Justin Truyet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” won the Palme d’Or at the 76th Cannes Film Festival at a ceremony Saturday that handed the festival’s coveted top prize to the twisty French Alps courtroom drama.
“Anatomy of a Fall”, in which Sandra Hüller as a writer tries to prove her innocence in her husband’s death, is only the third film directed by a woman to win the Palme d’Or. One of the two previous winners, Julia Ducournau, was on this year’s jury.
Its second prize, the Cannes Grand Prix, went to Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” a chilling Martin Amis adaptation about a German family living next to Auschwitz.
The awards were decided by a jury chaired by two-time Palme winner Ruben Östlund, the Swedish director who won the award last year for “Triangle of Sadness.” The ceremony was preceded by the Pixar animation “Elemental”, the film of the closing night of the ceremony.
The jury prize went to Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves,” a dead-end love story about a romance that blossoms in a loveless working-class world where dispatches from the war in Ukraine regularly play on the radio.
The best actor award went to veteran Japanese star Koji Yakusho, who plays a contemplative, middle-aged Tokyo man who cleans toilets in Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days.” Wenders’ film is a gentle, everyday character study.
Turkish actor Merv Dizdar won Best Actress for Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “About Dry Grass”. Ceylan’s sprawling story is about Samet (Deniz Celiloglu), a teacher in icy eastern Anatolia, who is accused of misconduct by a young schoolgirl. Dizdar plays as a friend who is attracted and repelled by Samet.
He added, “The character I am portraying in the film is one who is fighting for her life and has overcome a lot of hardships. Under normal circumstances, I would have had to work hard on this character,” Dizdar said.
“I understand what it’s like to be a woman in this area of the country,” she continued. “I would like to dedicate this award to all the women who are fighting for survival and overcome difficulties in this world and re-train hope.”
Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung took home best director for “Pot-au-Feu,” a lush, foodie love story starring Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel and set in a 19th-century French gourmet château.
Yuji Sakamoto won Best Screenplay for “Monster”. Sakamoto wrote Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s subtle drama with a changing perspective, about two boys struggling for acceptance in their school at home. “Monster” also won the Queer Palm, an honor awarded by journalists to the festival’s strongest LGBTQ-themed film.
Quentin Tarantino, who won Cannes’ top prize for “Pulp Fiction,” attended the ceremony to pay tribute to filmmaker Roger Corman. Tarantino praised Corman for giving him and countless moviegoers “unadulterated cinematic pleasure”.
“My cinema is uninhibited, full of excess and fun,” said Corman, an independent film maverick. “I feel like what Cannes is about.”
The festival’s Un Certain Regard section handed out its awards on Friday, giving the top prize to Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature, “How to Have Sex.”
Saturday’s ceremony drew to an end a Cannes edition that didn’t lack for pageantry, stars or controversy.
The biggest wattage came out of the premiere competition. Martin Scorsese debuts his Osage murder epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a towering vision of American exploitation with Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Harrison Ford’s indie farewell, begins with a tribute to Ford. Wes Anderson premieres “Asteroid City”.
The festival opened on a note of controversy. “Jeanne du Barry”, a period drama co-starring Johnny Depp as Louis XV, played as the opening night film. The premiere marked Depp’s highest-profile appearance since the conclusion of his explosives trial last year with ex-wife Amber Heard.
The selection of “Jean du Barry” added to the criticisms of Cannes for being too hospitable to men accused of abusive behavior.
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