Cannes (France) (AFP) – A misbehaving giant poodle scooped top prize for a canine performance at the Cannes film festival Friday, despite what organisers lamented as a “pawcity of dog roles” this year.
Bruno the white standard poodle, who does serious injury to Dustin Hoffman’s character in the new Netflix movie “The Meyerowitz Stories”, was awarded the Palm Dog prize — the spoof answer to Cannes’ most coveted award for humans, the Palme d’Or.
Bruno was not present for the ceremony in the glitzy French resort. His prize was collected by Cosmo, a fellow standard poodle and Cannes resident, who wagged his tail enthusiastically but declined to comment.
Organiser Toby Rose noted it had been a strong year for other species at the world’s biggest film festival, notably the giant genetically-modified pig that plays a central role in “Okja”, the other Netflix movie in the competition which stars Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Doggy roles were thinner on the ground, however.
But “as ever, man’s best friend came through and the dog star-turns abounded,” the British writer told the audience at a pun-laden ceremony in Cannes.
British film critic Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian newspaper praised the independent spirit that poodles like Bruno can display despite the breed’s reputation for being overly obedient.
- Dog’s biting performance –
“Dogs were capable this year of going over to the dark side,” said Bradshaw, who noted that along with the ill consequences of Bruno’s antics in “The Meyerowitz Stories”, Alsatians also provide “a dark and brooding presence in Michael Haneke’s ‘Happy End’, having taken a bite out of someone’s leg.”
Runner-up prize went to Lupo, a large black dog who features in French film “Ava”, in which he enjoys a scene riding happily on the back of a motorbike between two humans.
Police dogs protecting the festival, which attracts tens of thousands of people including the world’s A-listers, also got a special mention at the ceremony. This year’s festival is taking place under unprecedented tight security, 10 months after a truck attack in nearby Nice that killed 86 people.
Three sniffer dogs were brought out for a round of applause and a box of treats after their comrades helped search a theatre at the main Palais des Festivals venue over the weekend during a security alert.
The Palm Dog awards have been running for 17 years — or 119 years in dog terms.
<figure><figcaption>Critics said canine movie roles had been thin on the ground at this year's Cannes festival <span>Copyright AFP/File TIMOTHY A. CLARY</span> </figcaption></figure>