Cannes, its red carpet, its stars, its parties, its awards… and this “parallel” trophy, which never goes unnoticed: the Palm Dog, by Dogami. The award, created more than 20 years ago by Toby Rose, a totally insane British film critic, was awarded this Friday to Beast, the magnificent poodle from the War Pony films. Initially a parody, this trophy has nevertheless managed to become a minor must on the Croisette.
Is it crazy to reward a canine performance on the big screen? Not so much! Meanwhile, because more movies than you might think include one or more dogs in their scripts. And depending on the importance of the role, it will take an initial casting, preparation time and of course filming. On the other hand, this distinction is a way of glorifying and talking about the essential place of dogs in our society and in our daily lives.
“Is he serious or funny, I don’t know! »
Who is making the decisions? An international jury of six journalists. As part of their classic work as film critics, they watch all the films shown at Cannes: the films in competition, the directors’ selection of Fortnite or Un Certain Regard. As soon as a dog is shown in a film (beyond a casual appearance, of course), it is included in films eligible for Palm Dogs. Choices were then made according to criteria such as the level of the role, the underwear that was required to embody the animal, and the apparent complexity between dog and human. Peter Bradshaw, the famous film critic of The Guardian, has been on the jury for many years: “However, I never know how to describe this award. Is he serious or funny, I do not know! “
This year, six films could really compete for the Palm Dog, including the biopic Elvis, Nicholas Beddoes’ Masquerade or Godland. Finally, it was the dog, Beast, from War Pony directed by Riley Keough and Gina Gammell, who won the day. The story takes place on a Native American reservation in the US state of South Dakota, where young people compete in skill to find profitable adult activities. One of them chooses to start breeding royal poodles, a dog, thanks to Beast, as Brittany explains brilliantly. Star Dog is a true red thread of the film, fueling the rivalry between the young heroes. This is the second edition in which a poodle is consecrated, the previous being in 2013 for Baby Boy, in the film My Life with Liberace, where we exclusively got Matt Damon.
The jury agreed on its choice the day before the event, and there it began, for organizer Yoann Latouche. “We communicate with members of the film; This year, the directors intervened in the video, they were no longer present at Cannes. As for the dogs, you can well imagine that it is complicated to bring the winning dog to the Croisette, so we have less than 24 hours to find… he looks the same”. Rapunzel) who took the stage to represent Britney and receive the cheers of the winning audience.
Crus is more obvious than others
Some are more interesting than others depending on the vintage version, but what is certain is that Dogamir Palm Dog has really made a name for itself. Toby Rose delighted in the hair comparison: “It’s like going from a Chihuahua to a Rhodesian Ridgeback”. And some years, the choice is obvious! When, in 2011, Michelle Hazanavicius’ The Artist entered the films in competition, the dog Ugi easily won the Palm Dog (also, since then, he has received the Palm Dog posthumously from the Palm Dogs of the last 20 years). Similarly, in 2018, a film from the official selection is called Dogman and has a dog breeder in the lead role. Of course, dogs don’t “personally” get their rewards. The director, producer or actor represents them. In 2019, Quentin Tarantino replaced Pit Bull dog Brandi in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It must be said that the dog played a decisive role in the scenario (spoiler alert), even saving Brad Pitt at the end of the film. Like last year, Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton stars as the award-winning springer spaniel in The Souvenir, Part II.
This year, remember that a special award was given to a dog that distinguished itself not in a movie but in a war zone: the patron, Jack Russell, an expert in mine detection and who became a national hero of Ukraine. In fact, we are not less committed to offbeat events!