The Odyssey of the Serial Killer Titane won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, making Julia Ducournau the second filmmaker to win the festival’s highest honor in its 74-year history.
The victory was announced by mistake by the president of the jury, Spike Lee, at the top of the program, unleashing some moments of confusion. Ducournau did not immediately go on stage to accept the award, but instead waited until the formal announcement at the end of the ceremony.
In the end, Lee and host Sharon Stone announced Titane’s victory.
After the mistake, the ceremony continued and other awards were handed out while Lee was seen with his head in his hands.
The Grand Prix award was an honor shared between Iranian drama A Hero and Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s Apartment No. 6.
The award for best director went to Leos Carax for Annette, the fantastic musical that opened the festival. The award was accepted by the musical duo Sparks, who wrote the script and music for the film.
Nadav Lapid’s Ahed’s Knee won the jury award, while Caleb Landry Jones took home the best actor award. Renate Reinsve won the best actress award for Joachim Trier’s Worst Person in the World.
The Croatian coming-of-age drama Murina, by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, won the Camera d’Or award, a prize not awarded by the jury, for best first film. Kusijanović was absent from the ceremony after giving birth the day before.
The Cannes closing ceremony culminates 12 days of red carpet premieres, regular Covid-19 testing for many attendees, and the first major film festival to be held since the pandemic began in almost its usual form. With smaller crowds and mandatory use of masks in cinemas, Cannes moved forward with an ambitious global cinema roster. Cannes last year was completely canceled due to the pandemic.
Twenty-four films were in dispute for La Palme. Jury deliberations are private and unknown, but that never stops a wide spectrum of predictions, guesses, and betting odds. This year it featured a solid roster of many of the top international filmmakers, but no film had been ranked as a clear favorite.
Among the films best received at the festival after the winner are: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s portrait of honor and social media, A Hero; Lingui, the drama about abortion by Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun; The Meditative Memoir of Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, directed by Tilda Swinton; Follow Up on Sean Baker’s Florida Project, Red Rocket; Haruki Murakami’s adaptation of Japan’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car; and the story about the flu by Russian director Kirill Serebennikov, Petrov’s Flu.
In 2019, the Palme went to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, who later took the best photo at the Academy Awards. Only one filmmaker has won the top Cannes award before Ducournau, Jane Campion for The Piano.
Lee is the first president of the black jury at Cannes. His fellow jurors are: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Song Kang-ho, Tahar Rahim, Mati Diop, Jessica Hausner, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Mylène Farmer.
Before the ceremony, Lee and the jury posed for the photographers holding hands on the red carpet.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism