Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is going to have to wait until tomorrow to see if his latest, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” walks away with the Palme d’Or, but the Competition title has already racked up one big festival win: a Palm Dog for its canine star Brandy. First awarded by journalist Toby Rose in 2001 (and adorably inspired by his own French Fox Terrier Muttley), the Palm Dog is traditionally handed out on the penultimate day of the annual festival to the canine stars (and human directors) of some of the festival’s most woof-centric films.
Pitbull Brandy, who plays Brad Pitt’s character Cliff Booth’s pup in the film (and reportedly has a very juicy role in the final act) joins a long line of distinguished Palm Dog winners, including Uggie from the Oscar-winning “The Artist” and Ken Loach for casting three-legged dog Shae in his Palme d’Or-winning “I, Daniel Blake” three years ago. While Brandy was not on hand (or paw) to accept the award today, Tarantino was, and the filmmaker giddily trotted out a doggy stand-in to savor the moment of finally winning his first Palm Dog.
Joined by a massive Cane Corso named Haru, the filmmaker told the assembled crowd, “I have to say I am so honored to have this. I’ve told everybody, I have no idea if we’re going to win the Palme d’Or. I feel no entitlement. But I did feel that I was in good standing to win the Palm Dog. So I want to dedicate this to my wonderful actress Brandy. She has brought the Palm Dog home to America.”
Despite her big win, Tarantino admitted that he will not be giving the film’s physical award — an impressive red leather collar — to Brandy. “I’m not going to give this to her — it’ll go on my mantelpiece,” he said.
Other Palm Dog prizes were awarded to the canine performers in “Little Joe” and “Aasha and the Street Dogs” (a shared Grand Jury Prize) and the stars of “The Unadoptable” (the Underdog award), with the Palm Dogmanitarian prize went to Google for their support of dogs in the workplace.
Check out footage of Tarantino accepting his award below, courtesy of film journalist Kaleem Aftab.