In something of a surprise, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has won the Palme d’Or. Tim Burton’s jury awarded the Thai film with its top honour on Sunday evening in Cannes as the festival wrapped. The film sees a man revisit his past as he faces imminent death.
The Grand Prize went to Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods And Men which had been expected to take home a top award. The Jury Prize went to Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man (Un Homme Qui Cri). The film is set in modern-day Chad where a man is constantly harassed to contribute to the so-called war effort.
Frenchman Mathieu Amalric took the directing prize for On Tour (Tournee), his look at a burlesque troupe traveling through France. Screenplay honors went to Lee Chang Dong for Poetry.
In one of the most emotional moments of the evening, Juliette Binoche won the best actress award for Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy. Binoche paid tribute to Jafar Panahi, the Iranian director who had been asked to be on the jury but is currently under arrest in Iran.
The Camera d’Or – given to a first time feature filmmaker – went to Michael Rowe for Leap Year (Ano Bisiesto).
The short film to win the Palme d’Or was Chienne D’Histoire by Serge Avedikian. The Jury Prize for a short went to Micky Bader by Frida Kempff.
One of the best-reviewed films of the festival, Mike Leigh’s Another Year, went prizeless.