Haneke wins Palme d’Or, Garrone wins the Grand Prix
by Domenico La Porta
28/05/2012 - Despite the rain that Bérénice Bejo braved to make her welcome speech, crowds gathered on Sunday night in the Grand Théâtre Lumière for the awards ceremony of this 65th Cannes Film Festival, which awarded its top prize to Love by Michael Haneke. The Austrian filmmaker has thus joined Francis Ford Coppola, Shoei Imamura, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, and the Dardenne brothers in the very exclusive club of directors who have won the Palme d’Or twice, after receiving one in 2009 for The White Ribbon. The jury’s president, Nanni Moretti, underlined the fundamental contribution of the film’s two actors in winning this award. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva did not receive awards themselves, but they nevertheless spoke on stage when they came up to receive the Palme d’Or with their director.
Nanni Moretti’s jury chose to award its Grand Prix to another Italian, director Matteo Garrone who came to Cannes to screen Reality. This is his second Grand Prix at the festival after winning one for Gomorra in 2008.
The international jury also awarded The Angel’s Share, a comedy by British film director Ken Loach, the Jury Prize. It’s the third time that Ken Loach — who also won a Palme d’Or in 2006 — receives this award.
Mexican director Carlos Reygadas won Best Director for Post Tenebras Lux, a film co-produced with several European countries including France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Brilliant Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen came up on stage to receive his award for Best Actor to thunderous applause for his powerful performance in The Hunt by fellow Dane Thomas Vinterberg.
As for actresses, the jury’s favourites were the young Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur who both starred in Beyond the Hills, a film honoured for the second time that evening with this double Best Actress award, as Romanian director Cristian Mungiu had already been up on stage earlier to receive his award for Best Screenplay.
From 25 first features in all the festival’s sections, Beasts of the Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin won the Caméra d’Or for Best First Feature Film. The film was selected for the Un Certain Regard section, but many have said that it would have been in the Official Selection if it hadn’t already won the Grand Prize at Sundance.
The Palme d'Or for Best Short Film went to Silence (Sessiz-Be Deng) by Turkish director L. Rezan Yesilbas.
Love - Michael Haneke
Reality - Matteo Garrone
Cristina Flutur, Cosmina Stratan - Beyond the Hills
Mads Mikkelsen - The Hunt
Carlos Reygadas - Post Tenebras Lux
Beyond the Hills - Cristian Mungiu
The Angels' Share - Ken Loach
Beasts of the Southern Wild - Benh Zeitlin
Palme d'Or for Best Short Film
Silence - L. Rezan Yesilbas
(Translated from French)