The 67th Cannes Film Festival jury (honcho Jane Campion + Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Nicolas Winding Refn, Leila Hatami, Gael Garcia Bernal, Carole Bouquet, Jeon Do-yeon) has handed the prestigious Palme d’Or to Nury Bilge Ceylan‘s Winter Sleep, a highly respected film in some critical quarters but by no means the recipient of unqualified universal praise.
I’m in no position to applaud or disagree as I missed the Ceylan but I’m snarling anyway because the jury has also backhanded Andrey Zvyagintsev‘s Leviathan with a piddly consolation prize — a Best Screenplay award, which Zvyagintsev has shared with Oleg Negin. Leviathan was/is easily the most dazzling competition film of the festival — it blew everyone away — and the jury has given it the smallest honor they could without ignoring it entirely. They knew they had to give Leviathan something with all the praise being shouted from the rooftops so they did, but they denied it the Palme d’Or, the Grand Prix and the Jury prize, at least one of which it absolutely deserved.
Brilliant, guys! If there’s such a thing as bad jury karma, Campion & Co. are feeling the pangs right now. This definitely falls under the heading of “forehead smacker.”
The esteemed Bennett Miller has deservedly won the Best Director prize for Foxcatcher, his much-admired psychological murder melodrama with Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Good fellow, superbly crafted film, etc.
The Grand Prix award (the second place Beat Picture trophy) went to Alice Rohrwacher‘s The Wonders.
The Jury Prize (i.e., the third-place Best Picture award) was split between Xavier Dolan‘s Mommy, for which honors have been widely expected, and Jean-Luc Godard‘s Goodbye to Language, which few critics except for N.Y. Times Manohla Dargis expressed much excitement about.
Julianne Moore, allegedly asked to return to Cannes for tonight’s ceremony but a no-show regardless, won Best Actress for her fading actress role (a companion to Juliette Binoche‘s in Clouds of Sils Maria) in David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars. Timothy Spall won the Best Actor prize for his lead role in Mike Leigh‘s Mr. Turner.