Tuesday, September 26, 2023


July 17, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Who could have expected less? The 2021 film festival, which did not take place a year ago due to the raging pandemic and was delayed from May to July this year in the (unrealized) hope that the threat would have been quashed by now, ended in virtual shambles Saturday. Destroying any suspense over who the winner of the top prize, the Palme d’Or, would be, jury president Spike Lee shocked the audience attending the awards presentation by accidentally blurting out the name of the winning film as the ceremony opened. That film, French director Julia Ducournau’s shocker Titane, had received some of the worst reviews at the festival, according to Screen Daily’s grid of top international critics, with the critic for the Paris newspaper Liberation refusing to attach any stars at all to it and Robbie Collin in the London Telegraph calling it a “film that makes you retch into the knuckles of your clenched fist during every other scene.” After the award was announced, Peter Bradshaw, the critic for Britain’s Guardian, confessed: “I must admit I was not a fan of Titane, being in my view not the best movie in competition. … But I’m an enormous fan of challenging the consensus and overturning the tyranny of anaemic good taste.” It’s hard to know whether such was the intention of the Cannes jury. But, accepting the top award Saturday, Ducournau acknowledged, “I know my film is not perfect — but I think no film is perfect in the eyes of the person who made it. You could even say mine is monstrous.”

The top prizes:

Palme d’Or: Titane

Grand Prix — Tie: Asghar Farhadi, A Hero and Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment No. 6

Director: Leos Carax, Annette

Actor: Caleb Landry Jones, Nitram

Actress:  Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Jury Prize — TIE: Nadav Lapid Ahed’s Knee and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria

Screenplay: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car