Elephant? They gave the Palme d'Or to Elephant? I like Gus Van Sant as much as anyone else, and I can see the anti-American sentiment at work in the jury as it gave the award to a film about American gun violence, but was no one bothered by the film's rampant misogyny? All the boys, including the future killers, are photographed like teen angels; all the girls are whiny, bulimic bitches. If the members of the jury had had any nerve they wouldn't have given a Palme this year.I liked Denys Arcand's Les Invasions Barbares, but giving the best-actress prize to Marie-Josée Croze in a supporting performance in lieu of Nicole Kidman in Dogville verges on the bizarre, unless the anti-Lars von Trier segment of the jury extended far beyond president Patrice Chéreau.
Good call to give Arcand screenplay, though.
And, of course, the fact that the jury ignored the most daring and interesting film in the competition, Peter Greenaway's dazzlingly inventive The Tulse Luper Suitcases: The Moab Story, was not unexpected.
But Elephant? The English have a word, gobsmacked, which is the perfect description of the assembled press during the awards presentation.
Here's a list of the major prize-winners at Cannes 2003:Palme D'Or
Elephant, directed by Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant
Marie-Josée Croze in Barbarian Invasions, by Denys Arcand (Quebec)
Muzaffer Ozdemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak, actors in Uzak, by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
Denys Arcand for Barbarian Invasions (Quebec)
Grand Jury Prize (runner-up)
Uzak, by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
Jury Prize (third prize)
Five In The Afternoon, by Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran)
Caméra d'Or (best first feature)
Reconstruction, by Christoffer Boe (Denmark)
Osama, by Sedigh Barmak (Afghanistan)