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Sofia Coppola Becomes First Woman to Win Best Director at Cannes in 56 Years

Wouldn’t you know that a jury with Jessica Chastain and Maren Ade would produce the first woman to win Best Director at Cannes since 1961. Sofia Coppola becomes only the second woman ever to win the prize for Best Director and the only woman to win in 56 years. That’s an astonishing and perhaps encouraging stat for a festival that has long gotten complaints for its lack of adulation or inclusion for women.

Coppola won Best Director at Cannes for The Beguiled. Lynn Ramsay, who wrote and directed You Were Never Really There shared the screenplay prize with Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer has transformed her career somewhat after bad press involving the film Jane Got a Gun. Ramsay is one of the most talented directors around and yet has been mostly chewed up and spit out by Hollywood, as far as I can tell. She delves into challenging, dark and sometimes ugly material which is probably intimidating, I would guess. So three cheers for Ramsay, one of AwardsDaily’s favorite directors and of course, three cheers for Coppola, who always surprises with her work.

As far as the Oscar race and Cannes goes, well it’s a tricky prospect. No one film has stood out so far, but that doesn’t really say much. Those who predict Oscar from Cannes are working from, I think, outdated information. The Oscars have changed because the Academy has changed. Thus, we don’t know what they’ll do anymore. To a degree we can guess but it’s not a safe bet this early out. Anyone who tells you it is has no idea what they’re talking about.

My guess would be that any film that played at Cannes that was buzzed at Cannes – excited these particular critics and bloggers at this particular time but might not translate out of this particular festival. On the other hand, some films that played there might get a new life beyond Cannes, like The Florida Project, The Beguiled, Wonderstruck, etc. Some of those that were highly praised might make it into the Foreign Language category. It’s all worth paying attention to, but not worth drawing any dramatic conclusions from, I think.

Either way, this was a moment for women to shine in amongst the men, which we’re always grateful for.