Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

To the Palm Dog

The lighthearted event is always a highlight of the last few days of the Cannes Film Festival

Fri, May 20, 2016, 16:47


To the UK Pavilion at Cannes for the presentation of the Palm Dog Awards. Gifted for the best canine performances at the event, the bash always offers a glorious shower of doggy puns and last-days-of-term good will. There was, however, not so much tension at the 2016 bash. The performance by the late Nelly as Marvin in Jim Jarmusch’s wonderful Paterson was so far ahead of the pack that nobody much else was in with a chance. Sadly Nelly, an English Bulldog, has since died and was awarded the famous collar posthumously. James, a local dog of the same breed, was on hand to stand in for the late actor. Carter Logan, one of the producers of Paterson, explained that Nelly was a rescue dog and urged attendees to support their local facilities for abandoned animals. Look how far such dogs can go.

James bravely stands in for Nelly.

The Dogmanitarian award went to the poor three-legged creature in Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake. Mr Loach was pictured holding the relevant, red (what else?) collar looking as happy as if he’d won an Oscar. Second prize went the way of the Dalmatian from In Bed With Victoria. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, who gave the opening address, also praised the dog who dies at the beginning of Toni Erdmann and mentioned heated deliberations as to whether the wolves in Alain Guiraudie’s Staying Vertical qualified for consideration.

The fabulous Toby Rose, who devised the Palm Dog 15 years ago, paid tribute to Carrie Fisher’s dog, Gary Fisher, who walked the red carpet at this years can. He “boldly went where no dog has gone before” apparently. Erm, wasn’t that Star Trek?

Donald Clarke