It was a stunning announcement when Jacques Audiard’s latest drama won the Palme d’Or at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Although the film was a wonderful addition to the year’s festival, it was hardly the hands-down favorite to win the coveted prize. The film follows three Sri Lankan refugees, surviving a harsh reality within the French ghetto.
The festival’s Grand Prize went to “Son of Saul,” a Hungarian film from Laszlo Nemes. The film follows Sonderkommando, Jewish prisoners forced to assist the Nazis in running one of the extermination camps located in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The Jury Prize was another surprise, the award went to “The Lobster,” a comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos. The surreal plot is set in a world where people that fail to mate are turned into animals. Hou Hsiao-Hsien won best director for his very well received martial-arts film “The Assassin.”
The Un Certain Regard went to “Rams,” from Icelandic director Grimur Hakonarson. The Palme for the best short film was given to “Waves ’98,” from the Lebanese director Ely Dagher.
Lambert Wilson, a popular French actor, played host to the awards, which were set within the Lumière Theater. The American Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, presided over a main competition jury. This year the Caméra d’Or went to “La Tierra y la Sombra,” from César Augusto Acevedo. French filmmaker Agnès Varda was given an honorary Palme d’Or. The famous French filmmaker is 87 this year.
Rooney Mara shared the best-actress award with Emmanuelle Bercot. Mara stars with Cate Blanchett in “Carol,” one of the most talked about films at this year’s event. The lesbian romance is sure to be across the globe following the attention from Cannes this year. As for Bercot, she starred in the film “Mon Roi,” from French director Maïwenn.
It was Vincent Lindon that won the best actor award for his work in the French film “The Measure of a Man,” directed by Stéphane Brizé.