The coveted Palme d’Or prize for best picture was awarded today, and like most years at Cannes, there was no front-runner winner. Speculation had Leviathan, Mommy or perhaps even early awards favorite Foxcatcher as potential top honors out of all the festival submissions. Of course, at Cannes, the awards rarely break out how critics think they will. Cannes jurors Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Nicolas Winding Refn, Gael Garcia Bernal had some surprises in store.
Timothy Spall won best actor for his performance in Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner. After receiving the trophy from Monica Bellucci, Spall read his acceptance off of his phone. “I’ve spent a lot of time being a bridesmaid. This is the first time I’ve ever been a bride.” A more heartfelt acceptance speech came from Dual Jury Prize winner, Xavier Dolan, looking as if he were about to burst into tears. Dolan thanked jury leader Jane Campion and referenced The Piano in his speech. Jean-Luc Godard was typically absent. Another pleasant surprise came in the form of Alice Rohrwacher taking home the Grand Prix award. One of only two directors in competition, The Wonders director made quite a splash.
When the votes were counted and the Palme d’Or was handed out to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter’s Sleep. Various critics felt that Winter’s Sleep was a mixed bag when reviews came out of France earlier this week, but those who loved the film, really loved the film. That passion usually helps push a film over the top and the jaw-dropping reactions to Winter’s Sleep made it that much easier to win.
Still, my favorite moment from the festival may have come in the form of Nicholas Winding Refn speaking about Jean Luc Godard’s shared Jury prize. “We finally shut up Godard and gave him a prize.”
Full List of Winners
BEST ACTOR: Timothy Spall in MR. TURNER
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore in MAPS TO THE STARS
PRIX du SCENARIO (Best Screenplay): LEVIATHAN
CAMERA d’OR: PARTY GIRL
DUAL JURY PRIZE: Xavier Dolan’s MOMMY and Jean-Luc Godard’s GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE
PRIX DE MISE EN SCENE (Best Director): Bennett Miller for FOXHUNTER
GRAND PRIX: Alice Rohrwacher’s THE WONDERS
PALME d’OR to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s WINTER SLEEP