At the end of a somewhat chaotic closing ceremony, it’s good Titanium of the French Julia Ducournau who won the Palme d’Or of the 74e edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The president of the Jury, Spike Lee, obviously little informed of the uses, had blundered by announcing the winner from the first minutes. It was therefore necessary to wait more than an hour to raise a suspense that was no longer one.
This Palme d’Or, the second awarded to a director 28 years after that won by Jane Campion for The Piano Lesson is a surprise as the film, violent and disturbing, divided the Croisette. But his words, combining a number of popular themes, from feminism to transidentity, no doubt seduced a jury anxious to send a double signal by rewarding both a woman and a film wanting to be transgressive.
A booming genre cinema in France
The filmmaker was not mistaken and thanked the jury for recognizing “The need for a more inclusive and fluid world”. “Please call for more diversity in cinema and thank you for letting the monsters in ”, she said, believing that “The monstrosity is a weapon and a force to push back the walls of a normativity which encloses us”.
Owner of a genre cinema, booming in France, the director of whom it is the second feature film had already stood out with Serious, Grand Prize of the Gérardmer Fantastic Film Festival, which featured a veterinary student engaging in cannibalism. In Titanium, with Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon, a woman-machine in search of paternity pretends to be the son of a firefighter, who has been missing for ten years.
A prize list that did not know how to choose
A questionable Palme d’Or and probably contested as the ultra-polished aesthetic, the falsely provocative violence and the scenario seem fabricated. She appears as the big winner of a prize list which obviously could not choose between the many films in competition. As proof, the double prizes awarded for the Grand Jury Prize and the Jury Prize. The first went to the very beautiful A hero Iranian Asghar Farhadi tied with the surprising Compartment 6 by Finnish Juho Kuosmanen, two films imbued with humanity, while the second rewarded the radicality of cinema by Israeli Nadav Lapid and Thai Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
→ READ. Cannes Film Festival 2021: the winning return of Asghar Farhadi
The interpretation prices are less surprising. They reward the grace of the Norwegian Renate Reinsve who embodies a young woman in search of herself in Julie (in 12 chapters) by Joachim Trier, while American actor Caleb Landry Jones wins the prize for his not always very subtle portrayal of the author of a mass murderer in Nitram by Justin Kurzel. The disappointment comes from the magnificent Drive my car, by the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi, who received in the afternoon the prize for international criticism and that of the ecumenical jury, and is only awarded the prize for the screenplay.
Palme d’Or : Titanium, by Julia Ducournau
Grand jury prize:Ex aequoA hero, Asghar Farhadi and Compartment 6 by Juho Kuosmanen
Jury Prize: ex aequo Ahed’s Knee by Nadav Lapid and Memoria by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Best Actress Award: Renate Reinsve in Julie (in 12 chapters) by Joachim Trier
Best Actor Award: Caleb Landry Jones in Nitram by Justin Kurzel
Director’s Award: Leos Carax for Annette
Price of the scenario: Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive my car
Golden Camera: Murina, by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic
Golden eye: A night of knowing nothing, documentaryby Payal Kapadia; special price at Babi Yar. Context by Sergei Loznitsa
Ecumenical Jury Prize: Drive my car, by Ryusuke Hamaguchi; special mention for Compartment 6, by Juho Kuosmanen