The film with the biggest Oscar buzz out of this year’s Cannes Film Festival was Todd Haynes‘ lesbian love story, “Carol,” which took the Best Actress prize for Rooney Mara, who tied for the honor with French actress Emmanuelle Bercot (“Mon Roi”). Mara, who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 2011 for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” now has a serious chance to return to the derby, especially since most of the buzz about the film had surrounded her co-star, two-time Oscar champ Cate Blanchett.
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Nineteem women who won this category at Cannes went on to snag Oscar nominations and four have won: Simone Signoret for “Room at the Top” (1959), Sophia Loren for “Two Women” (1961), Sally Field for “Norma Rae” (1979) and Holly Hunter for “The Piano” (1993).
Bercot could also factor in to the race even though she’s in a foreign film. In addition to the wins for Signoret and Loren, Cannes victors Melina Mercouri (“Never on Sunday” in 1960) and Penelope Cruz (“Volver” in 2006) both earned Best Actress bids at the Oscars for non-English performances.
But the big prize at Cannes is the Palme d’Or. This year the coveted honor went to Jacques Audiard‘s French film “Dheepan,” which is unlikely to be elevated into the academy’s Best Picture race. Only one foreign-language Palme d’Or champ has ever gotten into the Oscars’ top category: “Amour” (2012).
However, the film could get a boost in the academy’s race for Best Foreign Language Film. Five Palme d’Or winners have gone on to take that Oscar: “Black Orpheus” from France (1959), “A Man and a Woman” from France (1966), “The Tin Drum” from West Germany (1979), “Pelle the Conqueror” from Denmark (1988) and “Amour.” Eight other Cannes winners have been nominated for the Foreign Film Oscar: “Keeper of Promises” from Brazil (1962), “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” from France (1964), “Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior” from Japan (1980), “Man of Iron” from Poland (1981), “When Father Was Away on Business” from Yugoslavia (1985), “Farewell My Concubine” from Hong Kong (1993), “The Class” from France (2008) and “The White Ribbon” from Germany (2009).
Since 1955, winners of the Palme d’Or have amassed a total of 127 Academy Award nominations across 37 different movies, with 28 Oscar wins that span 16 different films. A total of 15 Palme d’Or winners have scored Best Picture nominations: “Marty” (1955), “Friendly Persuasion” (1957), “M*A*S*H” (1970), “The Conversation” (1974), “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Apocalypse Now” (1979), “All That Jazz” (1979), “Missing” (1982), “The Mission” (1986), “The Piano” (1993), “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Secrets & Lies” (1996), “The Pianist” (2002), “The Tree of Life” (2011) and “Amour” (2012). “Marty” is the only film that has won both prizes.
Vincent Lindon‘s Best Actor victory for his performance in “The Measure of a Man” could propel him into Oscar consideration. 15 winners of Best Actor at Cannes have by nodded by the Oscars and five have taken home trophies: Ray Milland for “The Lost Weekend” (1945), Jon Voight for “Coming Home” (1978), William Hurt for “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1985), Christoph Waltz for “Inglorious Basterds” (2009, Supporting) and Jean Dujardin for “The Artist” (2011). However, Lindon’s chances might be hurt due to his performance being in a foreign language. Only one non-English performance that won this category at Cannes has received a corresponding Oscar nomination: Javier Bardem for “Biutiful” (2010).
Recipients of the Grand Prix have not been as frequently recognized by the academy, which is not the best news for this year’s winner, the Holocaust drama “Son of Saul” from Hungary. Winners of that honor have received 21 total Oscar nominations spread over 12 movies and scored six wins off of four films. Each one of those four films took the honor for Foreign Language Film: “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” from Italy (1970), “Cinema Paradiso” from Italy (1989), “Burnt by the Sun” from Russia (1994) and “Life is Beautiful” from Italy (1998), which also won Best Actor (Roberto Benigni) and Best Original Dramatic Score.
“Saul” does have an advantage in the Foreign Language Film race, should Hungary submit it, due to its subject matter. Seven films dealing directly with the Holocaust have been nominated in that category, with four winning: “The Shop on Main Street” from Czechoslovakia (1965), “The Garden of the Finzi Continis” from Italy (1971), “Life is Beautiful” and “The Counterfeiters” from Austria (2007).
The Jury Prize win for Yorgos Lanthimos‘s “The Lobster” does not indicate an Oscar boost either. Only two English-language films that have won the various incarnations of the Jury Prize have gone on to be major Oscar contenders. The first was “All About Eve” (premiering at Cannes in 1951, the year after its formal American release), which was nominated for 14 Oscars and won six including Best Picture and Best Director for Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The second was “Alfie” in 1966, which was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Michael Caine.
The Oscar chances for Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, whose film “The Assassin” earned him the award for Best Director, aren’t very promising either. No winner of this prize at Cannes has ever snagged the corresponding one from the Oscars, but six have been nominated: Robert Altman for “The Player” (1992), Joel Coen for “Fargo” (1996), David Lynch for “Mulholland Drive” (2001), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for “Babel” (2006), Julian Schnabel for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007) and last year’s winner, Bennett Miller for “Foxcatcher.” Both “Fargo” and “Babel” gained Best Picture nominations along with several Oscar wins. Schnabel’s nomination was the only one for a foreign-language film.
The Best Screenplay win for “Chronic” by Michel Franco does not bode well for the film’s Oscar chances as no English-language winner in this category has been a top Oscar contender. Last year’s winner in this category, “Leviathan” from Russia, was nominated for the Foreign Film Oscar and won the same honor at the Golden Globes.