Twenty-five years after taking the festival by storm with “Pulp Fiction”, Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie has already clinched an award at Cannes - thanks to a dog in a show-stealing fight scene.
“Brandy”, which was actually played by three different pitbulls, won the unofficial “Palm Dog” prize at the cinema showcase on Friday.
“I have to say I am so honored to have this,” Tarantino told the light-hearted ceremony to pick up the collar handed out to winners.
“I would like to dedicate this to my wonderful actress Brandy,” he added, drawing laughs from the crowd at the award that is made every year at the festival.
Tarantino said one of the dogs that took part in the fight scene was initially his favorite among the canine cast, but he said he had later been drawn to the expressive face of another of the pitbulls during the editing process.
The US filmmaker said he would keep the award even though he does not have a dog, adding that he might get one some day but it would likely come from a rescue center if he did.
Tarantino said of the Palm Dog: “It will go on my mantelpiece, alright, my mantelpiece of honor.”
Set in the late 1960s, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, an actor struggling to come to terms with his fading career, and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, his stunt double.
Booth keeps a pitbull, with which he has one-on-one scenes, including comedy moments that include preparing an unappetising-looking dinner for his pet and training the dog to respond to commands.
The dog makes a comeback in the film’s final sequence. Tarantino has pleaded with critics who viewed the movie at Cannes not to reveal any major spoilers.
Tarantino won the top Palme d’Or film award at Cannes in 1994. He is vying against veteran directors including Ken Loach and Pedro Almodovar for this year’s prize, set to be announced on May 25.