Top honours to go the way of the dog
Forget the Palme d’Or; the prize with real bite is the Palm Dog, awarded to the best canine performance in the festival. In previous years the gong has gone to Uggie in The Artist and Dug in Up.
This year, it looked as if a strong canine performance in Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, playing in the main competition, would be the frontrunner. But all eyes have been drawn to the several dozen dogs in Kornel Mundruczo’s White God, a popular entry to the Un Certain Regard sidebar. The film concerns a rebellion by the canine population of Budapest.
In what might be seen as a shameless lunge for the Palm Dog, the film-makers sent Body, the lead dog, along to the screening, where he was introduced by Thierry Frémaux, festival president. Body even donned a dickie bow for the occasion. Then again, the prize – awarded this afternoon – might go the way of the dog in Jean Luc-Godard’s Goodbye to Language. As all this happens, a romantic comedy based around a conscious attempt to make a Palm Dog-winning film, is shooting on the streets of Cannes.