Turbulent Cannes Takes a Bow

Spike Lee takes home grand prize, while 'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2018 5:37 AM CDT
Turbulent Cannes Takes a Bow
Asia Argento gestures for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' and the closing ceremony of the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 19, 2018.   (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters, a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators. At the closing ceremony, the Cate Blanchett-led jury selected one of the festival's most acclaimed entries, one hailed as a modest masterpiece from a filmmaker renowned for his delicate touch. Shoplifters is about a small-time thief who takes a young girl home to his family; after seeing scars from abuse, they decide to raise her as their own. While many speculated that Blanchett's jury might award only the second Palme d'Or to a film directed by a woman, the most likely contender—Lebanese director Nadine Labaki's Capernaum—was instead given Cannes' jury prize. Other prizes and highlights, per the AP:

  • Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, the highest profile American film in competition at Cannes, was awarded the grand prize.
  • Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski took best director for his follow-up to the Oscar-winning Ida, Cold War. The first Polish film in Cannes in 37 years, Cold War is about an up-and-down romance in post-war Poland and Paris.
  • Best actress went to Samal Yeslyamova for Ayka. Taking best actor was Marcello Fonte for Matteo Garrone's Dogman.
  • A "Palme d'Or Speciale," a first-time award, was given to Jean-Luc Godard for "continually striving to define and refine what cinema can be," said Blanchett. Godard's Image Book is a film essay collage that contemplates the West's relationship to the Arab world.
  • The closing ceremony came ahead of the premiere of Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Famously victim to countless delays and debacles, the film took nearly 30 years for Gilliam to complete.
  • And raising a fist on the red carpet, Argento said, "In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21-years-old. This festival was his hunting ground. I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again."
(More Cannes Film Festival stories.)

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