Cannes Palm Dog: Will Ken Loach's 'The Old Oak' Get Top Canine Award At Director Bowwow's Final Festival?

Cannes Palm Dog: Will Ken Loach’s ‘The Old Oak’ Get Top Canine Award At Director Bowwow’s Final Festival?

Thanks to The Banshees of Inisherin, EO and, to a lesser extent, The triangle of sadnessit’s fair to say that when it comes to cinematic animals, the last 12 months have really been a matter of ass (so much so that a look-alike of Bansheesup-and-coming ass Jenny even made it to the stage at the Oscars).

This year’s Cannes looks set to return the limelight to more established canine stars, with dogs returning to the big screen with tail-wagging enthusiasm. And that’s likely to make life difficult for those sniffing contenders for the Palm Dog, Cannes’ unofficial awards show that celebrates dog shows through the festival’s official selection and various sidebars.

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“This Cannes is absolutely jam-packed with bowzers,” said Toby Rose, founder of Palm Dog. “We feel like we are spoiled for choice – l’embarras du choix – as the French would say.”

And Rose is not wrong. Even halfway through the festival, the main competition selection alone is full of ‘paw’ potential, with several central on-screen roles for man’s best friend in some of the most critically acclaimed films on display.

In The area of ​​interest by Jonathan Glazer, a lively and somewhat nosy Nazi pet, Sandra Hüller’s dog and believed to be called Dilla, is a key member of the family, seen sniffing around the flower beds lovingly tended by the wife of the Auschwitz camp commandant while blissfully unaware of the horrors unfolding beyond the wall. Perhaps the dog is simply following Ricky Gervais’ advice that you have to “make a film about the Holocaust” to win an Oscar.

THR hears too also news of a “stunning” performance by a Border Collie in that of Justine Triet Anatomy of a fallwith the director who tells DAY that the dog is supposed to be the ego of one of the main characters.

Meanwhile, Todd Haynes may december features a delightful pair of matching brown hounds, which Julianna Moore and Charles Melton have many walks.

by Aki Kaurismaki Fallen leaves sees the director continue his long pedigree of prominent pooches on platforms. This features a crucial mutt that one of the central characters takes home to care for, filling the void of loneliness. The Finn has a history with the Palm Dog, of course, with Le Havre’s Laiki winning the competition’s jury prize in 2011. “And Aki said it was the best prize he won,” recalls Rose/

While Jude Law is undoubtedly the (very) big (and also very smelly) dog as Henry VIII in Karim Ainouz’s royal drama Burning emberstarring Alicia Vikander, the film includes several period puppies, with a member of the royal court keeping one of his many dogs forever.

And then there’s Ken Loach’s The Old Oak. Loach – already a Palm Dogmanitarian award winner for making three-legged fidos a fixture in his films – comes to Cannes with a drama featuring a delightful bastard called Lola, who plays Marra, the beloved pet of TJ, owner of The Old Oak, a public house and the central setting of the story (and not, as one might assume, a large tree against which the dog can let off steam). Giving the film further canine kudos, Rose says actor Dave Turner spent “a lot of time bonding with the dog before filming…it was very methodical.”

With Loach bringing his latest film to the festival (or so he says) and grand prize Palm Dog remains the only Cannes prize he has yet to claim, Lola and the veteran director may be the ones to beat this year.

A record-breaking third Palme d’Or and your first Palm Dog? What a way to bow in style.