Will The Prize Be Called Palme D’Or Horse?

France’s Cannes Film Festival says it has finally snagged Steven Spielberg to serve as president of the award jury. That means he’ll have to favor this filmmaker over that filmmaker, this actor over that actor. Spielberg just lost the Best Directing Oscar (to the sainted Ang Lee), in part I think out of envy (he’s the most accomplished director in Hollywood, hands down), and won’t the Cannes job further the envy? Gilles Jacob, the festival’s president, recounted how he had been trying to get the award-winning director to head the jury for years — but the American was always working. Finally, this year, Spielberg got in touch. “When this year I was told ‘E.T., phone home,’ I understood and immediately replied: ‘At last!’” Jacob said in a statement posted on the festival’s website Thursday. Spielberg, who was nominated but didn’t win the directing Oscar for his biopic Lincoln this week, takes the reins from Italian Nanni Moretti. The 66th Cannes festival takes place in the glamorous French Mediterranean resort from May 15 to 26. My favorite past head of jury: Tennessee Williams.

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