Robert De Niro to head Cannes jury

Posted by · 7:19 am · January 6th, 2011

Sure, that Cecil B. DeMille Award at the upcoming Golden Globes is nice enough, but this is the greater honour. Robert De Niro has been selected as the president of the competition jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May — the third time this most European of festivals has tapped an American for the job in four years. (Tim Burton did the honors last year, Sean Penn in 2008.)

For the past two years, the eventual Palme d’Or winner has seemingly, if not necessarily, borne the fingerprints of the jury president. Isabelle Huppert handed the prize to her friend and collaborator Michael Haneke in 2009 (and took a lot less stick for it than Quentin Tarantino did for rewarding his ex at Venice last year).

Burton’s reign, meanwhile, culminated in the unusual occurrence of a fantasy film (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”) taking the gold. De Niro somehow seems likely to wield a less assertive stamp on the proceedings, though you never know until the post-fest gossip starts leaking out.

The man’s pro forma statement reads:

The Cannes Film Festival is a rare opportunity for me as it is one of the oldest and one of the best in the world. As co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and the Doha Tribeca Film Festival I have an increased appreciation for the jury, who serve, undertaking an important role in choosing films that are represented in the world of film at its highest level, and these types of festivals help connect the international film community and have a lasting cultural impact. Having served as President of the Jury in the eighties twice, I know this isn’t an easy task for me or my fellow jury members, but I’m very honored and happy to head the jury for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

De Niro has some form at Cannes: he’s never actually won an award there himself, but he has starred in a pair of Palme d’Or winners over the years. (Bragging rights to the first reader to name them correctly.) Anyway, it’s a suitably starry choice for what will likely be a flashier festival than 2010’s comparatively low-key event, with Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodovar, Lars von Trier and Wong Kar-wai all expected to beef up the big-ticket auteur quotient. Can’t wait, myself.

→ 15 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

15 responses so far

  • 1 1-06-2011 at 7:32 am

    Maxim said...

    “but he has starred in a pair of Palme d’Or winners over the years. ”

    Just a complete guess but could it be Bertolucci’s “1900”? Or “New York New York”?

    I have a question of my own: in his statement De Niro he says he had been a president of President of the Jury twice before. Does anyone know which festivals he’s referring to?

    In any case, he’s an excellent choice.

  • 2 1-06-2011 at 7:36 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    It’s neither of those.

  • 3 1-06-2011 at 7:40 am

    Justin said...

    Taxi Driver for sure. Don’t know the other..

  • 4 1-06-2011 at 7:48 am

    Justin said...

    Oh, that film about the Jesuits… I never saw that one.

  • 5 1-06-2011 at 7:59 am

    Hero said...

    It’s The Mission.

  • 6 1-06-2011 at 8:19 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Justin and Hero can share the bragging rights.

  • 7 1-06-2011 at 8:24 am

    Bia said...

    I’m really over him…his projects these past years have been just dreadful. His legacy all hinges on films he made 20 and 30 years ago. He hasn’t maintained the quality like Jack Nicholson.

  • 8 1-06-2011 at 8:27 am

    Justin said...

    1/2 bragging rights. High-five, Hero!

  • 9 1-06-2011 at 9:52 am

    billybil said...

    I’m actually finding this man more and more intriguing. I know we write off all the crap he’s been acting in as a change to make big bucks and keep working but…really? This man seems like such a contradiction. Intense, high-quality actor performing in crap? Star of crap movies heading the Cannes Film Festival. I’d love to hear other people’s impressions, opinions, ideas as to why this man seems so contradictory. I actually think it’s really cool.

  • 10 1-06-2011 at 11:09 am

    jt said...

    I would rather Robert DeNiro judge at the Cannes Film Festival, instead of hosting SNL. He needs to keep away from SNL because Robert was beyond horrible . Live acting & live performing is not his strong suit. I felt completely sorry for Bobby D. Watching him on SNL, was like viewing a train wreck . I was cringing , but I couldn’t turn away.

  • 11 1-06-2011 at 11:24 am

    red_wine said...

    This is a very bad choice. He was great once but has been piss-poor for a very long time now. I would rather the spot light be shone on some current luminaries of world cinema.

    Anybody compared Huppert’s opening press conference to Burton’s? Burton’s was slightly hostile by comparison with numerous questions about Alice In Wonderland from the French journalists. Based on DeNiro’s recent work, they will tear him apart.

    Well he can make up by steering his jury to some interesting choices.

  • 12 1-06-2011 at 12:29 pm

    Pope said...

    Ahhh flip, I knew the two. Taxi Driver and The Mission. I wish I was first, grrrrrrr.

    *appoints self with bragging rights regardless*

  • 13 1-06-2011 at 2:32 pm

    interstellar said...

    He will be a good president of the jury (–>tribeca ff) ;
    but …I admit my first thought has been “ladies and gentlemen..the star of little fockers!”

  • 14 1-06-2011 at 2:41 pm

    Derek said...

    I thought De Niro vowed to never visit france again because of the prostitution scandal.

  • 15 1-06-2011 at 3:42 pm

    Hero said...

    I also knew Taxi Driver, but I wouldn’t have gotten The Mission without your clue, so I’m pretty sure you deserve 3/4 bragging rights. ;)