Cannes – Palme d’Or For ‘Shoplifters’
Director Hirokazu Koreeda winner of the Palme d’Or award for ‘Shoplifters’ (Manbiki Kazoku) attends the photocall for the Palme D’Or Winner during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2018 in Cannes, France – Source: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Europe.
At the 71st Cannes Film Festival, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or for his film Shoplifters, marking just the second time this century that an Asian film has claimed the festival’s top prize (the other being Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010). A moving portrait of a self-made family whose secret ultimately jeopardizes their ability to stay together, the widely praised drama represents Hore-eda’s fifth time in competition, making him one of the few veterans in a lineup weighted toward less established directors.
American director Spike Lee won the Grand Prix at Cannes for his blaxploitation-styled anti-racism satire BlacKkKlansman, one of just two American films in the official competition (the other, David Robert Mitchell’s poorly received Under the Silver Lake, went home empty-handed). After accepting the prize “on behalf of the People’s Republic of Brooklyn, New York,” Lee told the press, “Cannes was the perfect launchpad for this film. I hope the film can globally get us out of our mental slumber, and start to get back to truth, goodness, love and not hate.”
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki earned the Jury Prize at Cannes for her film Capernaum, a wrenching neorealist portrait of a Beirut street urchin who sues his parents for bringing him into the world. She accepted the award on-stage with child actor Zain Al Rafeea, one of many young performers responsible for carrying films in this year’s festival (Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters also hinges on a pair of child performances).
Best actor honors went to Dogman actor Marcello Fonte, who plays a shrimpy small-town dog washer bullied to the point of breaking by a local thug. Considering the sheer number of strong female performances at this year’s festival at Cannes, many were surprised to see best actress awarded to Ayka star Samal Yeslyamova, whose character — an illegal alien who abandons her newborn baby in sub-zero Moscow — certainly endures the most on-screen hardship.
Jury president Cate Blanchett announced an exceptional Special Palme d’Or to Jean-Luc Godard, who has not attended Cannes since 2004 and was therefore not present (The Image Book producers Mitra Farahani and Fabrice Aragno accepted on his behalf). On-stage, Blanchett described Godard as “a cinematic artist who is continually striving to define and re-define what cinema can be,” later elaborating that his film “lingered with us, confused, confounded, provoked, angered, excited us [and ultimately] influenced our perspective on the rest of the festival.”
Best director honors at Cannes went to Ida helmer Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War, a black-and-white relationship drama set against the backdrop of the Iron Curtain. The best screenplay prize was shared by Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher for Happy as Lazzaro and Iranian collaborators Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar for their film 3 Faces. (The jury also went out of its way to acknowledge two filmmakers, Panahi and “Leto” director Kirill Serebrennikov, who were unable to attend the festival on account of legal woes in their home countries.)