Kidman hailed the Queen of Cannes

Palme d’Or for Swedish satire The Square.

by Richard Mowe

Moment of glory: Juliette Binoche joined jury president Pedro Almodóvar to award the Palme d’Or to Ruben Östlund for The Square
Moment of glory: Juliette Binoche joined jury president Pedro Almodóvar to award the Palme d’Or to Ruben Östlund for The Square Photo: Richard Mowe

In a 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in which there no obvious contenders for the top prize of the Palme d’Or (or indeed for any of the other categories) Pedro Almodóvar and his jury came up with solutions which covered most bases by awarding a special anniversary prize to Nicole Kidman, who appeared in no less than four titles in the Festival, including Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing Of A Sacred Deer and Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled (both prizewinners), John Cameron Mitchell's out-of-competition title How To Talk To Girls At Parties, and Season Two of Jane Campion's series Top Of The Lake.

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman Photo: Richard Mowe

The top prize of the Palme d’Or was awarded to Swedish writer and director Ruben Östlund for The Square, a critique of society and alleged humanitarian values. Östlund asked the audience to let out a collective “scream of happiness” as he received his prize from Almodóvar and Juliette Binoche.

Robin Campillo, who made an impression with Eastern Boys, was a popular choice for the Grand Prix for his new film 120 Beats Per Minute, set amid the gay community in Paris in the 1990s.

Sofia Coppola who was absent from Cannes, was awarded best director for The Beguiled, an adaptation of Thomas P Cullinan’s novel set in the Civil War and previously adapted by Don Siegel in the 1971 Clint Eastwood version (a role now taken by Colin Farrell opposite Kidman as the matriarch).

Table thumping win for the Swedish satire The Square which this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or
Table thumping win for the Swedish satire The Square which this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or Photo: Cannes Film Festival

The Best Actor award was bestowed on Joaquin Phoenix in Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of You Were Never Really Here, a Jonathan Ames novel about a hitman (Phoenix) tasked with saving a child forced into prostitution. Ramsay shared the best screenplay award with Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (also starring Kidman and Farrell). Diane Kruger received best actress award for In The Fade by Turkey’s Fatih Akin playing in her native German for the first time as the wife of a man killed in a suicide attack.

Russia’s Andrey Zyvagintsev who previously won a Cannes screenplay prize for Leviathan in 2014, received the jury prize for Loveless, about the exploits of a couple on the verge of divorce whose child goes missing as their family falls apart.

The Camera d’Or award for the best first film across the Festival’s various sections was won by Leonor Serraille for Jeune Femme (Montparnasse-Bienvenüe).

Nineteen films screened in competition. Besides Pedro Almodovar the jury comprised Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-wook, Maren Ade, Paolo Sorrentino and Gabriel Yared.

Competition

  • Palme d’Or: The Square by Swedish director Ruben Östlund
  • Special prize created for the 70th edition of the Festival: Nicole Kidman
  • Grand Prix: 120 Beats Per Minute by Robin Campillo
  • Best Director: Sofia Coppola for The Beguiled
  • Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix for You Were Never Really Here
  • Best Actress: Diane Kruger for In The Fade
  • Jury Prize: Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev for Loveless
  • Best Screenplay: shared between Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer and Scots directdor Lynne Ramsay for You Were Never Really Here

Other Prizes

  • Camera d’Or: Jeune Femme (Montparnasse-Bienvenüe) by Léonor Serraille
  • Short Film Palme d’Or: Xiao Cheng Er Yue (Qiu Yang)
  • Short Film Special Mention: Katto (Teppo Airaksinen)
  • Golden Eye Documentary Prize: Faces Places (Visages Villages) by Agnès Varda
  • Ecumenical Jury Prize: Radiance (Naomi Kawase)

Pedro Almodóvar’s Jury on the red carpet for the last time before tonight’s awards ceremony
Pedro Almodóvar’s Jury on the red carpet for the last time before tonight’s awards ceremony Photo: Richard Mowe

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