CANNES — “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” Abdellatif Kechiche’s sweeping and sexually explicit three-hour drama about a French teenage girl’s love affair with another woman, received the Palme d’Or from the jury of the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night. In an unprecedented move, the Steven Spielberg-led jury opted to recognize actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux along with the film.
The Grand Prix went to “Inside Llewyn Davis,” the Coen brothers’ warmly received film set against New York’s 1960s folk-music scene.
Mexican helmer Amat Escalante received the directing prize for “Heli,” a tough drama about a family torn apart by drug-related gang violence.
Berenice Bejo took the actress prize for her performance as a Parisian woman seeking a divorce from her Iranian husband in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past.” The last time Bejo appeared in a Cannes competition entry was in 2011 with “The Artist,” for which she later received an Oscar nomination.
Bruce Dern drew the actor kudo for his performance as an aging husband and father in Alexander Payne’s black-and-white road movie “Nebraska.”
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Chinese writer-director Jia Zhangke was given the screenplay prize for “A Touch of Sin,” his four-part drama based on real-life episodes of violence in contempo China.
The Camera d’Or jury, headed by Agnes Varda, presented its prize for best first film to Singaporean helmer Anthony Chen’s “Ilo ilo,” which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight. Chen noted in his acceptance speech that his was the first pic from Singapore to receive an award in Cannes.
Before Sunday’s ceremony, the Un Certain Regard jury, headed by Thomas Vinterberg, gave its top award to “The Missing Picture,” Cambodian helmer Rithy Panh’s documentary account of his childhood under the Pol Pot regime, and a jury prize to “Omar,” helmer Hany Abu-Assad’s drama about young Palestinian men driven to violence.
Ryan Coogler’s first feature, “Fruitvale Station,” received a Future prize, adding to its two big wins at Sundance, while a directing award was presented to Gallic helmer Alain Guiraudie for his gay-cruising thriller “Stranger by the Lake,” acquired during the festival by Strand Releasing. Finally, the Un Certain Regard jury handed a special A Certain Talent award to the ensemble cast of “La jaula de oro,” an immigration thriller from Mexico-based Spanish helmer Diego Quemada-Diaz.
The big winner in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar was “Me Myself and Mum,” Gallic actor-director Guillaume Gallienne’s comedy adapted from his own stage show; the pic won both the Art Cinema award and the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers’ SACD prize, given to a French-language film. “The Selfish Giant,” British helmer Clio Barnard’s unconventional take on Oscar Wilde, received the Europa Cinemas Label for best European film.
Like Directors’ Fortnight, the Critics’ Week yielded a double winner: “Salvo,” a thriller from Italian directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, which won both the Grand Prix and the Visionary prize in the sidebar. A special mention went to Argentinian entry “The Owners,” helmed by Agustin Toscano and Ezequiel Radusky, while Canadian director Sebastien Pilote’s farming drama “Le Demantelement” took the SACD prize for best screenplay.
The Fipresci international critics jury presented its awards to Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” (competition), Mohammad Rasoulof’s “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” (Un Certain Regard) and Jeremy Saulnier’s “Blue Ruin” (Directors’ Fortnight).
MAIN JURY PRIZES
Palme d’Or: “Blue Is the Warmest Color” (Abdellatif Kechiche, director; Adele Exarchopoulos France)
Grand Prix: “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S.)
Director: Amat Escalante, “Heli” (Mexico)
Actor: Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” (U.S.)
Actress: Berenice Bejo, “The Past” (France-Italy)
Screenplay: Jia Zhangke, “A Touch of Sin” (China)
UN CERTAIN REGARD JURY PRIZES
Main prize: “The Missing Picture” (Rithy Panh, Cambodia-France)
Jury prize: Hany Abu-Assad, “Omar” (Palestine)
Director: Alain Guiraudie, “Stranger by the Lake” (France)
Future prize: “Fruitvale Station” (Ryan Coogler, U.S.)
A Certain Talent prize: Ensemble cast of “La jaula de oro” (Diego Quemada-Diaz, Mexico-Spain)
OTHER JURY PRIZES
Camera d’Or: “Ilo ilo” (Anthony Chen, Singapore)
Directors’ Fortnight Art Cinema Award: “Me Myself and Mum” (Guillaume Gallienne, France)
Directors’ Fortnight SACD Prize: “Me Myself and Mum”
Critics’ Week Grand Prix: “Salvo” (Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza, Italy)
Critics’ Week Visionary Prize: “Salvo”
Critics’ Week Special Mention: “The Owners” (Agustin Toscano, Ezequiel Radusky, Argentina)
Short Films Palme d’Or: “Safe” (Moon Byoung-gon, South Korea)
Ecumenical Jury Prize: “The Past” (Asghar Farhadi, France-Italy)
Competition: “Blue Is the Warmest Color” (Abdellatif Kechiche, France)
Un Certain Regard: “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” (Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran)