Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Michael Douglas To Receive The Honorary Palme d’Or Tribute At This Year’s Cannes Film Festival

Michael Douglas will receive the Palme d’Or d’honneur at the 76th Festival de Cannes in recognition of his brilliant career as well as his engagement in cinema. The Festival de Cannes will pay a tribute to him during the Opening Ceremony broadcasted live on France 2 and internationally on Brut. Tuesday, May 16. Previous recipients include Forest Whitaker, Agnès Varda, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jodie Foster, and Manoel de Oliveira. 

“It is always a breath of fresh air to be at Cannes, which has long provided a wonderful platform for bold creators, artistic audacities, and excellence in storytelling. From my first time here in 1979 for The China Syndrome to my most recent premiere for Behind the Candelabra in 2013, the Festival has always reminded me that the magic of cinema is not just in what we see onscreen but in its ability to impact people all around the world. After more than 50 years in the business, it’s an honor to return to the Croisette to open the Festival and embrace our shared global language of film.”

Michael Douglas arrived for the first time on the Croisette at the 32nd annual Cannes Film Festival. He was with actors Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon and director James Bridges for the presentation of “The China Syndrome.” Thirteen years later, in 1992, the volcanic “Basic Instinct,” by Paul Verhoeven, was presented in Competition. Shaking up the thriller genre, the film was the talk of the Croisette: it propelled Sharon Stone to the rank of international icon and confirmed the power of Michael Douglas’ talent. In 1993, Joel Schumacher’s “Falling Down” was presented in Competition for the American actor’s third participation at the Festival.

He reappeared on the steps only 20 years later with “Behind the Candelabra” by Steven Soderbergh. Transformed, moving, and at the apex of his art, Michael Douglas played the famous singer and pianist Liberace. But his history with the Festival de Cannes began long before all this, through his father, Kirk Douglas, a lover of France and its cinema. The latter had marked the history of the Festival by presiding over the Jury in 1980. With the strength of his conviction and character, he awarded the Palme d’Or to Bob Fosse and Akira Kurosawa for “Kagemusha” and “All That Jazz,” respectively.

Michael Douglas has inherited his father’s love for motion pictures, the kind of love that gives faith in the power of a film and spurs the desire to defend its body and soul. “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Miloš Forman is proof of this; it was his first production in collaboration with Saul Zaentz, and it gave him 9 Oscar nominations, and the film was awarded the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1975.

Michael Douglas has worked as an actor with the greatest in the industry, such as Robert Zemeckis in “Romancing the Stone” (1984), Ridley Scott in “Black Rain” (1989), and Barry Levinson in “Disclosure” (1994). With Oliver Stone, he won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1987 for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko, a greedy New York broker in “Wall Street.” The sequel, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” was screened Out of Competition at the 63rd Festival de Cannes.

In addition to his valuable contribution to cinema, Michael Douglas advocates multiple causes. As a United Nations Messenger of Peace, he has been committed to nuclear disarmament worldwide since 1998, and he has also been a longstanding advocate of gun control in the United States.

To complete the tribute to Michael Douglas, a previously unreleased documentary by Amine Mesta, produced by Folamour and soon to be broadcast on Arte, will be shown on the Festival site for two days, from Sunday, May 14 at 6 pm to Tuesday, May 16 at 6 pm titled “Michael Douglas, The Prodigal Son.”

Plot Synopsis: This special documentary shows us how Michael, an actor and producer like his father Kirk, had to embrace their resemblance throughout his remarkable career in order to assert his difference. The time to learn how to become Michael when your name is Douglas.

The official lineup for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival can be read here, along with other announcements for Cannes Critics’ Week and Directors Fortnight. The festival will run from May 16th-27th.

What do you think about the news of Michael Douglas receiving this honorary tribute at Cannes this year? Are you excited for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival? Are you planning to attend the festival this year? Please let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.

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Matt Neglia
Matt Neglia
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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