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Podcast: Cannes 1996 Revisit 

NathanielNick, and Joe revisit the Cannes film festival of 1996 (you might wanna quickly check that lineup & those prizes before listening) and the Best Actress race that started there. We also recommend other 1996 goodies that you may or may not have seen... or thought of in years.

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Intro, Juries, and Crash's audacity prize
03:00 Best Actress: McDormand (Fargo) vs Blethyn (Secrets & Lies) vs Watson (Breaking the Waves)
10:09 Goodbye South GoodbyeThe Eighth DayPillow Book, and Microcosmos
17:50 TrainspottingFlirting With Disaster, A Self Made Hero, Lone Star, and Love Serenade
30:07 David Cronenberg's Crash
37:45 We each recommend a few more 1996 titles from Bound to The Long Kiss Goodnight

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. Which 1996 picture have you still not seen? Who got your Best Actress vote that year?

tfw when you're turned on by car crashes

Articles We Mention
5 Contentious Cannes Juries 
• Nick's Annual Cannes Project 
Nick on Cronenberg's Crash 

Cannes 1996. Recommendations

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Reader Comments (24)

Won't be able to listen until tomorrow, but looking forward to this.

As for best actress that year, while I would've voted for Watson, I just love McDormand's win. A quirky character actress winning a lead actress Oscar for a non-baity role in a dark comedy is pretty awesome, and would totally never happen today.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year. lol

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

96 was my first year as a self-aware young cinephile, so this is a fabulous treat. The WAVES/FARGO/SECRETS trifecta is tough call. I'd probably go with WAVES because my relationship to it is always evolving and complicating while the film itself remains staggering.

I actually haven't caught up to CRASH and its leg vaginas, so thanks for the reminder to fix that.

May 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

Joe Reid should watch Roger Ebert's defense of Cronenberg's Crash. It's on You Tube. And read his print review of it.

Special Jury Prize
for Originality, Daring, and Audacity

Shane Black is incapable of directing The Long Kiss Goodnight. All of his directorial efforts are low-key in the action department. Hence why he writes the big shit he can't direct.

The weakness of Girl 6 is the casting of Theresa Randle. Questionable lead performances can ruin the interesting movies built around them.

Team Brenda Blethyn. Notice the two closest rivals to McDormand for the Oscar received subsequent nominations because I think many who voted for Frances then never bothered to watch the other movies until after the fact and felt like oh you were awesome and you were awesome Watson.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I strongly agree with whoever (Nick or Joe) who said Watson is the most difficult role and it's just impossible to look at the script and conceive this performance.

It's her creation, it's not the role, like Nathaniel said, IMO. You know, the cop in Fargo could be mediocre in another actress' hands, but Bess could go WRONG with another actress. The risk of an actress accepting the role is much bigger than accepting Fargo.

I think Watson in this movie gives one of the 10 best performances ever. She's almost in that A Woman Under the Influence range of crazy-fuck-take-no-prisoners performance

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Greta Scacchi married her cousin and had his baby. Cronenberg's Crash could definitely be in her wheelhouse.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

This is a godsend. I'm about to embark on a six hour drive up home and was struggling to find new podcast episodes to listen to. You saved my sanity as I drive up the barren part of California from SoCal to NorCal.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

Hey Madonna was great in Evita and it's the only time she was ever going to win an acting award.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

Chris -- i'm afraid 43 minutes will be difficult to stretch into 6 hours! but maybe we'll have something for you on the drive back.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

mark -- agreed on Madonna. loved her in Evita. it's nice that she has something for it since otherwise her film career had people throwing tomatoes

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Other joys of 1996:

- All things Evita, which completely holds up for me
- Scream, the first rated R film I ever saw, which I can still quote back to front (and it has a completely underrated ensemble)
- The Preacher's Wife, one of my favorite Christmas movies and arguably Whitney's best album of all time in my book
- The First Wives' Club, especially for that musical number and Goldie Hawn's lips
- And finally, Beautiful Thing is one of my favorite gay-coming-of-age movies for its specific characters and undercurrent of celebration

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Crash, my favorite Cronenberg (right up there with Dead Ringers, A History of Volence and The Fly).

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

"I don't think I was ready for that jelly..." This comment re: Breaking the Waves made me laugh out loud at my desk and also describes my experience watching it the first time. This made my day.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

Which 1996 picture have you still not seen?

The biggest hit I haven't seen: Twister
The biggest Oscar film I haven't seen: Emma

Best Actress
Emily Watson, by a country mile. She was insanely awesome.

Angels and Insects, Beautiful Thing

1. I don't care for Fargo
2. I love Cronenberg's Crash.
3. The best actor category was terrible.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

My personal 1996 Actress lineup: (alphabetical)

Brenda Blethyn, Secrets & Lies
Laura Dern, Citizen Ruth
Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Secrets & Lies
Frances McDormand, Fargo
Emily Watson, Breaking the Waves

One of the best lineups imaginable. Between Brenda, Emily, and Frances, there's an argument for them all.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Roger - i believe my list at the time was

DERN - Citizen Ruth
TILLY - Bound
WATSON - Breaking the Waves

but I also love Kristin Scott Thomas in English Patient and Brenda Blethyn in Secrets & Lies

May 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Bound and Welcome to the Dollhouse are two big gaping blind spots for me. They've been on my to-do list for years and years and one day I will see them.
Swingers is unbearable now, but I think Trainspotting is kind of perfect.
AND the Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category. Although I'm glad McDormand won.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

This is such a good idea Nathaniel. LOVED this podcast. You guys should do this for the Oscars too i.e. examine recent years before TFE (The WTF Braveheart year? The glorious Titanic year? The year Beauty and the Beast was nominated?)

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

OK basically I'm asking for Nathaniel's thoughts on 90's Oscars LOL. That was the decade when Baby Steph became aware of/a fan of the Oscars. :)

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

Let me co-sign Nick on Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who is totally amazing in Secrets & Lies, and give a shout-out to Katrin Cartlidge in Breaking the Waves, for being so great and interesting in a role I heard almost nothing about save some scattered high marks on Nick's website. It's staggering supporting work, and imagine being a proper reactionary figure to everything that Watson's throwing at you, no matter how unhistrionic her approach is.

I'm stuck between Watson and McDormand, but it astounds me that McDormand copped the prize over Blethyn in such a grabbier role, which I can't imagine her losing in any other year. Maybe I'm being ungenerous, but all that crying! Justifiably so, but still. If that came out today she'd probably sweep it. Blethyn's a gem in her movie, but she's still third for me. I think my camp is probably "Slightly a Watson supporter but wouldn't trade the McDormamd win for anything", if that's a place for me to make my stand.

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

"I think my camp is probably 'Slightly a Watson supporter but wouldn't trade the McDormamd win for anything,' if that's a place for me to make my stand."

All Nicks reporting to the same camp, then! I might even have KST third over Blethyn. Lineup's that good. And that's just the people who were nominated! Same with Supporting Actress. Still can't decide among MJB, Hershey, and Allen, even though I also like Binoche a lot. And that's without Cartlidge, Peña, etc. What a great, actressy year.

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Spurred by this podcast I got around to watching Breaking the Waves tonight. I held onto Nicole Kidman's initial reaction to seeing this movie which made her the eccentric martyr-muse for masochist-auteurs and Watson's performance maybe my favorite from any Von Trier heroine.

Aside from Lars' sickness to devastate his leading ladies his movies are overly long and his world building is annoying. Will watch Mandalay and Antichrist will skip everything else of his I missed because I can't make myself care for the other stuff.

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

This was fun. It made me feel old, but also very grateful because I remembered the excitement that I had watching all these movies in theatres.

I was always Team McDormand. When the credits rolled I said, "She's going to win an Oscar" and all my friend laughed "It's a comedy! She's supporting!" so I made a bet that I didn't change, not even after the Globes, and made a lot of money, so thank you Academy, for once you did the right thing!

P.S. Barbara Hershey is spectacular in Portrait of a Lady.

May 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Team Watson here. Emily is on a whole different level of awesomeness and is like some else has already mention, a Top 10 all time performance

The English Patient, Hamlet, Trainspotting, Breaking the Waves, Bound, Crash, Twister, Scream, Mission Impossible, The Apartment

And lets not forget the booby film of the year: Barb Wire with Pamela Anderson

May 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

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