But Stephen Frears' jury threw some curveballs in their prize-giving. There was no mention of the Coen brothers' lauded No Country For Old Men and another favourite, the heavily-praised The Edge Of Heaven director Fatih Akin, took the screenwriting prize rather than one of the main best film awards.
Mungiu's win followed almost universal acclaim for the drama which looked at illegal abortion under the old Romanian communist regime.
'This story, in which we believe so much, is going to reach lots of people now,' Mungiu, told the Cannes closing ceremony.Julian Schnabel took the best director prize for The Diving Bell And The
Butterfly and personally shook the hand of every jury member on stage.
Naomi Kawase's The Mourning Forest took the Grand Jury Prize while Marjane
Satrapi and Vincent Parronaud's animated Persepolis and Carlos Reygadas' Silent
Light shared the Jury Prize.
Best actor went to an absent Konstantin Lavronenko for The Banishment and
heavily-tipped Do-yeon Jeon won for best actress for Lee Chang Dong's Secret
Before awarding that prize, Alain Delon asked for 25 seconds of applause for the late Romy Schneider - an appeal that was heeded.
Critics Week prize winner Les Meduses took the Camera d'Or which is awarded to
the best first fiilm across all sections.
Finally, a special 60th anniversary prize went to Gus Van Sant, while Jane Fonda was given a lifetme achievement award.