So what can actually happen in the case of Alain Delon and Cannes honoring the legendary French actor in two weeks? Absolutely nothing. But, of course, there is resentment, among a fringe in the U.S, that Delon, who is 83, does not deserve to receive an honorary Palme d’Or at the forthcoming edition of the Festival.
Women and Hollywood founder Melissa Silverstein is quoted in a 5.6 Variety article as saying that the fact that Delon “has publicly admitted to slapping women…has aligned himself with the racist and anti-Semitic National Front…has claimed that being gay is ‘against nature’ should exclude him from being honored. Silverstein went on to add that “by honoring Delon, Cannes is honoring these abhorrent values [despite having] committed itself to diversity and inclusion.”
“I can only speculate that some people feel fatigue about these issues, and he hasn’t been technically accused of anything,” Silverstein added. “But I don’t think you have to be accused of something if you’ve espoused these type of sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views. I don’t think a person like that should be honored [but] I don’t think people care, and that’s sad.”
However, with apologies to Silverstein, It is hard to assassinate someone’s character in France with these kind of actions alone. That won’t cut it there. The French just aren’t as, err, outraged by these facts as, say, the Americans.
For those not completely attuned, cinematically speaking, Delon’s four time-capsule worthy films were Luchino Visconti‘s “Rocco and His Brothers,” Michelangelo Antonioni‘s “L’Eclisse,” Luchino Visconti‘s “The Leopard,” and Jean Pierre Melville‘s “Le Samurai.”