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Cannes: Festival Commentaries

  • May 25th, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

Cannes Cannes PosterThe Cannes Film Festival on Saturday awarded the Palme d’Or for Best Film to Winter Sleep from Turkey.

During the festivities, the Jury President, Jane Campion, deplored the poor representation of women in the winners’ lists; Cate Blanchett criticised an attack on arts funding in the Australian federal budget; Nicole Kidman starred in the opening film, about a blonde princess; and David Gulpilil won Best Actor in a talent-seeking contest parallel to the main event.

Winter SleepNuri Bilge Ceylan (picture, below), the director of the winning film, Winter Sleep, said it was “about human beings.” The human character at the centre of the 195 minute drama is an isolated man with an interest in control of those with whom he comes in contact. If not calling to mind the current Prime Minister of the director’s home country, he has dedicated it “to the young people of Turkey, those who lost their lives during the last year”, in protests against actions of the religious-minded regime in  power.

The film has been a front runner in its competition, despite the long running time, since last year, when Nuri Bilge Ceylan gave an interview about filming it “in the midst of Anatolia … in Winter”.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan video See video:


Jane-campion-CannesThe Director, Jane Campion (picture), told a media conference at Cannes there was “inherent sexism in the industry… Only 7% of the 1800 films submitted to the Cannes Film Festival were directed by women and we have 20% in all the programs.”

She is the only woman to have obtained the major prize, for Best Director, with The Piano in 1993. See EUAustralia Online, Cannes …, 29.5.13.

cate blanchett-replThe actress, Cate Blanchett (picture), ever elegant on the red carpet, this time obtained a headline for her contribution to close-to-universal rejection in Australia of the national austerity program, announced on 13.5.14. Large reductions in arts spending, notably for the film agency Screen Australia, she said, were “short-sighted”.


Nicole Kidman - Grace KellyFor the bio-pic Grace of Monaco, those who remember the real-life story and the image-making from Womens Weekly, may have imagined a difficult enough starting brief for Nicole Kidman (picture, in character) as the central character, (look sophisticated if a little insipid?).

Grace Kelly Time Grace Kelly - MatchIn any event the film has not been well liked by critics, nor by the family in Monaco of the late American movie star, exquisite and highly talented Grace Kelly (pictures), carried off and married by their reigning Prince in 1956.

Marilyn Time(The actress offered an obverse impression to that of her contemporary Marilyn Monroe (picture); both would suffer early and tragic deaths, one full of drugs, the other after a stroke in a car accident).


David GulpililDavid Gulpilil (picture), now 60, won his Best Actor prize, in the Un Certain Regard  (a certain ‘look’?) competition,  for his part in Charlie’s Country, directed by Rolf De Heer.

Another focus on a man and his private struggle, his character fights to keep to a traditional, Australian Aboriginal way of life.


Here is the official winners’ list published at Cannes:

Feature films
•    Palme d’Or
WINTER SLEEP Directed by Nuri Bilge CEYLAN
•    Grand Prix
•    Award for Best Director
•    Award for Best Screenplay
•    Award for Best Actress
Julianne MOORE in MAPS TO THE STARS Directed by David CRONENBERG
•    Award for Best Actor
Timothy SPALL in MR. TURNER Directed by Mike LEIGH
•    Jury Prize
MOMMY Directed by Xavier DOLAN


Festival of Cannes, (Home), Cannes., (25.5.14).

David Gulpilil, (Home)., (25.5.14).

Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Cannes president Jane Campion calls for more recognition of women in film, CNN, Atlanta, 16.5.14., (25.5.14).

Sony Professional Services, Tokyo, (Video), Nuri Bilge Ceylan on shooting …, 23.8.14., (25.5.14).

Times of India, Gurgaon, Monaco royals slamD Kidman’s Grace biopic, 3.5.14., (25.5.14).

Steven Zeitchik, Battle intensifies over Nicole Kidman’s ‘Grace of Monaco’, LA Times, LA, 6.5.14., (25.5.14).