Cannes: Jodie Foster wins, Val Kilmer on Day 2

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The first day of the Cannes Film festival was declared “open” by Pedro Almodóvar, Jodie Foster, Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho and jury president Spike Lee in each of their own languages.

It was Foster who stole the show early on Wednesday with her award and her impressive fluent French.  Foster was presented with an honorary Palme D’Or at the opening night ceremony, in which she conducted her press conference interview on Wednesday almost entirely in French.

Foster reminisced about being at Cannes as a young girl for Taxi Driver in 1976 and how she used her ability to speak French as a way of making a connection. “They were afraid because everyone said that the film was too violent, there were criticisms, so they didn’t want to talk to people. I who spoke French, I managed to speak for them,” Foster said in an interview.

Day 2 of the Festival set the tone with Leos Carax’s Annette starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver and a screening of Val, an intimate documentary about actor Val Kilmer. 

Other Day 2 screenings include the documentary The Velvet Underground, Nadav Lapid’s Ahed’s Knee and Francois Ozon’s Everything Went Fine.

The Val Kilmer documentary was a heart-wrenching favorite and is a compilation of hundreds of hours of Kilmer’s own home-movie footage that he’s shot across decades. The film has already won some early raves from critics out of the festival. The film examines Kilmer’s life and his 2014 diagnosis of throat cancer that left him unable to speak clearly. Both Kilmer’s son Jack and his daughter, Mercedes, attended the premiere.

Jack and the directors, Ting Poo and Leo Scott, received a warm standing ovation and embraced following the screening. After the film’s trailer was released on Tuesday, even Val himself thanked audiences and Amazon for allowing him to tell his story.

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“As grateful as I am for being selected with this high honor, I look forward most to sharing my life’s story with all of you,” he said.

“It feels like yesterday and yet it has been a lifetime. As I write this, my documentary is getting ready to premiere at Festival De Cannes. And as grateful as I am for being selected with this high honor, I look forward most to sharing my life’s story with all of you.”

The screening of Leo Carax’s new pop opera musical Annette was as weird as the film itself. This film about a globally acclaimed opera singer and a stand-up comedian who have their first child, and their lives are completely changed features a story and music by the enigmatic duo Sparks.

Despite the sorted online reactions, the film got a standing ovation that lasted a full five minutes, so long in fact that star Adam Driver was seen on camera lighting up a cigarette as the crowd was still applauding, exhaling directly into the camera.

Driver was clearly acting out some sort of bad boy image at Cannes as he was also a no-show at the press conference for his film early on Wednesday morning, where his co-star Marion Cotillard discussed fame and recording music live on set, Simon Helberg joked about fighting Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux, and Carax wished that he could become the third Sparks Brother.

In more taboo news,  a poster was spotted at Cannes for The Man Who Drew God, which stars Kevin Spacey in his first film since 2017 when his career was derailed following sexual assault accusations.   

The Man Who Drew God is directed by and starring Franco Nero, but the poster also has another unusual co-star, Chinatown actress Faye Dunaway. The film’s producer Louis Nero confirmed that Dunaway would star in the film and would play a Braille teacher who is a friend of Franco Nero’s blind main character and once taught him to read. The part was originally rumored to be played by Nero’s wife, Vanessa Redgrave.

The first official day of the Cannes Film festival is officially open… and it’s weird.