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Cannes '08: Jurors Sean Penn, Alfonso Cuaron, Natalie Portman on why 'Waltz With Bashir' was overlooked

May 25, 2008 |  3:59 pm

Waltz_k0x4wenc_350 Festival de Cannes jury news conference question:
How come Ari Folman's "Waltz With Bashir," the amazing film from Israel, didn't get nothing? There was a huge buzz around it, and it's such a surprise, bad surprise.

Sean Penn, jury president:
"The only thing I would say, I was happy to find out that buzzes mean nothing; this jury was entirely  un-influenced, and I can tell you that I would agree with you, but we had so many prizes to give. There were several people that agreed, most certainly--myself included--it's a film worthy. As I said during the ceremony, there were things that called out, and there were times where we felt that we had almost certainly a certain category fulfilled and then something else would come and provoke us in a different way. There’s not a good answer for this question from me, because while I don't believe that I particularly argued for it, ultimately, I think it's a wonderful movie. I also believe that it is a film that is going to find its audience with or without us."

Alfonso Cuaron, juror:
"It was a film that was well cherished by the jury."

Natalie Portman, juror:
"I think it speaks to the quality of films in competition this year, that a film as good as "Waltz With Bashir" didn't make it, that we had such a good selection. I very much admired the film."

-- Sheigh Crabtree

Photo: Israeli writer and director Ari Folman poses at a photo call for the film "Waltz With Bashir," courtesy Lionel Cironneau / Associated Press.