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Dunst wins actress prize at Cannes

Thesp honored for 'Melancholia'

Kirsten Dunst received the actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday for her performance in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia.”

The jury, headed by Robert De Niro, clearly opted not to deny “Melancholia” a prize even though the festival had declared von Trier “persona non grata” after the director’s ill-judged jokes about being a Nazi at the “Melancholia” press conference.

While the ban prevented von Trier from attending the ceremony or entering the Palais des Festivals, the pic itself remained eligible for prizes.

“What a week it’s been,” Dunst said upon accepting the prize. “Thank you to the Cannes Film Festival for still allowing our film to be in competition.” She thanked von Trier “for giving me the opportunity to be so brave in this film, and so free.”

In “Melancholia,” Dunst plays a depressed bride whose wedding occurs a few weeks before a planet finds itself on a collision course with the Earth.

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