these canine thespians just won the ‘palm dog’ at cannes film festival

A whole cast of very good boys just won the legendary film fest’s most im-paw-tent prize.

by Douglas Greenwood
18 May 2018, 1:44pm

Don’t you think it’s quite shameful that we don’t spend more time showering the dogs of cinema with more praise? There are more actor and actress prizes than you can shake a stick at; but maybe that stick should be thrown and retrieved by some of cinema’s best boys. After all, I balled at Marley and Me, but it wasn’t Jennifer Aniston’s emotional journey that got the tear-ducts flowing, it was the lovable, affable, goofy Marley and his, oh god, I can’t even type it, passing that did it.

Of course, the Cannes Film Festival is leaps and bounds ahead of the Academy Awards in that sense. In fact, for the past 17 years, Toby Rose and a select panel of critics have been handing out the ‘Palm Dog’ -- a play on the festival’s top prize the ‘Palme d’Or’ -- to the festival’s most talented and worthy four-legged friends. In the past, dogs like Uggie from Oscar-winner The Artist and Dug from Disney-Pixar’s Up have taken home the prize, but this year a whole pack of hounds caught the jury’s attention.

Comprised of Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, President of the UK Critics’ Circle Anna Smith, Independent critic Kaleem Aftab and freelance critics Rita Di Santo and Damon Wise, the dog lovin’ jury have spent the last 10 days trying to sniff out the strongest canine contenders for the film festival’s most coveted prize. In the end, it was the entire canine cast of Dogman, the new film from Gomorra and Tale of Tales director Matteo Garrone, that won.

Dogman, a brutal Italian crime caper, split critics when it screened earlier in the week, but everyone seemed to have serious love for the hounds the lead character encounters. Based on a true story, it tells the tale of a lovable dog groomer-cum-coke dealer who slips into the criminal underworld, balancing his reputation with a life spent committing heinous crimes.

A chihuahua doppelgänger, one that bared a striking similarity to a pooch from the film, strutted through the crowds, alongside the film’s producer, to pick up a pretty suave ‘Palm Dog’ collar in celebration the cast’s hard work. Thank god the Cannes critics -- who’ve enjoyed booing quite a few things this year -- recognise true excellence when they see it.

Palme D'Or