Saturday, May 18, 2024

Cannes Winners: Tree of Life, Kirsten Dunst, “The Artist” Star Jean DuJardin


It’s not s shock: Terrence Malick was a year late presenting “The Tree of Life.” He didn’t come to his press conference or premiere party, and walked in at the end of his premiere screening. Almost no one saw him. So of course he won the Palm D’Or tonight in Cannes. For the film. For the effort of making a two hour, twenty minute philosophical meditation on the creation of the universe. He didn’t win Best Director. That went to Nicholas Winding Refn for his stylish “Drive.” Kirsten Dunst was not held responsible for Lars von Trier‘s crazy comments, and won Best Actress for “Melancholia.” This performance and this film are more resonant than “Tree of Life.” And French superstar Jean DuJardin won Best Actor for “The Artist.” I am telling you now: watch this actor, this film, and more become a big deal in the fall and go on to Oscar status at least in multiple nominations. The Cannes winners are all good choices, I think. “Tree of Life” is one weird movie, but it’s also brilliant, flawed, and a conversation starter. Brad Pitt doesn’t get enough credit; he’s very good in it. The film is a piece of art. Put up on your wall and talk it over. Will it be a hit? Very minor. An awards magnet? Hard to say. As I said before, Fox Searchlight should make a short film of the nature video stuff that’s one half the film and put in an IMAX theater. More on Cannes, with a wrap up later. We should note, no mention of Sean Penn or “This Must Be the Place.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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