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Entertainment behind the scenes

Guessing games begin in Cannes

May 13, 2008

cannes20081.jpgIt may seem a little premature to be discussing who may win this year’s coveted Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes film festival. The festival doesn’t start until Wednesday, there are 22 movies in competition and only a handful of them has actually been screened to critics and reporters.

That does not stop the speculation. France’s Le Monde newspaper has an interesting point — that Steven Soderbergh’s four-and-a-half-hour epic “Che”, only just completed in time to qualify for the main competition, would not be the first “last-minute” entry to walk away with the main award.

In 1979, Francis Ford Coppola brought an early cut of “Apocalypse Now” to the French Riviera and, although it differed from the version most viewers would have seen, it won. On the festival’s Web site it is listed as “Apocalypse Now (A Work in Progress”). In 1981, Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Iron” made it to Cannes despite reluctance on the part of the Communist authorities. It also won the Golden Palm.

There is comfort for those who come away from the glitzy festival empty-handed, however. Last year, the Coen Brothers’ “No Country For Old Men” was overlooked by the jury yet went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

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