Cannes 2024 (8)

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Anora (Sean Baker)

Goldene Palme: "Anora" (Sean Baker)

2024 was the year of women in Cannes, and this was clearly reflected in the awards. Although the Palme d'Or went to a man, to the American Sean Baker, his film "Anora" however has a combative female protagonist in Mikey Madsen. In his acceptance speech, Baker dedicated the award to all female sex workers and pleaded for the cinema as a genuine place to watch films. "Anora" was also one of my favourites. As was Carolie Fargeat's "The Substance", which was awarded the screenplay prize. This horror grotesque lives from its extraordinary protagonists Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley.

"Emilia Pérez", for me the best film in the competition, also won several awards, including the jury prize and the prize for best female actor, which went collectively to the ensemble of actresses Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldaña, Karla Sofía Gascón and Selena Gomez. A Palme d'Or for director Jacques Audiard would certainly not have been a mistake.

The biggest surprise was probably the Grand Jury Prize for Payal Kapadia from India. Her feature film debut "All We Imagine As Light" is the unsentimental story of a friendship between three women in Mumbai.

The American Jesse Plemons, who so far most often appeared in supporting roles, from "Breaking Bad" to "Power of the Dog", was honoured as Best Male Actor for his versatility in Yorgos Lanthimos' episodic film "Kinds of Kindness". It was up for discussion that the director's prize went to the Portuguese Miguel Gomes and his black and white colonial epic "Grand Tour", in which rather strangely all the English characters speak Portuguese no matter where they are travelling in Asia.

The jury decided to award a Special Prize to Mohammad Rasoulof's "The Seed of the Sacred Fig". The film had previously been awarded the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Jury of International Film Critics (Fipresci).

The 77th edition of Cannes was one of the most successful in recent years. There were just a few disappointments along with a broad spectrum of cinematic quality. Controversies surrounding politics and #MeToo, which were hotly debated in the run-up to the festival, faded into the background. Festival director Thierry Frémaux's prediction was confirmed, with the crucial conflicts taking place on the big screen.