While some still hold negative feelings towards Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s recent films, he has cemented himself as one of the best directors working today. Iñárritu directed Best Picture winner Birdman and Best Picture nominee The Revenant. He won the Best Director award for both of the films, becoming the first director since Joseph L. Mankowitz in 1950 to pull off the feat. With Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams also on his resume, Iñárritu makes perfect sense as someone to take on the Cannes Jury President role.
The news broke today that Iñárritu will head the 72nd Cannes Film Festival Jury. In doing so, he becomes the first Mexican director to ever head the jury. While Iñárritu has never won the Palme D’or, the famous prize for winning the festival, the Jury acknowledged him with a Best Director Prize in 2006 for Babel. Amores Perros also received significant acclaim coming out of the festival, putting Iñárritu on the path for his future career.
It will be curious to see who joins Iñárritu on the Jury. The last few years have seen an increased emphasis in adding women to the group, with Jane Campion and Cate Blanchette heading the group in the past five years. Jessica Chastain also became a focus of attention when she criticized the lack of women included in the festival when she served on the panel as well.
It seems likely that Cannes will continue to go as the rest of the film industry has over the past few years, and include several women on the panel. While we are still awaiting the release of the films going to Cannes, it seems like one, in particular, will draw a lot of attention. Look for Netflix and Cannes to finally hash out their beef, and find a way for The Irishman to premiere at the fest. In the meantime, we can only imagine what kind of film a jury led by Iñárritu will find the best of the fest.