Cannes 2019: the Palme d’Or for Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho

The Jury chaired by Alejandro González Iñárritu awarded its prizes on the evening of May 25, including the Palme d’Or awarded to the Korean film “Parasite” by Bong Joon-Ho.

The Jokers / Les Bookmakers


It could have been Park Chan-wook in 2004. But Quentin Tarantino had to give in to his jury and not award Old Boy “than” the big price. Fifteen years later, South Korea finally won its first Palme d’Or, under the nose and beard of the director of Pulp Fiction, left empty-handed: Parasite indeed won the supreme trophy of this 72nd edition of the Festival de Cannes, which was presented to him by Catherine Deneuve and President Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. And it’s a great revenge for its director Bong Joon-ho, whose first participation in the Competition, in 2017, was above all marked by the controversy surrounding the presence of Netflix and the absence of a French theatrical release. Okja, whose platform was a producer and broadcaster.

With his seventh feature film, the filmmaker marks history, his country and the Festival, and many are those who have pushed a “phew” relief when he heard Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu say his name. And in particular on the side of the press which had made it their favorite (with in particular Pain and Glory by Pedro Almodovar), which was full of praise for this “unstoppable social political satire” (First), unpredictable, enjoyable and whose “the end of absolute darkness has not finished haunting us” (Paris Match). And his thematic proximity to the Japanese A family affair, winner last year, as highlighted by The Hollywood Reporter, did not ultimately work against him, and he triumphed in a selection whose overall quality was praised by many. , which makes his Palm all the more beautiful.

Another good news: you won’t have to wait very long before discovering this Palme d’Or 2019. While the winners come out most of the time in the second semester (between the end of August and December), Parasite will be in French theaters on the 5th June … and visible from this Tuesday, May 28, with a series of previews that fall decidedly well.


There were four on the starting line, but only two French candidates made it to the prize list: presented at the start of the Competition, of which he was one of the shocks, Les Misérables won the Jury Prize, ex-aequo with Brazilian Bacurau by Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles, another political film screened during the early days. Trophy which was also awarded by the very committed Michael Moore. Compared to La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz, also awarded on the Croisette (Prize for Best Direction in 1995), Ladj Ly’s opus does not yet have a release date, but there is no doubt that this trophy, combined with the exposure which was offered to him in the south of France, should accelerate the things. And the filmmaker took advantage of his presence on stage to greet “all the wretches of France”, both on the side of the police and the people, in reference to the events that have shaken France for several months now.

Another tricolor winner: Céline Sciamma, Prize for Best Screenplay for Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire … that many people were waiting for elsewhere. For a double Interpretation Prize, awarded to Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant. A Grand Prix, or even a Palm, the first awarded to a woman since Jane Campion in 1993. For it was, with Pain and Glory and Parasite, one of the films that capsized the Croisette the most, many praising its staging. stage and its actresses. But it’s “only” for her writing that the director was sacred, symbol of a strange closing ceremony.


Did they want to surprise? Go against the predictions? Like the speeches from which no mention of the attack that took place in Lyon on Friday, May 24, giving a little more the impression of a festival cut off from the rest of the world, the jury of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has at first seemed to be at odds with the tastes of the public and the press: a Scenario Prize for a staging film (Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire); the Prix de la Mise en Scène to the Dardenne brothers, who complete their collection of Cannes trophies (and return to the prize list after having been absent with Deux jours, une nuit and La Fille inconnue), while that of Young Ahmed shines with its sobriety ; a Jury Prize shared by two political films (Les Misérables and Bacurau) strong enough for each to deserve it alone; and a Female Interpretation Prize awarded to the actress of one of the most divided films of the fortnight (Little Joe).

All while Elia Suleiman received an unexpected special mention for It Must Be Heaven, and Ken Loach, Terrence Malick and Quentin Tarantino left hands in their pockets with the very popular Sorry We Missed You, A Hidden Life and Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood, which nevertheless consoled itself with the Palm Dog. By thus defeating the forecasts, the jury recalled that its tastes and those of other festival-goers, press and spectators, do not always match the prize list. Even more during a year like this, where the high level of the Competition could only lead to radical choices, the president having recalled “the difficulty of giving so few rewards to people who so deserve so much”. With, all the same, two beautiful symbols to the key.


Shortly after the coronation of La Distance entre le ciel et nous, the first Greek short film to win the Palme in its category, or the Camera d’Or awarded to Nuestras Madres (already winner of the SACD Prize at the Critics’ Week) , a film about the Guatemalan genocide, Antonio Banderas took the stage to receive one of the rare major trophies of his career: the Male Interpretation Award for Pain and Glory by Pedro Almodovar. Who will not have the Palme this year, despite a very beautiful opus which is also his most personal, insofar as he engages in the exercise of autofiction and confesses things that he has never said? (to his mother, a former lover, actors) through a filmmaker alter ego with gray hair and brush.

Even if we can regret that Pain and Glory was not higher in the prize list, it is also Pedro Almodovar who is rewarded via this award given to Antonio Banderas, thirteen years after that of Penélope Cruz, his other muse, for Volver. As he recalled during his speech, it was his director who played for the eighth time under his direction in the film released on May 17, which makes the image almost as beautiful as it is. ‘a Palm.

Another striking symbol: Mati Diop. The first black woman to present a film in Competition, the filmmaker gave us a beautiful moment of emotion with Atlantique, both during the climb of the stairs and at the end of the screening, when the applause made one tear down tears. of its actresses. And the beautiful story continued during the closing ceremony, where his first feature film won the Grand Prix. Here again, to the almost general surprise of those who imagined her rather the winner of a Jury or Director’s Prize when they saw her on the red carpet this Saturday, May 25. But it was said that the director’s career in Cannes would be beautiful until the end.

Complementing the short documentary Atlantiques, which she produced in 2009, Atlantique will therefore benefit from the spotlight offered by the Grand Prix, traditionally given to the Competition film that has shown the most originality or spirit of research. Despite its shortcomings in rhythm, Mati Diop’s opus is totally in line with this idea, seasoning the harsh daily reality of Dakar residents with elements of the fantastic, and adopting the point of view of a woman whose lover took to the sea to reach Europe, risking his life.

Expected on October 2 in our theaters, Atlantique is as much in the line of Les Misérables (another marker of the evolution of mixed society) as it echoes Bacurau and especially the Palme 2019, Parasite, in its way of mixing the kind to social observation. Opuses which clearly illustrate the way in which politics was invited to the winners of this 72nd edition, a little surprising (and sometimes disappointing) in view of the forces present, but which did not fail to mark history. more than once.


  • Palme d’Or : Parasite of Bong Joon-Ho
  • Grand Prize : Atlantic of Mati Diop
  • Director’s Award : Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne for Young Ahmed
  • Best Actress Award : Emily Beecham for Little joe
  • Best Actor Award : Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory
  • Screenplay Award : Celine Sciamma for Portrait of the girl on fire
  • Jury Prize ex aequo : Wretched of Ladj Ly & Bacurau of Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles
  • Special mention : It Must Be Heaven ofElia Suleiman
  • Golden Camera : Nuestras Madres by Cesar Diaz
  • Palme d’Or for short film : The distance between the sky and us by Vasilis Kekatos
  • Special Mention – Short Film : Monster God of Agustina San Martin
  • Palme d’Or of honor : Alain Delon
1640019769 424 Cannes 2019 the Palme dOr for Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
  • In some perspective – Interpretation award: Chiara Mastroianni for Room 212
  • In some perspective – Price of the directing: Kantemir Balagov for A Big Girl
  • In some perspective – Special Jury Prize: Liberty by Albert Serra
  • Un Certain Regard – Special Mention from the Jury: Jeanne by Bruno Dumont
1640019770 170 Cannes 2019 the Palme dOr for Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
  • Critics’ Week – SACD Prize : Nuestras Madres by César Díaz
  • Critics’ Week – Discovery price of the short film: She runs from Qiu Yang
  • Critics’ Week – Gan Foundation Prize for Dissemination: Lorcan Finnegan Vivarium
  • Critics’ Week – Louis Roederer Foundation Prize for Revelation: A White, White Day by Hlynur Pálmason
1640019770 43 Cannes 2019 the Palme dOr for Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
  • Directors’ Fortnight – SACD Prize: An easy girl by Rebecca Zlotowski
  • Directors’ Fortnight – Europa Cinema Label : Alice and the Mayor by Nicolas Pariser
  • Directors’ Fortnight – – Illy Short Film Prize : Stay Awake, Be ready by Pham Thien An
1640019772 458 Cannes 2019 the Palme dOr for Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
  • Art house cinema prices: Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
  • Art house cinema awards – Mention: Wretched by Ladj Ly
  • Cannes Soundtrack 2019: Alberto Iglesias for Pain and Glory
  • CST Prize for Artist Technician: Flora Volpelière and Julien Poupard for Wretched
  • Ecumenical Prize: A hidden life by Terrence Malick
  • François Chalais Prize: A hidden life by Terrence Malick
  • Fipresci Prize – Competition: It Must Be Heaven by Elia Suleiman
  • Fipresci Prize – Un Certain Regard: A tall girl by Kantemir Balagov
  • Citizenship Award: Wretched by Ladj Ly
  • Positive Cinema Prize: Wretched by Ladj Ly
  • Best Sound Creation Award: Will come the fire by Oliver Laxe
  • Queer Palm: Portrait of the girl on fire by Céline Sciamma
  • Palm Dog: Mandy the dog Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood

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Cannes 2019: the Palme d’Or for Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho