American actress Jodie Foster, last seen in The Mauritanian in which she plays a defence lawyer for Tahar Rahim’s Mohamedou Ould Slahi , will be given an Honorary Palm dÓr by the Cannes Film Festival, slated to run from July 6 to 17.
Foster — who follows Jeanne Moreau, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Fonda, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Manoel de Oliveira, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Agnès Varda and Alain Delon — has been recognised for her brilliant artistic journey, a unique personality with a modest yet strong commitment to some of the major issues of our time.
The 74th edition of the Festival will kick off with an English language work, Annette, helmed by Leo Carax, whose Holy Motors nine years ago created a big buzz there. Annette will be Frenchman Carax’s first English movie.
Actor-director-producer Spike Lee will be President of the Jury; he was to have served last year, but the Festival was cancelled because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Foster is a Cannes veteran, and owes a lot of her success to the Festival. In May 1976, she was barely 13 when she climbed the stairs at the Palais Croisette, presented Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese, and left with a Palme d’or. Forty-five years later, Foster once again returns to receive a Palme d’or, this time for herself.
Since 1976, her wide filmography, has combined high standards with popularity. She has splitted her time between acting (numerous, around 50 pieces of work) and directing (4 features), has received two Oscars (for The Accused in n 1989 andThe Silence of the Lambs in 1992), has had one-on-ones with industry legends such as Robert de Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, Kristen Stewart, Denzel Washington, in the eyes of the camera of David Fincher, Robert Zemeckis, Spike Lee, Alan Parker and even Claude Chabrol. Her career also acted as a gateway between the Hollywood industry and auteur cinema, which she naturally and undoubtedly brings together.
Seven of her works have been showcased at Cannes – both as an actress and director. The Festival’s General-Delegate, Thierry Fremaux, said: “Jodie never ceases to reinvent herself. She questions with her piercing gaze, learns from others, and is willing to step back from her beliefs in order to forge new morals. Do what is fair. An idea that she strives to convey in the decisions she makes as an actress and director, and which makes her so precious during these confusing times. we will honour her with warmth and admiration.
Fremaux will announce the Festival’s official selections in Paris on June 3.
(Movie critic and author Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered the Cannes Film Festival close to three decades)