CANNES, France — Joe and Ethan Coen's offbeat comedy "Barton Fink" dominated this year's Cannes Film Festival like nothing in recent memory, winning not only the Golden Palm for best picture, but also the director's prize for the Coens and the best actor prize for John Turturro.
It was the third year in a row that an American won the Golden Palm and second in the last three years that Spike Lee has been sent away empty handed. Lee's "Jungle Fever" did win one award, a curious second acting award to Samuel L. Jackson. Normally, the jury presents the awards only for lead actors.
Lee's "Do the Right Thing" lost two years ago to Steven Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and videotape." David Lynch's "Wild at Heart" won the Golden Palm last year.
In "Jungle Fever," Jackson plays the drug-addicted brother of a successful Harlem architect played by Wesley Snipes. His award, apparently the equivalent of a best supporting actor award, will be seen as little more than a sop to Lee and the large contingent of critics who will feel he has been short-changed again.