A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.
I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the room when the Cannes jury were discussing the movies in competition this year. From Mexico (a great, great year for them in movies I might add) there was Babel and Pan’s Labyrinth, and we also had Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver. And that is just the most universal entries. The jury went head-first with Ken Loach and his heart-tugging tale of war in Ireland, and the ultimately ill-fated divide between two brothers. The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a remarkable achievement in all honesty, an important movie about sides of the fence, about personal beliefs, about sacrifices. It surprised me, for one, when it won the Palme d’Or, but there was some justification in my eyes when I saw it for myself. A rather refreshing win, it may look gorgeous at times, but don’t believe for a second this is not going to be bleak. To say Ken Loach (a cinematic legend here in the UK) is a Cannes regular is an understatement, his films being in competition is well into double figures now – Raining Stones, My Name is Joe, Land and Freedom, Hidden Agenda, Looking for Eric – to name a few worthy contenders. This, amazingly, was Loach’s first Palme d’Or victory in a medley of various other prizes he has received over the last thirty years or so – he was also given a 30th Anniversary Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for that career span of work in film. Of course, Loach was the victor again last year when I, Daniel Blake took the top prize.