It was a mix of old and new at the awards ceremony for the58th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday night. Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and LucDardenne (pictured here) walked off with the Palme d'Or for their gritty, bleak film TheChild (L'Enfant). At presstime, their film had yet to secure a North American distribution deal.
This was the second such award for the duofollowing 1999's controversial Rosetta. In doing so they match Emir Kusturica, this year's Cannes jury president, and Francis Ford Coppola as the only filmmakers to have won the French festival's top prize on two separate occasions.
In a surprise turn, Oscar winner Hilary Swank turned up tohand out the main prize, flanked by Million Dollar Baby co-star and ubiquitous Cannes attendee MorganFreeman. (See ScreenDaily.com's review sidebar for full Child review.)
The Grand Jury Prize, commonly regarded as the runner-up award, also went to a seasoned filmmaker in Jim Jarmusch, for his well received BrokenFlowers. Accepting the prize, the American director offered fulsome praise to his fellow filmmakers on the Croisette, as well as the to festival itself.
Though he was hotly tipped to take the Palme d'Or for Cache, Michael Haneke won the best directing prizeinstead. The film stars Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche and was picked upby Sony Pictures Classics near the end of the market.
Festival newcomer Tommy Lee Jones won the best actor prizefor his feature directing debut The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada. The film also took the award for screenwritingwhich went to Mexican Guillermo Arriaga. Executive produced by Luc Besson, thewins represent the first for his studio EuropaCorp.
Israeli actress Hanna Laszlo took the best actress prize forher turn in Amos Gitai's Free Zone.Laszlo is very well known in her home country and this was her first win in amajor festival.
The Jury Prize went to Wang Xiaoshuai's ShanghaiDreams. The director noted he wasparticularly excited as the win fell on his birthday.
The Camera d'Or, which is given to a first timefilmmaker, was shared by Sri Lanka's Vimukthi Jayasundara for La TerreAbandonnee and American director MirandaJuly's Me, You And Everyone We Know, which was a joint production of the UK's Film Four and New York's IFC Films. La TerreAbandonnee ran in the Un Certain Regard sidebar whileMe, You And Everyone We Know took the Critics' Week prize as well.
The award for best short film went to an ebullient IgorStrembitskvy's Podorozhni fromUkraine.
The jury for the 58th festival was presided over by Bosnian directorKusturica along with actors Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek and Nandita Das,directors John Woo, Agnes Varda, Benoit Jacquot and Fatih Akin and Americannovelist Toni Morrison.