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Cannes: We Break Down This Year’s Jury

Cannes: We Break Down This Year's Jury

READ MORE: The 2015 Indiewire Bible

The jury assembled to award the 2015 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival is as eclectic and varied as it is every year. Big name stars (Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller, Sophie Marceau) will watch films from all around the globe alongside award-winning directors (Guillermo del Toro, the Coen brothers, Xavier Dolan) and folks not familiar to many stateside (Rossy de Palma and Rokia Traoré). Per usual, the gang got together on the first day of the festival to meet with press to talk about the movies none have yet seen.

Based on what was said and their general demeanor during the conference, here’s a thumbnail sketch of each jury member:

The Clueless Parents: Joel and Ethan Coen

The Coen brothers set themselves up for their title even before the press conference got underway. During a live televised Canal + segment minutes before speaking with the press, the Coens acted like (very cute) clueless parents, by not speaking directly into the microphone every time it made its way to them. As a result, they weren’t heard for the entire telecast. They were audible during the press conference, where they admitted to not watching TV (Ethan went so far as to say he hasn’t watched a TV show in decades) and spoke passionately about how excited they are to be heading this year’s jury. The workaholics seemed delighted to be able to sit down and see some movies — on the big screen.

The Jokesters: Guillermo Del Toro and Jake Gyllenhaal

The Oscar nominated actor and Mexican writer-director provided the most laughs during the dry press conference. Del Toro meanwhile poked fun at his own appearance, saying that he had been invited to be a jury member before, but chose to wait it out in order to lose enough weight to fit into his old suits.

Before the official conference even got underway, Gyllenhaal joked in the Canal + segment that he plans on watching all the movies with his eyes closed. Later when asked what it’s like to be an actor on a jury for an event where most of the focus is on the filmmakers, he said it’s just great to be included. “Otherwise it’d just be directors up here telling other how great they are — we can’t have that going on,” he joked.

The Politician: Sienna Miller

Miller didn’t take the funny route when posed the same question as Gyllenhaal, about being an actor on a film jury. Instead she played it safe and remained diplomatic. “I think that if you make films you hope you have an understanding of the medium,” she said with perfect poise. “There’s no strategy,” she said of being a jury member. “We’re all staying open minded, there’s no premeditated ideas, certainly for me.” Or so she says…

The Party-Starter: Rossy de Palma

With a flower in her hair, a smile that wouldn’t quit, a flowy pink gown and hot red lips, de Palme de Palma looked every bit the Pedro Almdodovar muse that she is (she inspired his 1986 film “Law of Desire,” and appeared in “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!,” “Kika and The Flower of my Secret” and “Broken Embraces). Of all the jury members, she appeared the breeziest and most fun.

The One Unafraid to Speak His Mind: Xavier Dolan

When asked by a Swedish journalist what each juror member thought of actress Ingrid Bergman, who graces this year’s Cannes’ poster, most who took to the mike offered predictable swoon-worthy praise of the icon. Rather than join the chorus, Dolan took the honest route and admitted to only knowing her in a “very superficial way.” “My film culture is so very limited,” he said. To cut Dolan some slack, the actor-filmmaker is only 26.

The Romantic: Sophie Marceau

Looking much younger than her 48 years (she hasn’t appeared to have aged since 1995’s “Braveheart), Marceau appeared effortlessly glamorous as French stars often do in a simple black slip and minimal makeup. She expressed being elated to be on the jury, but kept her expressions more muted than de Palma. “I have all this time to see films,” she said. “That doesn’t often happen.”

The Question Mark: Rokia Traoré

The stunning Mali-born musician didn’t say much during the conference simply because no one asked her anything. Traoré did get express that although the world of filmmaking is unfamiliar to her, she’s not going to judge the competition solely based on the soundtrack.

READ MORE: Cannes: Day One, from Le Pizza Buzz to Meeting the Jury

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