Dolan's film was greeted with harsh, if not toxic, reactions upon screening for the press with several reviews sounding more like judgments on the filmmaker himself. Dolan even responded, harshly, and the Cannes jury passed its own verdict. However, he was somewhat vindicated by an eight-minute standing ovation and then boosted by a brutal response to Sean Penn's The Last Face, which arguably left the fest as the worst reviewed film at Cannes and scored a record low on Screen's annual jury grid. Hopefully, we'll see how It's Only the End of the World performs at other festivals against measured expectations.
Other winners included Andrea Arnold, who won the Jury Prize for American Honey and Olivier Assayas and Cristian Mungiu, who shared Best Director for Personal Shopper and Graduation, respectively. Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann, widely expected to take the Palme, was shut out.
Twitter, as always, seemed to have awarded Dolan and Cannes the Face Palme:
Xavier Dolan wins the Grand Prix which is NOT the big prize. Boos went up in the press room.— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) May 22, 2016
Giving Xavier Dolan the Grand Prix is the worst Cannes jury decision in a very, very long time.— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) May 22, 2016
Already hearing rumblings that Sutherland's Canadian identity drove jury to award Dolan. I call bullshit, as would the Donald #Cannes2016— Jason Gorber (@filmfest_ca) May 22, 2016
"I think the critics are wrong" - Sutherland. #Cannes2016— Jason Gorber (@filmfest_ca) May 22, 2016
CONGRATS @XDolan on Grand Prix!!!! Forever proud of you baby!!! @festivaldecannes #ItsOnlyTheEndOfTheWorld #woohoo!! pic.twitter.com/UqjVcdE3GT— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 22, 2016
@XDolan you deserve EVERYTHING. You're a wonderful artist because you're an exquisite person. My heart celebrates you tonight and always.— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 22, 2016
While Xavier Dolan should be on trial for crimes against cinema he is instead rewarded at Cannes. We should all be very worried.— Dean Kavanagh (@DeanKavanagh89) May 22, 2016
I think Cannes might just have ruined Dolan forever. No chance he's going to rein it in now.— Jessica Kiang (@jessicakiang) May 22, 2016
Best Actress prize for Best Performance at a Cannes Closing Ceremony: Xavier Dolan #Cannes2016— AwardsWatch (@awards_watch) May 22, 2016
Xavier Dolan is Canada's national treasure #Cannes— Jacob Bugelli (@JacobBugelli) May 22, 2016
"it's only the end of the world" has been booed /badly reviewed but xavier dolan has just won the Grand Prix award, i'm torn /#Cannes2016— lucy (@lucy_grayson) May 22, 2016
Canada's Xavier Dolan wins Grand Prix, second place, at #Cannes2016 for IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD.— Peter Howell (@peterhowellfilm) May 22, 2016
FURY ROAD was cut with precision, but Miller awarded Xavier Dolan, whose film has some of the worst editing made outside of film school.— Josh Cabrita (@JoshCabrita) May 22, 2016