Chaired by director Spike Lee, the Jury of the 74th Festival de Cannes unveiled the winners of the various prizes during the Palmarès Ceremony and awarded the Palme d’Or to Julia Ducournau’s Platine.
After a glamorous and internationa star-studded Red Carpet, featuring haute couture gowns and sumptuous jewels, the closing ceremony of the Festival de Cannes 2021 welcomed the winners on the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière with Doria Tiller as Master of Ceremonies. The Palme d’Or was awarded to talented director Julia Ducournau for Titane. In La Dernière Séance (closing film), OSS 117 Red Alert in Black Africa, by Nicolas Bedos, closed with humour a Festival under high sanitary tension.
Spike Lee as a comic actor
Spike Lee, president of the Jury, improvised himself as a comic actor for the announcement of the 2021 Palmarès: asked to determine which was the first prize to give, he thoughtlessly announced the Palme d’or, killing the suspense of the evening! The rest of the prize-giving ceremony was equally chaotic, with Spike Lee somehow managing to carry on unfolding the list of winners with the help of the members of the jury composed of Mati Diop, Mylène Farmer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hausner, Mélanie Laurent, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Tahar Rahim and Song Kang-ho.
Earlier, Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio was presented with the Palme d’Or d’honneur for his outstanding career, a trophy that he received from Paolo Sorrentino.
Titane Worth of Gold
The Palme-winning film at the Festival de Cannes does not focus – as in previous years – on humble, modest people trying to survive in the prevailing capitalism, but on tortured, even “monstrous” souls. The Palme d’Or is rewarding a young and talented director who is breathing new life into the cinema. After Sharon Stone presented her with the Palme d’Or, Julia Ducournau gave a humble but passionate speech, thanking the Jury for “letting the monsters in”.
Julia Ducournau is the second director to win a Palme d’Or after New Zealand’s Jane Campion for The Piano Lesson in 1993.
Leader of the fantasy film
Julia Ducournau is a member of the Collectif 50/50, which advocates gender equality and diversity in the film and audiovisual industries. The young French director made her mark with her first feature film Grave, shot in Belgium and presented in 2016 at the Festival de Cannes. In 2017, she received the Grand Prize at the 24th Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival and Grave was nominated in 6 categories at the 2018 César Awards. Representative of a new wave of directors, Julia Ducournau is announcing herself as the leader of the fantasy and horror film.
Sweeping away taboos?
A headbutt in a sink, and boom, broken nose Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), a psychopathic killer with a titanium temple, discovers the family spirit. She replaces Adrien – who has been missing for ten years – in the heart of his father, Vincent (Vincent Lindon), an ageing fireman who revives himself by piercing his right buttock with who knows what injectable product. Alexia thus disappears from the police radar and Vincent fills his emotional abyss – filled with red wine until now – with the blessing of the prodigal son’s mother. Alexia, who has had sex with a flaming car, unfortunately undergoes a painful pregnancy before her “father” gives birth to a baby who will surely have a nice bodywork later on.
OSS 117 for La Dernière Séance
At the end of the Awards Ceremony of this 74th edition, the closing film, renamed La Dernière Séance to revive its tradition of the last screening, plunged the spectators into celebration and laughter with the hilarious OSS 117 Red Alert in Black Africa, by Nicolas Bedos. To relax a Festival under high sanitairy security, this third part of the saga launched by Michel Hazanavicius, still starring Jean Dujardin as Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, narrates the African adventures of OSS 117, a genially stupid and grotesquely triumphant anti-hero.
Parody and situational humour
OSS 117 is the creation of Jean Bruce in 1949, before James Bond, created in 1963 by Ian Flemming. When his creator died, his wife Josette, then his daughter and son-in-law, successively continued his work. In total, 265 volumes of the adventures of OSS 117 were published between 1949 and 1992, with translations into 17 languages. In recent spy movie parodies, OSS 117 has become a master spy, an unlikely mix of James Bond, Super Dupont and Gaston Lagaffe according to the recipe given by Jean Dujardin: “a little Sean, a lot of conneries (bullshit)! Pierre Niney and Fatou N’Diaye complete the cast.
The winners of the 74th Festival de Cannes
Palme d’or: Titane by Julia Ducournau
Grand Prix (ex aequo)
Ghahreman (A Hero) by Asghar Farhadi Hytti N°6 (Compartment N°6) by Juho Kuosmanen
Leos Carax for Annette Screenplay Award
Hamaguchi Ryusuke & Takamasa Oe for Drive My Car
Jury Prize (ex aequo)
Memoria by Apichatpong Weerasethakul Ha’Brerech (Ahed’s Knee) directed by Nadav Lapid
Best Actress Award
Renate Reinsve in Verdens Verste Menneske (Julie in 12 Chapters) by Joachim Trier
Best Performance by a Male Actor
Caleb Landry Jones in Nitram by Justin Kurzel
Palme d’or: Tian Xia Wu Ya (All the Crows in the World) directed by de Tang Yi
Special Mention Céu de Agosto (August Sky) directed by Jasmin Tenucci
Murina directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (Directors’ Fortnight)
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The Red Carpet of From Africa With Love
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