Chaos reigned at the 2021 Cannes International Film Festival awards ceremony after jury president Spike Lee accidentally announced the winner of the Palme d’Or – the extremely extreme fantasy drama by Julia Ducournau Titanium – early in the night.
The emcee attempted to laugh at the slippage and forget it had happened, but with the Cannes top prize being revealed prematurely, it set a comically awkward tone for the rest of the proceedings. When the Palme d’Or was handed over, Lee admitted his mistake.
“In 63 years of life, I have learned that people have a second chance, this is my second chance,” he said. “I apologize for messing up. It took a lot of suspense during the night, I understand, it wasn’t on purpose.
However, Lee still had to be prevented from revealing the winner before the final special guest, Sharon Stone, was welcomed on stage.
Titanium, Ducournau’s sequel to his acclaimed coming-of-age story of cannibals Gross (which premiered in the Cannes Critics’ Week sidebar), combines body horror, female revenge films and F9-esque car-obsession in what is arguably the most radical film in Cannes competition this year. Ducournau is only the second woman winner of the Palme d’Or after Jane Campion, winner in 1993 for The piano.
This victory was also a victory for Neon, who has Titaniumthe US rights to, giving the distributor two consecutive Palmes d’Or after that of Bong Joon Ho Parasite won the award in 2019, the last time Cannes was held.
Elsewhere in the night, two films won the Grand Prix, Iranian drama A hero double Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (A separation, the seller) and Compartment n ° 6, The follow-up of Juho Kuosmanen in his early days, The happiest day of Olli Mäki’s life, which won the Un Certain Regard award for best film at Cannes in 2016.
Caleb Landry Jones won the Best Actor award for his performance in Justin Kurzel Nitrame, in which he portrays the disturbed sniper responsible for the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, the worst mass shooting in modern Australian history. Renate Reinste was named best actress for The worst person in the world, the dark and romantic dramatic comedy by Joachim Trier.
Leos Carax, who opened Cannes with his musical drama Annette, won the award for best director.
The 74th Cannes Film Festival kicked off on July 6, two months later than usual, due to safety concerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last year’s festival was canceled due to COVID-19.
Lee, who has appeared in Cannes with films such as BlackKkKlansman (2019) and Do the right thing (1989), is the first black to be president of the jury of Cannes. This year’s jury is also the first in the history of Cannes where a majority of jurors, five out of nine, are women.
The 2021 Cannes Film Festival will close with the out-of-competition screening of Nicolas Bedos’ French spy parody OSS 117: From Africa with love, with Jean Dujardin, on July 17.
The winners are:
Grand Prize (two winners)
Asghar Farhadi, A hero
Juho Kuosmanen, Compartment n ° 6
Léos Carox, Annette
Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Takamasa Oe, Drive my car
Renate Reinste, The worst person in the world
Memory, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Ahed’s knee, Nadav Lapid
Caleb Landry Jones, Nitram
Palme d’or of honor
Murina, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic