Cannes Film Festival to honour Michael Douglas with honorary Palme d'Or

May 04, 2023 01:38 PM IST

Cannes Film Fest will honour Michael Douglas this year. He said ‘it’s an honour to return to the Croisette’ after 50 years.

The 76th Cannes Film Festival will award an honorary Palme d'Or to American actor Michael Douglas. The ceremony will coincide with the opening of the Festival on May 16. This will be in honour of his brilliant career. Earlier, Forest Whitaker, Agnes Varda, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Jodie Foster and Manoel de Oliveira had been similarly feted.

Michael Douglas was last seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Michael Douglas was last seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Douglas said : “It is always a breath of fresh air to be at Cannes, which has long provided a wonderful platform for bold creators, artistic audacities and excellence in storytelling. From my first time here in 1979 for The China Syndrome to my most recent premiere for Behind the Candelabra in 2013, the Festival has always reminded me that magic of cinema is not just in what we see onscreen but in its ability to impact people all around the world. After more than 50 years in the business, it’s an honour to return to the Croisette (Cannes' beach front where the main Festival venue is located) to open the Festival and embrace our shared global language of film.”

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In 1979, he arrived at Cannes with actors Jane Fonda, and Jack Lemmon and director James Bridges for the opening of The China Syndrome. Thirteen years later in 1992, he came again to Cannes with Basic Instinct, helmed by Paul Verhoeven. The movie competed for the Palme d'Or. A thriller, Basic Instinct propelled Sharon Stone to the skies.

In 1993, Douglas was back in Competition with Falling Down. Two decades later, he walked up the Red Steps with Behind the Candelabra by Steven Soderbergh – where the actor played the famous singer and pianist, Liberace.

But Douglas's relationship with Cannes began long, long before all this through his father, Kirk Douglas. He loved French cinema, and later in 1980, Kirk chaired the main jury and gave away the top prize to Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha and Bob Fosse's All That Jazz.

Michael inherited his father's passion for cinema that gave the junior the desire to defend the medium's body and soul. The proof of this is One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Milos Forman. This was Douglas' first production in collaboration with Saul Zaentz. The film clinched nine Oscar nominations and won one for the Best Picture in 1975.

Douglas has worn other hats as well. In his capacity as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, he has been committed to nuclear disarmament across the world since 1998 and has also been a longstanding advocate of gun control in the US.

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