Ruben takes sideways swipe at the Oscars

Cannes jury president prefers his Palme d’Ors any day

by Richard Mowe

Ruben Östlund describes the Palme d'Or as 'the greatest film prize in the world'
Ruben Östlund describes the Palme d'Or as 'the greatest film prize in the world' Photo: Richard Mowe
If the Palme d’Or winning director of Triangle Of Sadness Ruben Östlund who heads this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury, had to choose between an Oscar and a Palme d’Or he would opt for the coveted Cannes prize - “no question”.

Paul Dano
Paul Dano Photo: Richard Mowe
He and his fellow jurors - Moroccan director Maryam Touzani, French actor Denis Ménochet, British-Zambian screenwriter & director Rungano Nyoni, American actress and director Brie Larson, American actor Paul Dano, Afghan author Atiq Rahimi, Argentinian director and screenwriter Damián Szifrón and French director Julia Ducournau who won the top prize in 2021 - bestow the top prize on the closing day of the festival on 27 May.

Östlund also won a Palme for The Square in 2017. Not surprisingly he believes it to be, “The greatest film prize in the world. If I had to choose (between a Palme and an Academy Award) it would be an easy choice". He received Oscar dominations for best director and original screenplay for Triangle.

When first asked to perform the role by Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux his first reaction was that he was “too young” for such an onerous task. He had one day to think about and responded positively. “It’s still may be ten years too early,” he laughed.

He is curious to discover the group dynamics among the diverse band of jurors and also to immerse himself in films in a concentrated way.

Julie Ducournau, who won the Palme d'Or for Titane
Julie Ducournau, who won the Palme d'Or for Titane Photo: Richard Mowe
He regards himself as a European director and part of the European tradition. The role of cinema in our culture is something that I’m willing to fight for.

On the vexed question of protests against the French government’s pension reforms (the city of Cannes has banned any such manifestations) he offered his support to those seeking to make their point and his sympathy to those who working at the Festival.

Julie Ducournau, only the second woman to win the ​prestigious ​Palme d’Or, for Titane in 2021, confessed she had missed several of the calls from the Festival office asking for her participation. “Winning that prize can be life-changing. It is not just honorific it has practical benefit in raising the money for your next film.”

The festival starts this evening (May 16) with costume drama Jeanne du Barry by Maiwenn and with Johnny Depp. The first Competition title to screen will be Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Monster, tomorrow.

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