Cannes Film Fesitval’s jury president Spike Lee appeared to inadvertently lift the lid on this year’s Palme d’Or winner – naming Julia Ducournau’s Titane – after a mix-up early in tonight’s closing awards ceremony. Watch the moment further down this page.
The event’s hostess asked Lee, in French, if he could reveal the “first prize” of the evening. Instead of reading that as the chronological first prize, Lee seemed to take it as ‘first place’, going on to say Titane had scooped the Palme.
Confusion reigned and the hostess attempted to resolve the situation by swiftly moving on to the prize that was supposed to be revealed at that moment – best actor for Nitram’s Caleb Landry Jones. Lee then urged her to speak to him in English to avoid any further mix-ups, drawing plenty of laughter from the attending audience.
Below is the clip courtesy of Canal+.
— CANAL+ (@canalplus) July 17, 2021
As you’d expect, Twitter blew up with those attending the ceremony remarking on the error and drawing comparisons to the 2017 Oscars finale, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner when it was in fact Moonlight.
Later in the ceremony, Lee almost unveiled the Palme early again. “In 63 years of life I’ve learned that people get a second chance, this is my second chance. I apologize for messing up. It took a lot of suspense out of the night I understand, it wasn’t on purpose,” he said, proceeding to begin announcing the prize before the hostess again rushed to stop him so that Sharon Stone could take the stage and make the announcement.
While the premature unveiling was unfortunate, it won’t detract from the fact that this is a historic Palme winner – Ducournau becomes only the second female to take the prize, following Jane Campion who did so with The Piano 28 years ago, and the first to win the award solo.