Monday, May 23, 2016

Jaclyn Jose bags Best Performance by an Actress at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

It was a proud moment for Philippine showbiz as Jaclyn Jose won Best Actress in the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for her lead role in fellow Filipino auteur Brillante Mendoza’s latest drama feature “Ma Rosa”, the Daily Mail Online reported yesterday.

Accompanied to the podium by her co-star and real-life daughter Andi Eigenmann as well as director Mendoza, the visibly stunned Jose declared that she was “moved and surprised” at receiving the stellar honor, the first time a Filipino has ever received an acting award in Cannes Film Fest history.

“Thank you so much to the jury,” Jaclyn Jose said in a tearful speech after being at a loss for words. “Thank you that you liked our film. Thank you to Mr. Brillante Mendoza; I was just following whatever he was telling me to do. He’s such a brilliant director and a genius.” She then acknowledged and saluted her fellow Filipinos in the Festival, the Philippines and around the world, dedicating her victory to them all.

The 52-year- old actress plays a destitute mother who uses her sari-sari (small general) store in a Metropolitan Manila slum as a front to deal narcotics on the side with her husband. When the couple is arrested in a drug bust and extorted a large sum of money by corrupt police to avoid jail time, she must rely on relatives and her own children to buy their freedom.

Although she has worked with Mendoza before in two films – one of which, “Serbis”, competed in Cannes 2008 – this was the first time in which Jaclyn Jose was presented the challenge of “not acting at all”, the better to deliver a real and star portrayal of her character in a very gritty movie. It was a great departure from her previous roles on film and television soap operas, where her characters tend to get hammy and bombastic.

Her performance has certainly caught the eye of international media. Variety cited her “naturalistic grace” while The Hollywood Reporter noted her acting to be “resilient yet understated”. In fact, Cannes 2016 jury member Madds Mikkelsen explained to The Guardian why he and her fellow jurors ultimately decided to award Best Actress to Jose. “We found her to be a master of her skills,” he remarked during a backstage interview. “It was a beautiful performance for a lead actress. That’s why she got it.”

Already, fellow Filipino thespians are flooding social media sites with effusive congratulations. Jaclyn’s daughter Andi Eigenmann, who also plays one of her on-screen children, has put up two congratulatory posts on Twitter. “Filipino Pride!” declares her second tweet on the event. “Ma’ Rosa Herself Wins Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival! Congratulations to My Mom, the Jaclyn Jose!!!” 

More of Jaclyn’s co-stars, showbiz friends and even her talent management have led the deluge of well wishes on Instagram.

While Brillante Mendoza did not win any new accolades this year, he already holds the distinction of being the first Filipino to win a Cannes award in 2009 with his film “Kinatay”.

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