On Sunday, the awards ceremony was held in Cannes, France, after 11 days of screenings for movies of all genres from around the world.
The jury in Cannes was led by filmmaking brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen. Other jurors were actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain), actress Sienna Miller (American Sniper), director Sophie Marceau (Braveheart), director Xavier Dolan (Mommy), director Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), actress Rossy de Palma (Kika), and composer Rokia Traoré (All the Invisible Children).
Best Short Film — Waves ’98
Waves ’98 is about a high schooler living in highly segregated Beirut. He discovers a whole new world that is so close to him yet so far. With this discovery, he loses his sense of home and his attachments.
Camera d’Or — La Tierra y la Sombra
Cesar Acevedo won this award given to any debut film at the Cannes film festival. La Tierra y la Sombra (Land and Shade) tells us the story of a Colombian farmer who must return home to be with his terminally ill son during his final days.
Prix du Scénario – Michael Franco for Chronic
This award is given to the best screenplay, which was won this year by writer-director Michael Franco for Chronic. With this win, contender Tim Roth lost his chance for best actor — each film can only win one award. The Guardian said “He radiates in repose a sadness and a swallowed pain,” in their review of the film.
Best Actress — shared by Rooney Mara for Carol and Emmanuele Bercot for Mon Roi
Rooney Mara torpedoed Carol’s chances of winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes with her captivating performance. Bercot came to the stage in tears, as did jury member Xavier Dolan. Many predicted Carol would capture the top prize at Cannes, including the Guardian.
Prix du Jury — Yorgos Lanthimos for The Lobster
Cannes’ “bronze medal” goes to Lanthimos’ wild tale of love and being alone. Many had this film as a favorite to win the Palme d’Or for a majority of the Cannes Film Festival, but were knocked out of contention with this win.
Best Actor — Vincent Lindon for La Loi du Marche
Lindon plays a man struggling to keep his family intact after losing his job at a factory. Lindon carried this film, which would have been lost without his delightful performance.
Best Director — Hou Hsiao-hsien for The Assassin
His first film in eight years gave him the directing prize at Cannes. The Assassin tells the story of a young female contract killer who is forced to clean a job that was messed up. This film was the favorite of many critics, but at times was a bit of a slow watch.
Grand Prix — László Nemes for Son of Saul
Cannes’ “silver medal” goes to Son of Saul. The most daring film at the Cannes line-up, it is a gut-wrenching watch, set in Auschwitz at the height of the Nazi’s extermination of the Jews. It is terrifying, but very compelling filmmaking.
Palme d’Or — Jacques Audiard for Dheepan
This was the biggest surprise of the Cannes award ceremony. Dheepan is a low-key study of Tamil Tiger refugees trying to construct a new life in France. Audiard is a regular at Cannes, his Rust and Bone and A Prophet won the Grand Prix in 2009.
The Cannes film festival has faced some controversy this year due to its policy on flat heeled shoes. This faced significant backlash.
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