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CANNES 2011 Awards

Palme d’Or for Malick’s fascinating The Tree of Life

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Palme d’Or for Malick’s fascinating The Tree of Life

It comes as no surprise that the Palme d’Or of the 64th Cannes Festival has been awarded to The Tree of Life by American director Terrence Malick who, as expected, did not accept his prize in person. Malick’s ambitious film set itself apart for its mysticism and masterful mise-en-scene.

Yet while the festival’s top prize is goes to America, Europe was no by no means excluded from the awards.

The Grand Prix is shared by Belgian film The Kid with a Bike [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
by brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (see article) and Once Upon a Time in Anatolie [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan (see article ) who admitted that he thought his film, presented at the end of the festival, would have been too heavy for the exhausted jury. For the Dardennes, it is their fifth award at Cannes in 12 years at the festival – something they can truly be happy about.

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It was a particular triumph for young American actress Kirsten Dunst to win the Best Actress award, as she came to save the honour of Melancholia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lars von Trier
film profile
]
(see article) by Denmark’s Lars von Trier (see interview), declared a persona non grata at Cannes (see news).

Logically, the Best Actor Award compensated the excellent performance of French thespian Jean Dujardin, who has received his first true international recognition for his role in The Artist [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile
]
(article) by French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius.

The jury presided by Robert De Niro proved audacious in handing out the Best Directing prize to Denmark’s Nicolas Winding Refn, for his US-made film Drive. Following Dunst, the director also paid tribute to his excluded fellow countryman, von Trier.

Best Screenplay went to Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar’s Footnote, which was co-produced with the UK.

The Jury Prize to Polisse [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maïwenn
film profile
]
(see article) by Maïwenn (see interview) came as a surprise and evoked great emotion in the press room as it was announced. The French director invited her co-screenwriter Emmanuelle Bercot and the film’s entire cast on stage at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, to pay them homage and have their pictures taken together.

The Caméra d’Or for Best First Feature is also partially European: Las Acacias [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Spanish/Argentinean co-production by Pablo Giorgelli.

Cross by Ukrainian filmmaker Maryna Vroda won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film, while a Special Mention in the category was given to Beglian title Badpakje 46 (Maillot de Bain 46) by Wannes Destoop.

List of prize winners

Palme d´Or
Tree of Life - Terrence Malick

Grand Prize (ex aequo)
The Kid with a Bike [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
- Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Once Upon a Time in Anatolie [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Actress
Kristen Dunst - Melancholia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lars von Trier
film profile
]

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin - The Artist [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile
]

Best Director
Drive - Nicolas Winding Refn

Best Screenplay
Footnote - Joseph Cedar

Jury Prize
Polisse [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maïwenn
film profile
]
- Maïwenn

Caméra d´Or
Las Acacias [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Pablo Giorgelli

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