CANNES May 24 A white poodle with cataracts
stole the limelight from Hollywood star Michael Douglas by
winning the Palm Dog award during the Cannes film festival on
Critics at the prestigious festival on the Mediterranean
coast may have hailed Douglas for his performance as Liberace in
Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra", but it was the
flamboyant pianist's blind "Baby Boy" who walked away with a
The Palm Dog award ceremony takes place each year on the
sidelines of the official cinema showcase to honour the
festival's most memorable canine performance. The name is a play
on the Palme d'Or, the Cannes festival's top prize.
Organiser Toby Rose said audiences were transfixed by the
"cuddliness" of "Baby Boy", whose failing health in the movie
brings together Liberace and his new young lover.
Perhaps the most famous dog on celluloid in recent years is
"Uggie", the Jack Russell terrier star of the 2011 French film
"The Artist", who is now in retirement.
"In the last two or three years, we've seen a lot more films
that have featured dogs, and a lot more films that have featured
dogs for the purposes of bringing in box office - and they
certainly do that," Rose said.
This year's Cannes films feature an array of challenging dog
roles, including a very small canine actor's portrayal of Paris
Hilton's chihuahua in Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring".
Underscoring the versatility of man's best friend, more
dramatic roles were seen in Amat Escalante's "Heli", in which a
dog protects a drugs cache, and Arnaud des Pallieres' "Michael
Kohlhaas", in which two guard dogs maul a man.
But perhaps the most memorable performance on four legs this
year was from the orange cat in Ethan and Joel Coen's "Inside
Llewyn Davis", in which an unlucky singer manages to lose a
kindly older friend's feline pet.
"The movie doesn't really have a plot. That concerned us at
a certain point, which is why we brought the cat in. It's really
about the cat," Joel Coen joked before the film's premiere.
(Editing by David Goodman)