Cannes closes on Saturday with the awarding of the Palme d’Or

After 21 world premieres, nearly two weeks of red carpet parades and hundreds of thousands of camera flashes, the 76th Cannes Film Festival ends on Saturday with the presentation of its first prize, the Palme d’Or.

One of the most coveted prizes in cinema will be awarded this year by the jury, chaired by the Swedish director Ruben Östlund, twice winner of a Palme. The brief ceremony will precede the festival’s closing film, the Pixar animation “Elemental.”

Any of the 21 films that played in the main Cannes competition can win the Palme. Among the critical favorites at this year’s festival are Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” a chilling adaptation by Martin Amis about a German family living next door to Auschwitz; “Fallen Leaves,” the deadpan romance from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki; and “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet’s winding legal drama from the French Alps.

Two of them – “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest” – star German actress Sandra Hüller, a likely contender for Best Actress.

The festival’s Un Certain Regard section handed out its awards on Friday, awarding the top prize to Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature, “How to Have Sex.”

Saturday’s ceremony comes to close a Cannes edition which has not lacked spectacle, stars or controversy.

The greatest power firsts have come out of the competition. Martin Scorsese kicked off his Osage murders epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a sprawling take on American exploitation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate,” Harrison Ford’s Indy farewell, kicked off with a tribute to Ford. Wes Anderson created “Asteroid City”.

The festival opened on a note of controversy. “Jeanne du Barry,” a period drama starring Johnny Depp as Louis XV, served as the opening film. The premiere marked Depp’s most high-profile appearance since the conclusion of his explosive trial last year with ex-wife Amber Heard.

The selection of ‘Jeanne du Barry’ has added to criticism from Cannes for being too hospitable to men accused of abusive behavior.

Cannes, which requires films in competition to follow strict theatrical windowing rules in France, has been at an impasse with Netflix in recent years. However, curiously, a version of Netflix could probably win the Palme. After “May December” by Todd Haynes, with Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, presented in competition, Netflix acquired it to distribute it in North America for 11 million dollars.


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