Quiet night for Brits in Cannes
A subdued Cannes film festival has come to a close with the top prize – the Palme d’Or – going to the Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul for his mystical movie, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
The second-placed Grand Prize went to Xavier Beauvois’s drama, Of Gods and Men, about the killing of seven French monks in Algeria in the 1990s.
The third most prestigious honour, the Jury Prize, went to A Screaming Man, by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, from Chad.
Despite two British films being among the competition entrants, neither Mike Leigh’s Another Year nor Ken Loach’s Route Irish came away with any prizes. The nine-member jury, headed by the director Tim Burton, also bypassed the only American film in the competition, Doug Liman’s Fair Game – about the real life CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Other awards of the night saw Juliette Binoche collect the Best Actress prize for her role in Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy. And the Best Actor award was shared between Spain’s Javier Bardem for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful and Elio Germano for La Nostra Vita.
Known more for his acting, Frenchman Mathieu Amalric won the Best Directing award for On Tour.
South Korea’s Lee Chang-dong won the Best Screenplay prize for Poetry, about a grandmother coping with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Un Certain Regard side-bar of generally more arty films was won by another South Korean, Hong Sangsoo, for his drama Ha Ha Ha.
The Camera d’Or – for the best first-time filmmaker at Cannes – went to Michael Rowe, for his romance Leap Year, which was screening as part of the Directors’ Fortnight strand.