint Eastwood. The Beguiled (2017) stars Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, and Colin Farrell. The Beguiled is not the only film at Cannes this year co-starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell. In fact, they both star in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The film will be released in the United States at the end of June.
Best Screenplay: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou for The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Lynne Ramsay for You Were Never Really Here: Yorgos Lanthimos’ previous film The Lobster won the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. His film Dogtooth won the Un-Certain Regard Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The Killing of a Sacred Deer stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, and Raffey Cassidy. It will be released in the United States this November. Lynne Ramsay’s previous film We Need to Talk About Kevin was nominated for Palme d’Or in 2011 but lost to The Tree of Life. Her Film Morvern Callar won the C.I.C.A.E. Award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Her film Ratcatcher was nominated for the Un-Certain Regard Award in 1999 but lost to Jasmin Dizdar’s Beautiful People. However, Ratcatcher is now in the Criterion Collection. Ramsay’s short films Small Deaths (1996) and Gasman (1998) both won Short Film Jury Prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. Although starring famous American actor Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here does not yet have a US release date.
Palme d’Or: The Square-dir. Ruben Ostlund: Many people were predicting 120 Beats Per Minute or Happy End to win the Palme d’Or, but Swedish-director Ruben Ostlund took home the gold for his comedy-drama. I originally predicted Jupiter’s Moon to win the Palme d’Or. Nevertheless, I am still really excited to see The Square. It has a very interesting concept. It is about a city square where there are no rules and people can do anything they want. Ruben Ostlund’s previous film Force Majeure won the Un-Certain Regard Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. His Play won the Senace “Coup de coeur” at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The Square stars Dominic West, Elisabeth Moss, and Terry Notary. The release date in the United States is to be determined.
Films That Did Not Win Any Awards But I Still Want to See
Cannes really is a tough competition, so even just getting nominated for Palme d'Or is a high honor.
Happy End-dir. Michael Haneke: Michael Haneke already won Palme d’Or twice for The White Ribbon and Amour, so it is possible the Jury members wanted to give other filmmakers a chance. Nonetheless, I still want to see this film being that I really like Michael Haneke as a director. Happy End stars Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Matthieu Kassovitz, and Toby Jones.
Wonderstruck-dir. Todd Haynes: This film is from the director of Carol and is based on a novel of the same title by Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the book the 2011 film Hugo is based on. Brian Selznick also wrote the screenplay of the film. Wonderstruck stars Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Cory Michael Smith, and newcomer deaf actress Millicent Simmonds.
Good Time -dir. Ben and Joshua Safdie: Robert Pattinson is known for playing the dreamy vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise, but he is rising as a critically acclaimed actor in indie films. Many critics have agreed that Good Time is Pattinson’s best performance yet. Ben and Joshua Safdie’s other films include Daddy Long Legs and Heaven Knows What. Joshua Safdie’s film The Pleasures of Being Robbed was nominated for the Camera d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival but lost to Steve McQueen’s Hunger. Good Time also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi. The film will be released in the United States on August 17th.
Jupiter's Moon-dir. Kornel Mundruzsco:This film is by the director of White God which won the Un-Certain Regard Award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. I thought White God was incredible, so I am really excited to see Jupiter’s Moon when it gets released in the United States.
Will Smith said Jupiter's Moon was one of his favorite films at the festival this year. In the Post-Palmares interview, a Hungarian audience member asked the Jury why Jupiter's Moon didn't win any prizes, and Jessica Chastain replied, "That's Will's conversation." Will Smith said, "I absolutely love Jupiter's Moon. I thought it was absolutely fantastic." The conversation is seen in the video below at approximately 18:42.
Meet the Young Actors of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival
A lot of films shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival feature teen and pre-teen characters played by preteens, teens, and actors in their twenties. That being said, I thought it would be a good idea to mention their names.
Raffey Cassidy: The English actress stars in Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Her previous acting credits include Tomorrowland, Allied, and Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist.
Barry Keoghan: The 24-year old Irish actor stars in The Killing of a Sacred Deer with Raffey Cassidy. Keoghan also stars in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming war film Dunkirk.
Ekaterina Samsonov: The Russian-American actress stars in both Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here and Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck. She is lucky to star in two films at Cannes.
Oakes Fegley: He stars in Wonderstruck. Last year he was Pete in the remake of Pete’s Dragon.
Millicent Simmonds: The up-and-coming deaf actress stars in Wonderstruck. There is endless debate over the representation and inclusion of women and African-Americans in cinema. However, there is not as much talk about recognizing individuals with disabilities such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or people who are blind, deaf, or hard-of-hearing. Disability is just as important of a political issue in cinema as well as race and gender. I think more films should represent disabilities and feature disabled actors. Moreover, I think there should be more room made for disabled filmmakers. Millicent Simmonds had American Sign Language interpreters on the set of the film to help her with communicating. No matter what language she uses, she is expressing her acting talent. According to an article from Hollywood Reporter, many actresses pretended to be deaf while auditioning for Millicent Simmonds’ role. I think it is better for an actual deaf actress to play a deaf character. As legendary as Marlee Matlin is to the deaf community, Millicent Simmonds could serve as a great role model for younger deaf individuals who are actors or plan to become actors. Additionally, Simmonds could influence a new generation of kids to learn American Sign Language.
Matvey Novikov: He stars in Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film Loveless. Could Russia have a golden age of child and teen actors?
Fantine Harduin: She stars in Michael Haneke’s new film Happy End. The Cannes Red Carpet reporters and interviewers said they really loved her performance.
Too bad not all of these films will be released in 2017. Some of the foreign ones might be released in 2018. Regardless, I am still looking forward to seeing these films.