This year’s Cannes Film Festival will honor Jodie Foster with a lifetime achievement Palme d’Or, it was revealed yesterday. The two-time Oscar winning actress will accept the award on the 6th of July at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, and follows in the footsteps of other filmmakers such as Jane Fonda, Bernado Bertolucci and Jeanne Moreau who have all previously been recipients of the prize. As one of the best known actresses and directors of the last four decades, it is nothing short of the recognition Foster’s career deserves.
In a statement making the announcement, the festival organisers said that the award symbolised her, “brilliant artistic journey” and said that she has been, “a unique personality with a modest yet strong commitment to some of the major issues of our time.” In her own statement, Foster said, “Cannes is a festival to which I owe so much, it has completely changed my life. Although I had already directed before, my first time on the Croisette was a defining moment for me. Showcasing one of my films here has always been a dream of mine. In fact, I have had several opportunities to fulfill my dream. … Cannes is a film festival by auteur-filmmakers who honor artists. And I greatly appreciate that.”
Foster was born in 1962, and made her debut in 1968 in the TV sitcom Mayberry R.F.D. She worked on other TV roles in the late 60s and early 70s, before appearing in small film roles which led to her breakthrough performance in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, in which she appeared as a child prostitute and earned herself her first Academy Award nomination. Following standout performances in Bugsy Malone, Freaky Friday and Candleshoe, she struggled to make the transition into adult roles until playing the part of a rape victim in The Accused in 1988, which secured her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Three years later, she took on her most iconic role as Clarice Starling in The Silence of The Lambs, once again winning an Oscar for her performance alongside fellow winner Anthony Hopkins.
Not content being at the top of her game as an actress, Foster made her first movie as director in 1991 with Little Man Tate, followed by Nell in 1994, which was made by her own production company, Egg Pictures, that she founded two years earlier. While the turn of the century saw a slight downturn, with the closure of her company and the cancellation of one of her film projects, it was not long before she was back on a trail of success, starring in the hits Panic Room, Flightplan, Inside Man and The Brave One and directing The Beaver and Money Monster. She also directed episodes of House of Cards, Black Mirror and Orange Is The New Black, the latter of which earned her an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Directing For a Comedy Series. This year she appeared in The Mauritanian, which led to a third Golden Globe win.
The Cannes Film Festival would usually take place during May, but was rescheduled this year due to the pandemic. This year’s jury is led by director Spike Lee. Foster herself was once offered the jury presidency back in 2001, but was forced to turn it down due to a clash with filming on the David Fincher movie Panic Room. Over the years though, a total of seven of Foster’s movies have need screened at the event. The screening line up for this year is announced today.