Le Gamin au Vélo in the official competition was the chance of a new distinction for the most famous siblings in cinema (not only Belgian). Could Bouli Lanners in the Fortnight repeat the feat ofEldorado with The Giants? And what aboutOlivier Gourmet, star of Exercise of State? Which of these three films could seduce the juries and bring us that little trophy that would be the ultimate raspberry on our amazing birthday cake?
And there, it is the shock! Since Friday, the awards have been pouring in and ALL the films co-produced by Wallimage have been praised, distinguished and brought to the top. You think you’re dreaming, you pinch yourself. But when you open your eyes, everything is true. Les Géants, L’Exercice de l’État AND Le Gamin au Vélo are covered with honors. We have tears in our eyes.
It all started on Friday with the closing of the Directors’ Fortnight. The section is not overtly competitive, but awards are nevertheless given by various juries. On his 46th birthday, Bouli Lanners won the SACD prize and the CECAE arthouse cinema prize. Thanks to this distinction, Les Géants, produced by Versus, will have a superb distribution throughout Europe. Unbelievable? Not really; but totally, decidedly, brilliantly great, that’s right! For the director and for these three young actors: Zaccharie Chasseriaud, Martin Nissen and Paul Bartel.
The next day, in the middle of the afternoon, we learned that L’Exercice de l’État, presented in the official selection in the Un Certain Regard section, had won the International Critics’ Prize. A (first) honor for the Dardenne brothers who co-produce this political film and a plebiscite for Olivier Gourmet who interprets it with a breathtaking mastery under the direction of the exceptional French director Pierre Schoeller, a visionary, rigorous and inventive author.
Then comes the crucial day of Sunday, which will be crowned by the Closing Ceremony and the presentation of the main prizes. As usual, the predictions are going well and the craziest rumors are circulating on the net, on Twitter, through the SMS exchanged by insiders. One of the most insistent claims is that the Dardenne brothers, still moved by Standard’s victory in the Belgian Cup, have flown back to the temple of cinema. Info confirmed shortly before 4pm. At 6:30 pm, Philippe Reynaert (on the verge of apoplexy, need I say it?) sees them on the steps. At 7:15 pm, the ceremony begins. The jury led by Robert De Niro has deliberated and awarded the Grand Prix du Jury to Le Gamin au Vélo… (ex-aequo with Il était une fois en Anatolie)
For the fifth time in 12 years, the brothers inherit a very important trophy at Cannes: six prizes in all, for five films, awarded by five juries, composed of different personalities. This is no longer a coincidence.
Since Wednesday, Le Gamin au Vélo has been screened in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy. It has started well but should still take advantage of this award to attract more viewers. And beat Rosetta’ s score? It depends of course on you…