The Future Crimes actor has revived the controversy over the 1999 Cannes Palme d’Or, where David Cronenberg was president of the jury.
Present at the Cannes Film Festival for The Crimes of the Futurewhich was in official competition, Viggo Mortensen returned to an old rumor that Pedro Almodóvar had been “stolen” in 1999 when Rosetta of the Dardenne brothers had received the Palme d’Or ahead of all about my mother. David Cronenberg was then president of the jury, and therefore in the front line. The director’s favorite actor, Mortensen unearthed the case, 23 years later, to defend Cronenberg, scratching Almodovar in the process…
“You keep repeating one thing and people start believing it when it’s a complete lie. I love Pedro, he’s a nice guy, but this jury was the fastest to vote for a Palme d’or, for this film called Rosetta. Unanimously, all nine voted for this film. The president of the jury only counts for one vote, and everyone chose this film. So how could Cronenberg have ‘deprive‘ Pedro de la Palm? This story doesn’t make sense.“
Cannes 1999: No, David Cronenberg did not “stole” the Palme d’Or from Pedro Almodovar
Mortensen’s words reached the ears of the Spanish filmmaker, who did not appreciate. At point publish a forum in Indiewire to establish its truth.
“I don’t think Viggo is in a good position to talk about this. Plus he’s a friend and his words shocked me, but I guess he was defending his director, David Cronenberg, about a curse that’s been on him since 1999 and so I’m not responsible“, begins the director. He affirms with force to have in no case been disappointed not to receive the Palme d’Or, being satisfied with the Price of the direction.
“I was the happiest person in the world when I went on stage (…) It’s true that I declared in El Pais that I had never been so close to winning the Palme with Tout sur ma mère. I was referring to the enthusiastic response from critics and audiences. (…) I have never criticized the list of winners. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. But, after a while, I started to get annoyed with all this business because several members of the jury came to see me at the party after the ceremony and apologized that I had not received the Palme . I didn’t know what to answer, I had received the biggest award of my career and I had no reason to complain“.
Almodovar then explains that he knows perfectly well the function of the Festival, of which he was a member of the jury in 1992 and president in 2017, and reaffirms that it was the press who glimpsed this rumor, not him. “The French press in particular describes me as someone obsessed with the Palme d’Or. They don’t know how wrong they are. I have won more awards than I could dream of. I am a fulfilled artist.”
But the “it’s like trump” by Mortensen is obviously what annoys Almodovar the most in this story. He slips a tackle to the actor who had criticized Titanium by Julia Ducournau in another interview: “I refuse to be compared to one of the most atrocious characters in the public sphere today. Someone should explain who said what, because it’s not me and I feel insulted. Viggo’s other remark is also very unpleasant: ‘it’s a story that doesn’t make sense and doesn’t live up to a great artist like Pedro’. (…) It’s not about whether Titanium is worse than Crash or if All About My Mother is better than Rosetta, but to celebrate them all (…) These kinds of distractions keep us away from much bigger issues“, concludes the director.
So, was Pedro Almodovar frustrated in 1999? Here is his reaction in the wake of the closing ceremony at the microphone of Frédéric Lopez:
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