Circuit Q&A – What’s the Best Palme d’Or Winner Since 2000?

© La Pointe courte © 1994 Agnès Varda and her children - Montage & design: Flore Maquin

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival is currently underway in France and running through May 25. Pundits are relaying their predictions for who will win the coveted Palme d’Or, the highest honor of the festival.

Each year, so many movies debut at the festival featuring various categories and programs. Only a select number of movies screen in competition, vying for the Palme d’or, Grand Prix and other prizes. Some larger titles choose to have their debut outside any competition, most notably this year with “Rocketman.”

Cannes isn’t necessarily regarded as the Oscar launching pad as much as the Toronto International Film Festival, but the festival does put a spotlight on international cinema. Movies like “The Leopard,” “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Tree of Wooden Clogs” each won the Palme d’Or in their respective years and have only grown in stature since their debut. Staples of American cinema that have won the Palme d’Or include “Taxi Driver,” “All That Jazz” and “Pulp Fiction.” 

It could be a daunting task to pick out just one movie to call a favorite from the festival. The past 19 years have provided a rich and diverse selection of films, worth examining as part of recent film history. But which is the best?

Palme d’Or Winners Since 2000:

  • 2000 – “Dancer in the Dark”
  • 2001 – “The Son’s Room”
  • 2002 – “The Pianist”
  • 2003 – “Elephant” 
  • 2004 – “Fahrenheit 9/11” 
  • 2005 – “The Child”
  • 2006 – “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”
  • 2007 – “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”
  • 2008 – “The Class”
  • 2009 – “The White Ribbon”
  • 2010 – “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”
  • 2011 – “The Tree of Life”
  • 2012 – “Amour”
  • 2013 – “Blue is the Warmest Colour”
  • 2014 – “Winter Sleep”
  • 2015 – “Dheepan”
  • 2016 – “I, Daniel Blake”
  • 2017 – “The Square”
  • 2018 – “Shoplifters”

Several of these films went on to become Oscar nominated or Oscar-winning films and continue to be a part of modern day film discourse. Despite any personal opinions about a particular film, the festival seems to always award a winner worthy of a recognition.

What is the best Palme d’Or winner since 2000? Let us know your pick in the comments below!