Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Do The Cannes Award Winners Help Us Predict The Oscars?

​The other major feature film awards categories at Cannes share even fewer nominees and winners with the Oscars. Of the Grand Prix winners (essentially Cannes’s runner-up to the Palme d’Or) only 2 films have gone on to become Best Picture nominees: 1998’s “Life is Beautiful” and “BlacKkKlansman” just last year. And only 9 winners of this prize eventually found themselves nominees in the Best International Film category, with a comparatively-whopping 5 of them winning the Oscar.

I Even Met Happy Gypsies (1967)
Ådalen 31 (1969)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Burnt by the Sun
 (1994)
Life Is Beautiful (1998)
The Man Without a Past (2002)
A Prophet (2009)
Son Of Saul (2015)

The Cannes Jury Prize winners have similarly dire Oscar hopes. 3 winners of this category went on to become Best Picture nominees, with “All About Eve” being the only eventual winner, and once again 9 of these films were also nominated in Best International Feature, with only 2 of them taking home the Oscar.

All About Eve (1951)
Alfie (1966)
​Z (1969)​

Mon Oncle (1958)
Woman in the Dunes (1964)
Kwaidan (1965)
​Z (1969)​
The Invitation (1973)
Colonel Redl (1985)
Jesus of Montreal (1985)
Loveless (2017)
Capernaum (2018)

The two performance categories at Cannes are perhaps the most eagerly anticipated awards of the festival for Oscar pundits. Surely if the world’s most prestigious film festival awards an actor, the Oscars must follow suit? As in the feature categories, this is not always the case. 21 women have won the Best Actress prize at the festival and gone on to be nominated by the Academy, with only 5 of them winning.

All About Eve (1950) – Bette Davis
Detective Story (1951) – Lee Grant
Come Back, Little Sheba (1952) – Shirley Booth
I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955) – Susan Hayward
Room At The Top (1959) – Simone Signoret
Never On Sunday (1960) – Melina Mercouri
Two Women (1960) – Sophia Loren
Long Day’s Journey into Night (1962) – Katherine Hepburn
The Pumpkin Eater (1964) – Anne Bancroft
The Collector (1965) – Samantha Eggar
Morgan! (1966) – Vanessa Redgrave
Isadora (1968) – Vanessa Redgrave
Lenny (1974) – Valérie Perrine
An Unmarried Woman (1978) – Jill Clayburgh
Norma Rae (1979) – Sally Field
A Cry In The Dark (1988) – Meryl Streep
The Piano (1993) – Holly Hunter
The Madness Of King George (1994) – Helen Mirren (Best Supporting Actress)
Secrets & Lies (1996) – Brenda Blethyn
Volver (2006) – Penelope Cruz
Carol (2015) – Rooney Mara (Best Supporting Actress)

The odds are even less for the men: 16 Cannes Best Actor winners have been nominated for the Oscar, and again, only 5 have won both. I, for one, hope Mr. Banderas can beat the odds and at the very least earn an overdue Oscar nomination.

The Lost Weekend (1945) – Ray Milland
Viva Zapata! (1952) – Marlon Brando
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) – Spencer Tracey
This Sporting Life (1963) – Richard Harris
The Last Detail (1973) – Jack Nicholson
Coming Home (1978) – Jon Voigt
The China Syndrome (1979) – Jack Lemmon
Missing (1982) – Jack Lemmon
Kiss Of A Spider Woman (1985) – William Hurt
Mona Lisa (1986) – Bob Hoskins
Dark Eyes (1987) – 
Marcello Mastroianni
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) – Gérard Depardieu
Inglorious Basterds (2009) – Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor)
Biutiful (2010) – Javier Bardem
The Artist (2011) – Jean Dujardin
Nebraska (2013) – Bruce Dern

The Director and Screenplay awards can be almost completely disregarded, statistically, when it comes to predicting Oscars. A measly 7 Cannes Best Directors have found themselves Best Director Oscar nominees and none of them have won (they are also all men, of course, and unfortunately). However, all 7 of these men were awarded from 1992 to the present, which may suggest that the Academy is warming up to the kinds of directors that Cannes values.

The Player (1992) – Robert Altman
Fargo (1996) – Joel Coen
Mulholland Drive (2001) – David Lynch
Babel (2006) – Alejandro González Iñárritu
The Diving Bell & The Butterfly (2007) – Julian Schnabel
Foxcatcher (2014) – Bennett Miller
Cold War (2018) – Paweł Pawlikowski

And as for Cannes’s Best Screenplay award, the solitary winner to also be nominated for a writing prize at the Oscars was 2003’s “The Barbarian Invasions”. Obviously, don’t use this category to predict the Oscars.

So do the Cannes winners eventually find success in their equivalent Oscar categories? Most of the time, no. However, Cannes films can be found in other Oscar categories outside of what the festival bestows upon them. Basically, a Cannes award has never hurt a film’s Oscar chances, but it certainly does not guarantee them.

You can follow Cody and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @codymonster91

Cody Dericks
Cody Dericks
Actor, awards & musical theatre buff. Co-host of the horror film podcast Halloweeners.

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