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Deneuve leads festival with "A Christmas Tale"

Latest update : 2008-05-17

Actress Catherine Deneuve walked the red carpet in honor of 'A Christmas Tale' directed by Arnaud Desplechin, the first of three French movies competing this year in Cannes.

Click here to see Cannes events as they unfold, as told by Our Man in Cannes, FRANCE 24's Arnab Banerjee.



The French media is pushing hard for Arnaud Desplechin's "Un Conte de Noël" as this year's Golden Palm recipient, but it is still too early in the festival to speculate on the winner.

For years, the media in France lamented the state of the cinema in the country. Then came Arnaud Desplechin, whose film Rois et Reine picked up quite a few nominations in the cinema circuit.

This year, Desplechin is back with "Un conte de Noël" (A Christmas Tale), a story about a broken family that is forced to reunite over an emergency bone marrow transplant to save the mother, played by Catherine Deneuve. The story has drawn comparisons to Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."

It has been 20 years since France has won the Palme d'Or, the festival's top honor, with Maurice Pialat's "Sous le soleil de Satan" (Under the Sun of Satan) in 1987. While "Un conte" is promising, its competition is strong as well. Clint Eastwood and Atom Egoyan have yet to present their films, and Ari Folman's animated documentary "Waltz with Bashir" left an indelible impression on the Cannes audience.

"Un Conte de Noël" may certainly qualify for a prize at Cannes, but for the moment, the Best Director award is a safer and more prudent bet.


Date created : 2008-05-17