'Insulting' remarks irk Penn: His jury will forge 'consensus'

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Make no mistake about it, this is Sean Penn's jury and all he is asking of his fellow jurors is an empty bladder and an open mind at the beginning of each of the 22 titles In Competition.

Penn dominated the jury presentation here Wednesday and kicked it off by explaining that he and his fellow jurors will arrive at a "consensus." Penn said he found it "insulting" to himself and the other jury members that there is any suggestion of favoritism or bias toward movies in the lineup made by people who they might have worked with previously.

"We've all been involved in films we've cared about. I don't think there is bias involved," he said. "I don't see any of us judging the films we see as anything but responding to the enthusiasm of the movies."

But Penn could not resist remaining defiant when referencing his relationship with Clint Eastwood and his Oscar-winning role in "Mystic River." Eastwood is bringing "Changeling" to a Competition slot this year.

Said Penn: "If (Eastwood's) done a film worth rewarding, we're going to f***ing well reward it."

It was left to German actress Alexandra Maria Lara to be the wide-eyed, delighted jury member, saying she felt "shaky" being in such esteemed company. When asked how she felt sitting next to Penn, she paused just long enough for the jury president to growl a "c'mon" by way of encouraging her to answer. (partialdiff)
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