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Miguel Gomes wins best Director at the Cannes Film Festival



Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes Miguel Gomes has won the Best Director award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival for his film 'Grand Tour', a 1917-set drama that follows the journey of a British civil servant across Asia.


'Grand Tour' is an original screenplay co-written by Gomes, set in colonial Burma during World War I. The film tells the story of Edward, a minor British functionary in Rangoon, who gets cold feet and flees to Singapore before his fiancée Molly arrives. Edward's journey takes him to various cities in Asia, including Bangkok, Saigon, Manila, Osaka, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tibet, where he encounters a range of characters, including a rackety cousin, Japanese authorities, and an opium-addicted British consul.


The film features Portuguese actors playing British characters, speaking Portuguese, with the exception of a few English choruses of the Eton Boating Song. The casting for other nationalities is more literal. Gomes' filmmaking style is described as elegant, eccentric, and childlike at times, requiring some time to be indulged.


The film has left critics with a 'gentle, bemused smile on their face', unlike any other film in the Cannes competition. Gomes' work is likened to that of Somerset Maugham, Jane Gardam, and Evelyn Waugh, with a unique blend of sophistication, innocence, and charm.

The film's first half focuses on Edward's story, while the second half belongs to Molly's more eventful journey as she tracks down her fiancé. The film features a star-studded cast, including Gonçalo Waddington as Edward and Crista Alfaiate as Molly.


Gomes' film is seen as a 'healing balm for trying times' and a potent antidote to pessimism and a lack of appetite for adventure. Gomes and his co-writers, Mariana Ricardo, Telmo Churro, and Maureen Fazendeiro, have created a film that is 'wildly ambitious' and 'peers down on the action from a lofty perch.'


One memorable quote from the film is from a Japanese monk: 'Abandon yourself to the world, and see how generous it is to you.' This sentiment encapsulates the spirit of 'Grand Tour' and its message of embracing the unknown.


Gomes' direction has been hailed as 'beguiling' and 'exhilarating', making 'Grand Tour' a standout film in the Cannes competition. The film's success at Cannes is a testament to Gomes' unique vision and storytelling style, which has captivated audiences and critics alike.

Miguel Gomes' achievement at the 77th Cannes Film Festival underscores his growing reputation as a masterful filmmaker. 'Grand Tour' not only showcases his talent but also invites viewers to explore a richly crafted narrative filled with cultural encounters and historical insights.

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