Saturday, July 13, 2024

Who Won the Cannes Film Festival? Jane Fonda, 85, Came to Town and Claimed Victory with Grace, Wit, and No Nonsense Talk


So who won the Cannes Film Festival?

After almost two weeks, Jane Fonda came to town on Friday. Almost everything was done: the parties, the screenings, fighting with security guards, everyone’s inability to get tickets. Both Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford had received accolades. Catherine Deneuve swanned around like a French Queen. All the gelato had been eaten.

But there was Jane, age 85. She came as part of the L’Oreal contingent, which was headed this year by Kate Winslet. First stop: a masterclass in which the audience could ask questions. The answers were bold and beautiful, producing headlines. Robert Redford is a bad kisser and doesn’t work well with women but Jane was in love with him on four of their five pictures.

Fonda said was told to become an activist actress because just being an activist wouldn’t get the message out there. She doesn’t want to make another “Book Club” movie but something really substantial. She and Katharine Hepburn tussled on “On Golden Pond” because they were the two most independent, substantial actors in Hollywood history.

That was Friday.

On Saturday, Fonda — glittering, glowing, glistening — presented the Palme d’Or to director Justin Triet, who made “Anatomy of a Fall.” Triet is the seventh woman ever to win the prize, as Fonda pointed out. When Triet left the stage without her scroll, Fonda, in a nicely comic moment, tossed it at her.

Fonda, who sure doesn’t look 85, has been in three movies this year: “80 for Brady,” “Book Club 2,” and “Moving On.” She could easily make a third “Book Club” but she’s done. She has two Oscars, for “Klute” and “Coming Home.” She could have won for “Julia,” and “The China Syndrome.” If she hadn’t taken a long break during her marriage to Ted Turner, the sky was the limit. She returned with the fun “Monster in Law” and Netflix’s longest running series, “Grace and Frankie.” She can do anything.

In a glittering black beaded gown and regal gray hair, Fonda was the epitome of class, grace and beauty. No one has represented Old Hollywood with such intelligence and style. I hope they send a Palme d’Or because in the end she was the one who deserved it.

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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