There’s nothing quite so refreshing as a good awards show fuck-up—the moment when a million different moving parts, many of them happening in the head of whichever poor sap’s actually holding the envelope, come together to really, truly, publicly goof something up. The ur-example is, of course, the Moonlight/La La Land debacle at the Oscars in 2017, in which the wrong Best Picture winner was read in front of millions of people. But that infamous incident now has an equivalent, of sorts, for all the cineastes in the audience, as Cannes jury president Spike Lee decided to cut right to the chase during today’s closing awards ceremony for the festival, and name the Palme D’Or winner as the first award out of the gate.
Which: Kudos for efficiency, we guess, but Lee’s fellow panelists quickly freaked out, since the grand prize of the entire festival is usually the sort of thing you reserve until slightly later in the proceedings. The confusion seems to have stemmed from the fact that the presenter asked Lee (in English, after initially speaking in French) to announce the “first prize,” and, so…Lee read the first prize. (As opposed to the chronologically first prize to be handed out, which was set to be Best Actor for Nitram’s Caleb Landry Jones.) In any case: Congratulations to Julia Ducournau’s provocative Titane, which ended up taking home the big prize just a little bit ahead of schedule.
Other awards at this year’s festival were handed out somewhat more smoothly, including Best Actress for Renate Reinsve for her turn in Norwegian film The Worst Person In The World, Best Director for Leos Carax for Annette, and best screenplay to Ryûsuke Hamaguchi for his adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Drive My Car. Both the Jury Prize and Grand Prix (which loosely map on to third place and second place, respectively) were a tie this year, meanwhile, with the Jury Prize going to Ahed’s Knee and Memoria, and the Grand Prix headed to A Hero and Compartment No. 6. And, wouldn’t you know it: When the time came to actually read the Palme D’Or, Titane was this year’s big winner.