A soggy wet carpet and pre-festival controversy had already put a damper on this year’s Cannes Film Festival and so maybe no winner would have gotten the praise it deserved. It began when the films in competition were announced and none of the movies were directed by women. In an open letter, a French feminist activist group, La Barbe, denounced the lack of representation and compared this year to last, when, as the letter put it, “doubtless due to a lack of vigilance, four women somehow sneaked in among the 20 people nominated in the official competition.”
Critics at Cannes were divided over Reality, the story of a fishmonger who is obsessed with a reality show, and it was booed by the press after the announcement by jury president Nanni Moretti, but luckily for director Matteo Garrone there was a winner to dislike even more.
From New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis : Perhaps it was all the rain, but the booing sounded angrier this year, with the competition entry “Post Tenebras Lux,” from the Mexican director Carlos Reygadas (“Silent Light”), coming in for the harshest reception I’ve heard here since Vincent Gallo’s “Brown Bunny” in 2003. “
According to Dargis the boos were almost as loud for Garrone; ”the critics continued to vent their spleens by loudly booing Matteo Garrone’s “Reality,”
“A win’s a win”, as my Dad used to say after a close and not very pretty win by his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. And so may I say, on behalf of Matteo Garrone;
“Bite me, critics. And thanks for the award, Cannes.”