The Rider trots off with top award at Deauville

Menashe and A Ghost Story among winners

by Richard Mowe

Brady Jandreau plays himself in Chloe Zhao’s The Rider - winner of the Grand Prix Award at the 43rd Festival of American Cinema in Deauville
Brady Jandreau plays himself in Chloe Zhao’s The Rider - winner of the Grand Prix Award at the 43rd Festival of American Cinema in Deauville
The Rider took the top prize, the Grand Prix Award, at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema. The second feature by Chinese-American director Chloe Zhao, this cowboy drama has received many approving reviews and previously scooped the Art Cinema Award in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in the year.

The Rider deals with a young cowboy Brady whose promising future as a top rodeo rider is suddenly jeopardised by a dreadful head injury. The clan are played by real-life family members Brady, Tim and Lilly Jandreau. Zhao met Brady before his real-life accident and developed the story out of the aftermath.

The jury, headed by The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius whose Redoubtable (the true story of how 17-year-old Anne Wiazemsky was wooed by and later married director Godard during the making of La Chinoise in 1967) has just opened in French cinemas, also awarded a shared jury prize. The recipients were David Lowery's A Ghost Story in which Casey Affleck stars opposite Rooney Mara and Joshua Z Weinstein’s Menashe (being released as Brooklyn Yiddish in France), a gentle, melancholy father-and-son story set among haredi communities in Brooklyn's Borough Park and Crown Heights neighbourhoods. Hazanavicius praised Weinstein for his " “humanity and poetry."

A Ghost Story also received the Critics’ Prize and an honour from the Revelation Jury.

The Audience Award was bestowed on Marc Webb’s Mary which features Chris Evans as a single man raising his child prodigy niece and who is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.

As part of the closing ceremony tribute was paid to Woody Harrelson, who received an honorary award.

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