Audiard nabs Cannes Palme d’Or

Dheepan opens eyes to troubles of the world.

by Richard Mowe

Jacques Audiard, 2015 Palme d’Or winner for Dheepan
Jacques Audiard, 2015 Palme d’Or winner for Dheepan Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
After spending the day (Sunday May 24) ensconced in a hideaway villa high in the hills behind Cannes, deprived of their mobile phones for the sake of secrecy, Joel and Ethan Coen and the rest of the Competition jury tonight have broken their silence to award the festival’s top prize to A Prophet and Rust And Bone director Jacques Audiard for Dheepan.

The film, one of a number of films dealing with hard-hitting issues at this year’s festival, deals with a former fighter in the Sri Lankan civil war trying to make a new life in France with a fake family.

Dheephan, the story of a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France.
Dheephan, the story of a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France.
Lambert Wilson, master of ceremonies, told the gliterati at the Palais des Festivals, that they should open their eyes to the troubles of the world - many of them evoked in the 19 films in the Compeition of the 68th edition.

Mexican director Michel Franco received the best script accolade for Chronic. He told the Coen Brothers that they were one of the reasons he went in to cinema. Tim Roth stars as a nurse who invests too much in his clients’ end-of-life care.

The best actress prize was shared by Rooney Mara for her performance as the shop girl in a lesbian relationship with Cate Blanchett in Carol by Todd Haynes and Emmanuelle Bercot for her role opposite Vincent Cassel in Mon Roi by Maïwenn. Haynes accepted the award on behalf of Mara, who had to return earlier to New York.

The best actor award went to Vincent Lindon for The Measure Of A Man by Stephane Brizé, in which he plays a family man on the dole trying to find work. In an emotional speech, Lindon said it was the first time he had received a prize in his life.

Future dystopia The Lobster.
Future dystopia The Lobster.
Yorgos Lanthimos received the jury prize for his high-wire relationship fantasy The Lobster. It stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux in a fable about a future world where people are forced to couple up or be turned into animals.

Taiwanese veteran Hou Hsiao-hsien was named best director for his film The Assassin, an enigmatic and stunningly beautiful refined martial arts tale.

First-time contender Laszlo Nemes received the grand prix for Son Of Saul, a tough-minded Auschwitz study which early on started a critical buzz.

The Colombian film Land And Shade (La Tierra Y La Sombra) by director César Augusto Acevedo won the Camera d’Or out of 26 first films in the Festival.

During the cermony, an honorary Palme was given to Agnès Varda for her body of work. The award was bestowed by Jane Birkin to “the only woman in the boys’ club of the Nouvelle Vague”.

Varda said: “I am a woman and French and my films never make money.” Only Woody Allen, in 2002, Clint Eastwood, in 2009, and Bernardo Bertolucci, in 2011, have been honoured with this award.

Those touted in the critical ratings but who missed out on awards included Paolo Sorrentino for Youth, and Nanni Moretti for Mia Madre.

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