In chaotic scenes not seen since the 2017 Oscar ceremony, Spike Lee managed to read out the winner of the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, as the very first award of the night.
The Do The Right Thing director, who was head of the jury at this year’s festival appeared to get confused after host Doria Tillier asked him to name the winner of the ‘first prize’ at the closing ceremony.
However, that simple phrase; ‘first prize’ translated to Lee as the prestigious Palme d’Or so he stood up and said: “The film that won the Palme d’Or isTitane.” Lee’s fellow jury members appeared shocked and embarrassed that he has just accidentally revealed the winner of the main prize way too early and quickly explained to him what had just happened.
On a frôlé la catastrophe et une annonce un peu prématurée de la Palme d'or 😱
The 64-year-old almost messed up again later in the ceremony by prematurely announcing that Julia Ducournau’s film had won the Palme d’Or, despite Sharon Stone being booked to do so.
The veteran later said: “In 63 years of life, I’ve learned that people get a second chance, this is my second chance. I apologise for messing up. It took a lot of suspense out of the night I understand, it wasn’t on purpose.”
Spike Lee says he apologized to the TITANE team for his flub: https://t.co/Sq7hkOqFa3
Needless to say, people’s reactions to this monumental slip-up were pretty hilarious albeit at the expense of Lee giving many people flashbacks to 2017 when Warren Beatty announced that La La Land had won best picture at the Oscars when it was actually Moonlight.
Mélanie Laurent's face as Spike Lee announces Titane winning Palme d'Or 😂 #Cannes2021 https://t.co/Vr2D2igBIW https://t.co/b9h8L7kjVW
Lee’s mix-up arguably overshadowed Ducournau’s achievement as she became the first-ever female director to win the Palme d’Or outright. Jane Campion had won the award in 1993 for The Piano but the honour was shared with Chen Kaige and his film Farewell My Concubine.