Tom McCarthy's The Visitor has taken the Grand Prize at The 34th Deauville Festival of American Film.
The film, starring Richard Jenkins as a widower who truly finds himself via an unlikely encounter with a couple of illegal immigrants in New York, was a hit with the festival crowd in what was generally considered a sombre competition line-up. Click here to see review.
Since its debut at Sundance, The Visitor has generated strong Oscar buzz for Jenkins' portrayal along with healthy box office.
In recent years, Deauville has been very astute in predicting Oscar nominees and winners including Crash and Little Miss Sunshine.
McCarthy previously directed the widely lauded The Station Agent. TFM is handling distribution of The Visitor in France and will release the film on October 29.
Lance Hammer's Ballast won both the Jury Prize and the Cartier Revelation Prize. The drama won prizes in Sundance this year and also ran in Berlin. It has yet to be released in France. Click here to see review.
The main jury was presided over by Carole Bouquet who said, 'There were only two prizes. There were other directors that we would have liked to honor but unfortunately we had to make a choice.'
The International Critics Prize went to Damian Harris' Gardens Of The Night starring John Malkovich, Tom Arnold and Jeremy Sisto. Click here to see review.
It also has yet to be released in France. Agence France Presse reported that this year's Deauville attracted 65,000 moviegoers as compared to 55,000 last year.
Indeed, the screening rooms were chock-a-block despite a noticeable lack of star presence.
Then again, it would have been hard to compete with last year's parade of sunshine and star power which saw the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck turn up the wattage.
This year's weather was slightly more inclement and the star power a bit subdued. However, Kevin Spacey, Spike Lee, Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris were among those who added a bit of Hollywood oomph to the proceedings.