Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

The jury is back – Cannes awards its winners

As I write, the keen members of the international press (ie. those who didn’t go home on Saturday morning, but stuck around until tonight’s Closing Ceremony and prize-giving) are writing madly, trying to beat one another via Twitter and live blogs in announcing the winners of the 65th Festival de Cannes.

I’m aware that for readers at home, it’s all a bit academic at the moment.  But odds are we will get to see the Palme D’Or winner, if not in this year’s film festival (though I expect so) then as soon as it is available for a general release.  So you can look forward to Michael Haneke’s Amour, a film I am relieved to say I saw this afternoon, which is typically eleventh hour of me.  Thankfully, the Festival screens all the main films In Competition on the final Sunday, so you can catch the one(s) you slept through after a late night on the tiles (I didn’t have any such evenings, but I can’t remember why I missed Amour earlier in the week).  As often happens with these awards, however, it’s neither thrilling nor surprising.  The critics here have been united in their praise of Haneke’s latest since the Cannes-winning The White Ribbon of a few years ago.  A friend of mine was adamant that The Hunt could or should win, though I don’t agree, but I was delighted to see Mads Mikkelsen ascend the stairs, his hair seemingly damp and unkempt from the thunderstorms we’ve been hit by this afternoon, to modestly dedicate 82% of this award to the director, Thomas Vinterberg.  Two actresses won Best Actress, playing against one another in Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills (the one I didn’t want to see because I thought it would be depressing, and which I am still happy to believe is brilliant without needing to prove it to myself.  Since I came here for fun and at my own expense, I’m allowed to do that).  I did, however, see Matteo Garrone’s Reality and he won the equivalent of 2nd prize, so that’s awesome.  More about the ins and outs of that very clever and topical film nearer the time of its NZ release!

So, that was today. I am about to head off for a last hurrah dinner with the Torontans who took me under their wings, then tomorrow I catch four trains into Italy and settle in Lucca for a few nights and absolutely no movies (not even television – notwithstanding Italian TV is a bit rubbish). Buongiorno i miei amici prosecco e pasta!

(PS – I will use my day of train-ing to write up Cosmopolis, the Short Film selection that our Zia Mandviwalla was nominated in, and the late Claude Miller’s adaptation of Therese Desqueyroux.)

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