Greta Gerwig-Led Cannes Jury On Awarding Palme d’Or To ‘Anora’ In Year That Had “Embarrassment Of Riches”

“We really led with our hearts for everything we watched,” said 77th Cannes Film Festival Jury President Greta Gerwig on what was a fiercely competitive year.

In a Cannes that delivered a Demi Moore comeback pro-femme horror film Substance, a ground breaking trans noir Spanish-lingo musical in Emilia Perez, Francis Ford Coppola’s $120M passion project Megalopolis, it was Sean Baker’s dark romantic comedy about a sex worker, Anora that transcended this year’s jury.

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“It was an embarrassment of riches this year in terms of cinema,” exclaimed Gerwig, “we (the jury) could have been talking into next week.”

Anora follows a stripper who falls for a Russia oligarch’s son. He loves her so much, he marries her, much to the chagrin of his family. Chaos ensues.

Said Gerwig on why they chose it: “There was something that reminded us of a classic, there were structures of Lubitsch and Howard Hawks. It did something truthful and unexpected.

Talking about the Mikey Madison and Mark Eydelshteyn starring feature, Gerwig added, “every single performance we loved, their faces we felt…”

“We were invited to be on a journey, it was heart-forward in terms of choosing,” added the Barbie filmmaker.

On awarding best actress to the female ensemble of Jacques Audiard’s Emila Perez, which went to Karla Sofia Gascon, Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez and Adriana Paz, Gerwig explained, “Women together — that’s something we wanted to honor when we made this award…Each of them is a standout, but together transcendent.”

This year’s jury included Turkish screenwriter and photographer Ebru Ceylan, U.S. actress Lily Gladstone, French actress Eva Green, Lebanese director and screenwriter Nadine Labaki, Spanish director and screenwriter Bayona, Italian actor Pierfrancisco Favino, and Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Netflix took Emilia Perez North America and UK rights for high seven figures. With Anora, domestic distributor NEON wins its fifth Palme d’Or in a row.

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