And the winner is…
Entre Les Murs – The Class by Laurent Cantet, an evocation of contemporary society in a Paris high school classroom went to the very top winning the Palme d’Or of the 61st Cannes Film Festival. It took France 21 years since last Palme d’Or Under Satan’s Sun in 1987.
Jury president Sean Penn called The Class “an amazing, amazing film,” and further extolled it at the subsequent jury press conference, calling it a
virtually seamless film. All the performances, magic. All the writing, magic. It just touched us so deeply.”
Grand Prix went to Gomorrah, an Italian film by Matteo Garrone. The film is unsparing look at organized crime in Naples.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the directing prize for Three Monkeys, an intense drama of a Turkish family pulled apart by crime. In 2003 Ceylan took the Grand Prix for Distant.
For Italy this year has been a special one in Cannes. Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo nabbed the jury prize for a stylish look at former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.
Benicio Del Toro was named best actor for the title role in Che. He also co-produced this biopic of Ernesto Guevara.
The best actress prize won Sandra Corveloni who played pregnant single mother of four boys living in Sao Paolo’s slums in the Brazilian movie Linha de Passe. Unfortunately she wasn’t there to recieve the award. Co-directors Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas went up the stage on Sandra’s behalf.
Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne are double Palme d’Or winners. This year they were given the best screenplay prize for the drama Lorna’s Silence. Lorna is a young immigrant in Belgium suffering intense pressure from her husband, her lover and other men.
Special Prize “Prix de 61st Festival de Cannes” awarded to both Catherine Deneuve for her participation in Un Conte de Noel (A Christmas Tale by Arnaud Depleschin) and Clint Eastwood for Changeling
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