The Jury, lead by Jane Campion, had a tough time choosing. After Campion’s remarks about gender inequality at the beginning of the festival and her criticism of the machismo still prevalent in the film business, they awarded the Palme d’Or to one of the last films shown – Winter Sleep. The 3 hour and 16 minutes long film won’t be seen by huge audiences, once again proving the Cannes credo 'art before commerce’. Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan dedicated the win to “those who lost their lives in the last year.“
Host Lamber Wilson couldn’t have know the winner at the beginning of the ceremony when he said: “The best things have an end. Not films.” Add a little irony here and one could say, yes, clearly not! Too many contenders felt endless and not in a good way. Very deserved however was the tie for the special jury prize: Jean-Luc Godard won for Goodbye to Language, and Canadian enfant terrible Xavier Dolan for Mommy. Dolan accepted his award and the longest hug from Jane Campion after he told her that the defining moment for him to start a career in film was when he watched The Piano.
Julianne Moore was not present to accept her best actress prize for her portrayal of a disturbed Hollywood actress in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars but many felt that this will put her well on her way to an Oscar nom. The same can be said for Bennett Miller who got the Best director award for Foxcatcher. Fun facts: Moore has never won an Academy award but all three major festivals – Venice, Berlin and now Cannes. Miller has only made three films so far but got an Oscar nom for his previous two and I would be very surprised if he didn’t get one for Foxcatcher. Timothy Spall was teary when accepted for best actor in Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner. And to move the audience even more, the fantastic Sophia Loren got on stage and talked about “the man in the sunglasses who appears on this year’s festival poster and whom I shared three films with. Marcello. So many memories.“
Quentin Tarantino (looking slightly heavy) and Uma Thurman closed the night with the main award, walking on stage to the soundtrack of Pulp Fiction.
The only surprises were the omissions: The Dardennes brothers’ Two Days, One Night was much talked about, but most felt that the Dardennes didn’t really need a third Palme d’Or. The jury split the awards evenly between all the other favorites.
Here is the complete winners list:
: Winter Sleep, dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Grand Prize: Le Meraviglie (The Wonders), dir: Alice Rohrwacher
Best Director: Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Jury Prize – Tie: Mommy, dir: Xavier Dolan Goodbye To Language, dir: Jean-Luc Godard
Best Screenplay: Andrey Zvyagintsev, Oleg Negin, Leviathan
Best Actress : Julianne Moore, Maps To The Stars
Best Actor : Timothy Spall, Mr Turner
Camera d’Or: Party Girl, dirs: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Short Film : Leidi, dir: Simón Mesa Soto Special Mention: Aïssa, dir: Clément Trehin-Lalanne Ja Vi Elsker, dir: Hallvar Witzo