Cannes 2017: 11 Palme d'Or Winners to Watch Before the Festival Kicks Off

8:00 AM 5/8/2017

by Annie Howard

Get ready for Cannes with past winners at the festival, including films from Martin Scorsese, Jane Campion, the Coen brothers and Steven Soderbergh.

Laura Dern & Nicolas Cage in David Lynch's 'Wild at Heart' (1990)
Laura Dern & Nicolas Cage in David Lynch's 'Wild at Heart' (1990)
Samuel Goldwyn Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

  • 'Apocalypse Now'

    (1979)

    'Apocalypse Now'
    'Apocalypse Now'
    United Artists/Photofest

    Starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall, Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic follows Captain Willard (Sheen) on a secret mission into a Cambodian jungle. The film won the Oscar for best cinematography and was nominated for best picture, directing, acting and writing. It is hailed as one of AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies.

  • 'Barton Fink'

    (1991)

    John Turturro & John Goodman in 'Barton Fink'
    John Turturro & John Goodman in 'Barton Fink'
    20th Century Fox/Photofest

    One of brothers Joel and Ethan Coen's earliest films stars John Turturro, John Goodman and Judy Davis. Fink (Turturro), a New York playwright, moves to Los Angeles when his career leads him to writing a Hollywood movie. 

  • 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

    (2004)

    Michael Moore in 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
    Michael Moore in 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
    Lions Gate Entertainment/Photofest

    Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine, Where to Invade Next) investigates the link between the events of Sept. 11 and the start of the Iraq war under the George W. Bush administration.

  • 'Paris, Texas'

    (1984)

    Aurore Clement in 'Paris, Texas'
    Aurore Clement in 'Paris, Texas'
    Argos FIlms/20th Century Fox/Photofest

    The Wim Wenders's cult classic follows the story of Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton), who struggles to reconnect with his family and young son after disappearing into the desert for years. Paris, Texas is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard.

  • 'The Pianist'

    (2002)

    Adrien Brody in 'The Pianist'
    Adrien Brody in 'The Pianist'
    Focus Features/Photofest

    Roman Polanski's WWII drama is an adaptation of Wladyslaw Szpilman's autobiography. Jewish radio pianist in Warsaw, Poland (Adrien Brody) is forced into life in the ghetto and beyond upon the Nazi's invasion. Polanski credits scenes to his personal experience in a Krakow ghetto as a child. Polanski and Brody each earned an Oscar for their work.

  • 'The Piano'

    (1993)

    Anna Paquin in 'The Piano'
    Anna Paquin in 'The Piano'
    Photofest

    Jane Campion's 1993 New Zealand-based period drama follows a mute piano player (Holly Hunter) forced into an arranged marriage along with her young daughter (Anna Paquin) who serves as her mouthpiece. Campion won an Oscar for the film's screenplay, and Hunter and Paquin each earned an Oscar for their performances, making Paquin the second youngest Oscar winner in history at the age of 11.

  • 'Pulp Fiction'

    (1994)

    John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson in 'Pulp Fiction'
    John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson in 'Pulp Fiction'
    Miramax Films/Photofest

    Quentin Tarantino's ensemble narrative follows two hit men (John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson), a mobster's wife (Uma Thurman), and a aging boxer (Bruce Willis). Tarantino went on to win an Oscar for the film's screenplay and AFI has hailed Pulp Fiction as one of the 100 Greatest American Films of all time.

  • 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape'

    (1989)

    Andie MacDowell & James Spader in 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape'
    Andie MacDowell & James Spader in 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape'
    Miramax Films/Photofest

    A love triangle (Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo) gets more complicated when Graham (James Spader) comes to town in Steven Soderberg's debut feature film. Soderberg went on to win an Oscar for the film's screenplay.

  • 'Taxi Driver'

    (1976)

    Robert De Niro in 'Taxi Driver'
    Robert De Niro in 'Taxi Driver'
    Photofest

    When Vietnam War vet (Robert De Niro) meets an underage prostitute (Jody Foster) on his graveyard shift as a New York City taxi driver, he takes the role of violent vigilante in an attempt to save her from a dismal fate. Martin Scorsese directs the classic, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest American films. De Niro, Foster and the film were all honored with Oscar nominations.

  • 'The Tree of Life'

    (2011)

    Brad Pitt in 'The Tree of Life'
    Brad Pitt in 'The Tree of Life'
    Fox Searchlight Pictures/Photofest

    An adult Jack (Sean Penn) wrestles with past experiences over his complicated relationships with his father (Brad Pitt) and his mother (Jessica Chastain) in Terrence Malik's first Palme d'Dor-winning film. He won best director at Cannes for 1979's Days of Heaven.

  • 'Wild at Heart'

    (1990)

    Laura Dern & Nicolas Cage in 'Wild at Heart'
    Laura Dern & Nicolas Cage in 'Wild at Heart'
    Samuel Goldwyn Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage play Lula and Sailor in David Lynch's surrealist thriller, as the rocker couple attempts to evade killers on their trail hired by Lula's mother (Diane Ladd). Ladd earned an Oscar nomination for her performance. She is also Dern's real-life mother.

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