CANNES FESTIVAL – Film critics and festival jurors: two divergent forces that make the weather for the eleven days that the festival lasts. And yet, there’s hardly any consensus between the two, with nary an exception. Last night, “I, Daniel Blake” won the Palme D’Or. I’ll venture that this is the film both jurors and press met each other halfway on.
With last night’s win Loach joins that small club whose members–eminent directors like Bille August, Alf Sjöberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Michael Haneke, Shōhei Imamura and Emir Kusturica–won Cannes gold twice.
“I, Daniel Blake” hands a disastrous indictment of England’s social welfare bureaucracy system and, by association, of Europe. It’s a winnable film, sure, but the jurors sorely missed an opportunity to crown other deserving films like “American Honey” or “Toni Erdmann.”
Asghar Farhadi (“About Elly,” “A separation”) should feel especially proud to have landed prizes for best screenplay for “Forushande” and for his actor Shahab Hosseini for grabbing “Best Actor” gold.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Best short film: “Timecode”
Caméra d’Or (best first feature): “Divines” (director: Houda Benyamina)
Honorary Palme d’Or: Jean-Pierre Léaud
Best actor: Shahab Hosseini, “The Salesman”
Jury prize: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey”
Best screenplay: Asghar Fahardi, “The Salesman”
Best actress: Jaclyn Jose, “Ma Rosa”
Best director: “Graduation” (Cristian Mungui) and “Personal Shopper” (Olivier Assayas)
Grand Prix: Xavier Dolan, “It’s Only the End of the World”
Palme d’Or: “I, Daniel Blake”