Cannes: Garrone’s Great Dane Sniffs Victory for 2018 Palm Dog Award

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
The Great Dane in 'Dogman' leads the pack.

"It's the Year of the Dog in every sense," says Toby Rose, founder of the annual contest rewarding the Croisette's best onscreen mutts. "We're dogged up to the eyeballs."

With Cannes bounding toward its midway point, the festival appears to already have made amends for 2017’s low tail-wagging turnout, with critics pointing to a bumper crop of cinematic canine candidates that could be scrapping it out for the coveted Palm Dog.

“It’s the Year of the Dog in every sense,” says Toby Rose, founder of the annual contest rewarding the Croisette’s best onscreen mutts. “We’re dogged up to the eyeballs.”

Among the four-legged frontrunners, THR reviewers have highlighted a gang of vicious Dobermans in Ali Abbasi’s Un Certain Regard title Border, “three highly strung show dogs that mostly spend the film barking at the protagonist.”

Other pooches making their bowwow in the Un Certain Regard section are a group of pets in the South African coming-of-age drama The Harvesters: “Furry family furniture that leap around fabulously,” says Rose.

In the Critics’ Week, the wacky satire Diamantino from Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt sees gigantic poodles float around on pink fluffy clouds on a soccer field, while Icelandic drama Woman at War features a charming sheepdog named, amusingly, Woman. 

But all these mutts may end up yapping at the feet of the entry from Dogman. Matteo Garrone’s competition title doesn’t have its world premiere until Wednesday, but given that it features a majestic black-and-white Great Dane, this film looks to be leading the pack.

“Obviously,” says Rose, “this is the one against which all others will be measured.”

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 13 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.