“The critics were wrong… It’s a big-time leading role,” said Hunger Games actor Donald Sutherland, a member of the jury.
After an article from Indiewire.com reported that some critics were unhappy of the Best Actress choice. Critics were saying that Jaclyn Jose’s character was a supporting role in the Brillante Mendoza film Ma’Rosa.
(A scene in Ma’Rosa by renowned director, Brillante Mendoza starring Jaclyn Jose, the first Filipina to win Best Actress at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.)
French director and screenwriter Arnaud Desplechin was so moved by Jaclyn’s performance that he was quoted saying, “She broke my heart,” remarked the jury member.
Among the 59-year-old veteran actress of the Philippines contenders were, American Honey breakout Sasha Lane; The Neon Demon‘s Elle Fanning; Ruth Negga in Jeff Nichols’ Loving; Elle‘s Isabelle Huppert and From The Land Of The Moon‘s Marion Cotillard.
Variety magazine praised Jose for the “naturalistic grace” of her film performance, playing the matriarch of a family struggling to survive amid squalor.
(Photo courtesy of AFP Photo/Valery Hache)
“I am so thankful to Brillante Mendoza,” said Jaclyn Jose in a quick interview aired on TV Festival de Cannes. “I did not [expect]. I just want to come here and be with my daughter and walk the red carpet.
“I was just sitting there watching the stage how nice it… is and how come in the Philippines we can’t make this, just these simple things and then they call my name. So I got surprised. I’m so happy really, really,” the veteran actress added. “But of course I’m proud so proud of our film. We just don’t know how people would react or will like our film but us, we know that we did our best and we know that we have a good film.”