Best in show
Dogs are remarkable animals. Nary a day goes by without a viral video hitting social media, featuring a canine snuggling up to an orphaned duckling or rescuing a kitten from the jaws of a crocodile. Mans best friend is without a doubt capable of many extraordinary - and downright daft - feats.
It comes as no surprise that our domesticated chums have made their way into countless cinematic classics. After all, tales of the human experience wouldnt be complete without including our life-long companions, who see us through good times and bad. In fact, their onscreen roles have been so relished that the folks at Cannes have even begun to celebrate those performances by dishing out the Palm Dog - a canine-centric award for the years best doggie turn. Heres our rundown of every recipient of the coveted leather collar...
The movie: Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings The Anniversary Party, a comedy-drama about a Hollywood couple whose recent reconciliation finds them hosting a dinner party for their nearest and dearest.
The dog: The winner of the first prize was a chipper Jack Russell named Otis.
Pooch performance: Otis delivers a grounded, solid turn by ushering a deep, booming bark that perfectly complements the storyline by adding an extra layer of background frustration to proceedings.
The movie: Finnish director Aki Kaurismkis The Man Without A Past tells the tale of an unnamed and unlucky man who is beaten up and left for dead on a bench. He awakes in hospital with no recollection of the events and turns into a wandering amnesiac who finds his way on the streets.
The dog: In real-life this lil rapscallion goes by the name Thti, but for his award-winning turn he adopted the name Hannibal. This fine pedigree hails from a long line of movie dogs who previously worked for Kaurismki.
Pooch performance: A formidable pup, Thti delivers a nuanced performance as a four-legged friend with a tough exterior... that protects his heart of gold.
The movie: Lars von Triers experimental drama Dogville bridged the gap between theatres bare bones storytelling with the visual advantages of cinema to tell the tale of a woman on the run who finds sanctuary in a small town.
The dog: Like the majority of props in the film, Moses is a chalk outline on the floor with crinkled ears.
Pooch performance: While his appearance is a little one-dimensional (ahem), his ferocious barks whenever anyone walks by certainly amp up this flat performance.
2004: Edgar and Hoover
The movie: Jonathan Nossiters grapevine documentary Mondovino investigates the effect of globalisation on wine culture.
The dog(s): While all of the mutts spotted throughout the movie - apparently they are vital to good vineyard karma - were gifted with the award, the two dogs owned by top wine conoisseur Robert Parker, bloodhounds Hoover and Edgar, were singled out in particular.
Pooch performance: The doggy duo managed to nab the prize in spite of their overbearing flatulence, which is thought to have added an edge of verisimilitude to their performances.
The movie: With a title like The Cave Of The Yellow Dog, you kinda expect one of the four-legged chappies to appear. Byambasuren Davaas Mongolian movie tells the tale of the unbreakable bond between human and dog channelled through the experiences of a young girl who befriends a lone pup.
The dog: A little shepherd dog mongrel named Bruno.
Pooch performance:A likeable, low-key turn Bruno rarely attempts to outshine his co-star and instead provides the perfect compliment to her human turmoil.
The movie: The canine component is rife throughout Sofia Coppolas Marie Antoinette, in which Kirsten Dunsts duchess pines for her little pup who is torn from her as she crosses the border to marry her betrothed King.
The dog: A pint-sized pug named Mops.
Pooch performance: Proof that size doesnt matter Mops cleaned up at Cannes by winning the hearts of the jurors for her unabashedly cute face-licks.
2007: Yuki / The Strays
The movie: The only year wherein jurors were so torn they issued a double award to the dogs of Marjane Satrapis Persepolis and Thai animal caper Mid-Road Gang.
The dog(s): Persepolis animated mutt is a white lab named Yuki, and the Mid-Road Gangs nameless canine collective features mongrels and a poodle.
Pooch performance: Two understandably different interpretations of the dog experience, Yukis wide-eyed wonder snagged her the award while the decision to utilise real strays for Mid-Road lent the movie an authentic edge.
The movie: In Kelly Reicharts lo-fi drama Wendy And Lucy, Michelle Williams plays a young drifter who vows to travel to Alaska to start a new life along with her lil furry friend.
The dog: Perhaps the only titular dog in this entire list, Lucy is a Heinz variety - i.e. theres plenty of different breeds in her lineage.
Pooch performance: Lucy handles her character arc, which sees her chained up outside a supermarket then whisked to a dog pound, with the utmost care and ultimately tugs on the heartstrings.
The movie: The tearjerking animated Pixar flick Up features the loveable canine who assists Carl and his young explorer friend Russell when they venture to South America via a house tethered to balloons.
The dog: A bona fide mutt.
Pooch performance: As computer generated animals go, Dug is one of cinemas most humourous thanks to his specially-designed collar translator. His witticisms and upbeat approach to the perilous situation are unrivalled on this list.
The movie: A modern day retelling of Thomas Hardys Far From The Madding Crowd, Tamara Drewe cast Gemma Arterton in the titular role as a young journalist who causes a stir when she returns to her sleepy hometown.
The dog: The loveable boxer Boss who managed to cause as much of a kerfuffle as Arterton in the movie.
Pooch performance: At times threatening due to his size and temperament, Boss manages to evoke tenderness when required, which no doubt led to his win.
The movie: One of 2011s biggest awards hits The Artist is a throwback to the silent movie era starring Jean Dujardin as a movie star who struggles with his romantic relationships while his career soars.
The dog: The hyper-animated Jack Russell Uggie.
Pooch performance: Possibly one of the greatest method canine actors of our time Uggie remained in character for the duration of the shoot, and did the majority of his own stunt work.
The movie: Ben Wheatleys sardonic Brit thriller Sightseers follows a pair of outcasts who hit the road for a sightseeing tour of the UK only to realise they have something sinister in common.
The dog: The happy terrier plays two characters in the movie, Banjo and Poppy.
Pooch performance: Much like Tatiana Maslanys critically acclaimed multi-clone performance in Orphan Black, Smurf curtails any personal sway and brings to life to distinctly unique dogs.
2013: Baby Boy
The movie: Steven Soderberghs HBO movie Behind The Candelabra features Michael Douglas as the famed singer-performer Liberace, whose six-year relationship with Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) is told with dazzling style.
The dog: A sight-impaired poodle named Baby Boy, who is seldom out of shot when Liberace is onscreen.
Pooch performance: You might say his entire presence in the movie is the glue that holds it together.
2014: The entire White God ensemble
The movie: A doggie-centric outing, White God follows mixed-breed Hagen who rallies together an entire fleet of mongrels for an uprising when hes kicked out of his home. The Hungarian flick also bagged the Prize Un Certain Regard; an award granted to young, innovative filmmakers.
The dog(s): The entire cast of canines were recipients of the 2014 honour, a veritable mixed bag of dogs ranging from pint-sized terrier mixes to larger Alsatian crossbreeds.
Pooch performance: One of the largest canine casts ever assembled, this ragtag bunch of strays - many of whom had never acted before - hit it home with this power struggle fable.
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