Hosted by Paris resident Charlotte Rampling, the presentation ceremony lasted under 60 minutes, and highlights included Jodie Foster, (also in fluent French), who presented the Best Director awards, while Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith presented the Palme d’Or to Italy’s Nanni Moretti, whose win wasn’t a surprise. La stanza del figlio (The Son’s Room) is the story of Giovanni, Paola and their teenage children, who live in a small North Italian town. One morning Giovanni receives an urgent call from a patient; he’s unable to go running with his son as planned, who goes diving with friends instead and doesn’t return.
Austria’s Michael Haneke, the grey haired and bearded filmmaker was awed at the “rain” of awards for his French language film about a woman in her mid 30s who fails in her career as a virtuoso pianist in which she is tutored by her tyrannical mother. Stars Isabelle Huppert and Benoit Magimel took the acting honours. “It was an extraordinary adventure,” said Huppert, “but I wasn’t alone. I’m very happy, thank you.” Nick Nolte presented her with the award.
No Man’s Land, written by Danis Tanovic, won the Best Screenplay award and the Camera d’Or for best first film went to Zacharias Kunuk, the Canadian filmmaker for his drama, Atanarjuat The Fast Runner.
Liv Ullman began by explaining that sometimes she would love something and someone else would hate it – or vice versa. “But that we’re all still friends,” she added, “is because the dreams these films represent all stay with us.”
Andrew L. Urban