Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cannes Winners for 2009

Jury president was French actress, deity, provocateur Isabelle Huppert
Palme D'or: The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke. Cannes loves him long time. And so does Isabelle Huppert, his La Pianiste leading lady. Sony Pictures Classics has US distribution rights to this black and white costume drama about German village and school prior to World War I. It sounds like something of a departure for Haneke since his films are usually contemporary and often tightly focused on small casts. The extensive German voiceover will be rerecorded in English for that release.

Michael Haneke nabs the top prize

Grand Prix: Un Prophète by Jacques Audiard. Sony Pictures Classics also has this one -- winner and runner up prepping for release? Not bad, SPC, not bad.

Jury Prize:
It was a tie between the family drama Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold and vampire drama Thirst from Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook

Special Jury Prize: Director Alain Resnais won this special prize for Wild Grass. He's 86 and he's still making movies. His most famous film is probably Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) but, rather incredibly, he's never had a film nominated for Oscar's foreign language race and he's only had won prize winner at Cannes, Mon Oncle d'Amérique (1980)
Best Director: Brillante Mendoza competed last year with Serbis and for this prolific Pinoy director, the second time is the charm. He won the prize for his violent drama Kinatay. This award will cause a ruckus. Many people detested the film, including Roger Ebert who declared it the worst in Cannes history.

Best Actress Charlotte Gainsbourgh for Lars Von Trier's Antichrist. This film just keeps adding fuel to its media fire. Well done Lars and your latest actress victim. You continue a grand tradition.
Best Actor Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (see previous post for Rosengje's very similar enthusiasm)
Best Screenplay Feng Mei won for writing Lou Ye's explicit gay romantic drama Spring Fever
Palme D'Or (Short Film):
Arena by Joao Salaviza

This award goes to the best first film.
Warwick Thornton's buzzy Australian feature Samson and Delilah (pictured right) took the prize. He's previously made three short films. Special Mention went to Ajami by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani

Competition: The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke
Un Certain Regard: Police, Adjective by Corneliu Porumboiu
Directors Fortnight: Amreeka by Cherien Dabis

Jury president was Italian writer/director Paolo Sorrentino
Prize: Dogtooth by Yorgos Lanthimos. The synopsis sounds vaguely Virgin Suicides-ish, three teens are cut off from the outside world by their parents.
Jury Prize: Police, Adjective

Two Special Prizes: Father of My Children by Mia Ha
nsen-Love and No One Knows About the Persian Cats by Bahman Ghobadi

Grand Prix: Goodbye Gary by Nassim Amaouche
SACD Prize: Lost Persons Area by Caroline Strubbe
Cash Prize, Young Critic Award and Regards Jeunes Prize: Whisper in the Wind by S
hahram Alidi
Canal Plus Grand Prix (Short Film): Seeds of the Fall by Patrick Eklund
Kodak Discovery (Short Film): Logorama by Francois Alaux, Herve de Crecy and Ludovic Houplain

Art Cinema, 7e Prix Regars Jeunes and the SACD Prize: Twenty year-old (!) actor
Xavier Dolan-Tadros ' (pictured right) won an incredible three prizes for his directorial debut, a coming out mother-son drama called I Killed My Mother (J'ai Tue Ma Mere)
Special Mention: La Merditude des Choses by Felix van Groeningen
Europa Cinemas Label: La Pivellina by
Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
French short film: Montparnasse

Whether you're in the main competition or outside of it in the sidebars, when reaction is very positive the snubs have to sting. The following films won coveted buzz but no hardware: Lee Daniel's Oscar hopeful Precious, Marco Bellochio's Vincere and Jane Campion's Bright Star.

Indie Wire live blogged the event. Time Warner Cable of New York wanted me to pay $9.95 per month for the French language station so sadly I couldn't gaze at Huppert and her fire-starter jury myself.


Carl Joseph Papa said...

Go go go Brillante Mendoza!!!!! This makes me want to see "Kinatay" all the more!

Carl Joseph Papa said...

I just can't believe it!

Carl Joseph Papa said...

with prophet out, is it going to be bright star? or KINATAY? ahahha

Carl Joseph Papa said...

It seems like a cheat because Huppert is the head juror. But that does not mean it is not deserving. I love Haneke's work. They are far scarier than the crap that they show during halloween (Original Funny Games, Cache). And he even bring out the best in his cast (see Huppert ditto Magimel). Congrats to Michael Haneke for taking the top prize.

But still the highlight of the night for me was Brillante Mendoza's win.

Robert said...

This was a nice reminder, after the fiasco that was Funny Games U.S. that Haneke is a directorial force to be reckoned with.

I look forward to seeing the film. Here's hoping it doesn't take 10 months to open in the U.S.

Paulo Peralta said...

I won't hide I am deeply satisfied that Arena by João Salaviza as won the Palme D'or for Short Film... Hurray for Portuguese cinema :)

Nate Tyson said...

Inglorious Basterds just got a whole lot more intriguing to me.

Catherine said...

How I wish all the Cannes films would just open, simultaneously and globally, this weekend. It's awful knowing that all these great/controversial/hilarious/thought-provoking films are floating around out there, and most of us will have to wait months (years?) to see them. I don't want to wait! [/cinegreed]

rosengje said...

My colleagues hateddd Spring Fever, completely shocked about that win. The Antichrist win for Charlotte Gainsbourg does not surprise me. The general reaction to the film has been much different than the critical bashing. My tendency is to think that people want to believe the film is more important that it is, but I have heard a lot of favorable assessments. I am mostly annoyed that the win came at the expense of recognition for Giovanna Mezzogiorno in Vincere.

I am so excited for everyone to see Christoph Waltz in Basterds. He completely blows the rest of the (very admirable) cast away.

Catherine said...

Oh, hi, rosengje! Wanted to say thanks for your constant coverage of the festival, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments and reviews. Very much appreciated!

Agustin said...

Ive just returned from Cannes and Im in the fabulous paris, bragging? yeahh
im very fortunate to have attended hanekes premiere. having seen the movie, he totally deserves the palme. I havent seen un prophet, though. But i got to see Broken Embraces, which ithink you, Nathaniel, will love for all of its film references.
I think im the only one,or maybe one of the very few, that predicted charlotte for the oscar. Could she snag a nom? i could also see antichrist, and she totally deserves it.
enough of my bragging

Wayne B. said...

way to go for Lars von Trier

Adam said...

Yay for a von Trier-related win!

But how depressing that I've heard almost nothing of praise (nor criticism) for "Broken Embraces." I guess Penelope won't be up for the lead awards as soon as I thought. I'm still painfully excited for the film, but I worry it must not be of "Volver" caliber. Then again, adverse reactions at Cannes have still left me stunned in the past - like "Marie Antoinette."

Glenn Dunks said...

So so excited for Samson and Delilah! Warwick Thornton's film is incredibly excellent and I'm stoked it took Camera d'Or (first time an Australian has taken it since Love Serenade in 1996). The film is proving to be a box office hit down here too so the film just keeps going from strength to strength.

jessie said...

Once again La Kidman turned down a part that wins a prestigious acting prize

But I won't blame her for working only once with Von Trier

Rabbit Hole starts shooting in one week : can't wait !

Kent said...

So happy for Charlotte Gainsbourg. Finally getting noticed after all these years.

I love how Lars Von Trier gets the best work out of actresses. First Emily Watson, then Bjork, Nicole Kidman, and now Charlotte Gainsbourg! I wonder who's next.

Andrew David said...

I'm so glad Samson & Delilah won the first film prize! It is such a beautifully made look into a part of Australia that's barely ever been on screen before... definitely a worthy film.


Glenn... do you think SAMSON & DELILAH could break out more internationally then TEN CANOES did? how accessible is it?

Kent. agreed. it helps that her performances have been so good as of late ;)

anna said...

This might be a very stupid question, but is it possible for a film to be submitted to the Oscars by two countries? I'm guessing Austria will submit "Das weiße Band", but, since it's a co-production, Germany might want to do so, too.


anna -- no, it's not allowed. But i do think one of the countries will submit and I'm guessing it would be Austria (less films to choose from). They just have to prove that it's Austrian enough ;)

anna said...

Thanks for clearing that up. :)
I guess, the situation is pretty much the same as it was with "The Counterfeiters" (co-production, filmed in Germany with largely German cast, Austrian writer/director) with the exception that the latter also had an Austrian lead.

Unknown said...

Is it just me or is it a bit useless to have an award presenter when it is only the jury president announcing the winners from a piece of paper? It was funnily awkward last year and this year they sort of dropped off the 'funnily' part.

FrenchGirl said...

i love the title "la merditude des choses"! i don't know how it could be translate in english?

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between the Grand Prix and the Jury Prize? Is it something simple like second and third place, or just an odd Cannes quirk thing?


yes it's basically like runner up and next runner up :)

Glenn said...

Nat, I'd hazard a guess and say Samson & Delilah could prove popular in Europe as it has a very European sensibility (long takes, little dialogue, etc), but it would be a damn hard uphill struggle in the US. It's got barely any dialogue - and what dialogue there is is mostly in an Aboriginal language - plus it's a tough film without any obvious marketable points (no big well-known actress or anything like that), not is it as mainstream (in a narrative sense) as, say, Rabbit-Proof Fence.

There are so many titles that haven't been able to really get out of the art house ghetto including Palme d'Or winners so I don't see what five-star raves could change in this case.

Nevertheless, it's nice to see it doing so well in its home country since audiences here all but turned their back of Aussie films last year that weren't Australia or The Black Balloon (Toni Collette).

It would be nice to see it get a release in the US though, just so those who really care about WORLD cinema get the chance to see it (those who know the world isn't US, UK and France... and occasionally Spain or Italy).

Jesue V // FILM MUSIC ART blog said...

Im so happy with the results. Yay to Haneke for taking home the top prize, I loved Funny Games US btw, one of my fave films of last year.
Im super excited for Samson and Delilah and Kinatay. Proud to be a Filipino, and proud to be an Australian.

anna said...

Some (sort of) interesting trivia I just read:
three of the awarded films were shot in Germany: The White Ribbon, Inglourious Basterds and Antichrist
That has to be a record, right?


hmmm, Anna. Not sure. But it is the first German language film to win the Palme in three decades. and also apparently the first black and white pic to wint he Palme since the Palme was first named The Palme (or something)

i'm not totally knowledgeable about CANNES trivia.

Seeing_I said...

Xavier Dolan-Tadros is so damn handsome it makes my head spin.

kringkringbagatsing said...

..the philippine entry that won d best director do i say this w/o being too was awful!can't b compared to entries sent in d 80's by lino brocka,mike deleon...etc. omg it was just..just...omg!don't even try to enter it 4 d oscar's nxt yr. pls...