The closing ceremony which I attended in person went pretty much as expected (the winners are posted at right) with Michael Haneke winning top honors for his film Das Weisse Band, a much deserved accolade. This year I got the top three most important prizes right (a much better record than last year). The best speech of the night definitely goes Christoph Waltz, although probably a little too long. Everyone’s speech was too long, pretty much, but overall one can be thankful that the Cannes Festival Closing ceremony is short, unlike the Academy Awards which suffer from much excess baggage with too many technical awards.
When they announced that Gainsbourg won the award for Best Actor I was beyond thrilled; she deserved it immensely. The one bad note of the evening was obviously Resnais taking home an Exceptional Prize (by an exceptional jury, for an exceptional director?). Rewarding Resnais, one of the world’s legendary director, in this manner is more of an afterthought and ends up sounding and looking absurd. He himself thought it a little silly, conveying how “surprising” this particular award is. Either you give one a lifetime achievement award or you take a pass, and wait until the next time. Only problem with Resnais is that given his advanced age, one must maintain faith and hope that there will be a next opportunity to properly and competently award a lifetime of dedication to cinema.
Best screenplay should’ve gone to Quentin Tarantino, as his film “Inglourious Basterds” took nearly a decade to come along. This was like Quentin Tarantino having a pregnancy, almost, and given the adulation that Tarantino has enjoyed in the past, he had deserved this Best Screenplay nod.
And in spite of the generally negative reaction in Cannes there’s no doubt that this movie will play wide and long and cause many people to talk.