I have not mentioned the Cannes Film Festival at all, mainly because the buzz from there is sometimes so hard to read. Most films that go on to win the film festival's top prize do that and only that…Oscar seldom follows. Also true for the performances which hardly ever translate (hello BJORK !!!!)
What the festival does, is bring attention to wonderful films that may slip by and get missed in the Blockbuster and Oscar races and therefore allowing an interested audience knowledge of films that have an important global dialogue.
Check out a wonderful listing of Cannes honourees here, and then go to the ‘FESTIVAL ARCHIVES’ link at the top and select ‘All Awards’ and you can browse by year and update you DVD rental list.
Check out the wonderful Entertainment Weekly film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum’s take take on the festival and the films to triumph.