Palme Thursday: Cannes pits Shrek against Mulholland Dr., but a gentler contender won the jury’s heart

Palme Thursday is A.A. Dowd’s monthly examination of a winner of the Palme D’Or, determining how well the film has held up and whether it deserved the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Son’s Room (2001)

I like to imagine that someone fought passionately for Shrek. It’s an idea that amuses me to no end, thinking about the discussions that went into selecting the best film of Cannes 2001, to deciding upon the eventual recipient of the coveted Palme D’Or. I picture the jury holed up in a windowless room: sleeves rolled to the elbows, ashtrays full of buds, crumbs from baguettes scattered across the table. Julia Ormond yawns—it’s been a long night. Terry Gilliam paces nervously. Liv Ullmann, the famous Norwegian muse of Ingmar Bergman and head of the jury, attempts to keep the peace. There are partisans …

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