Loach: The director that shook the festival
by Fabien Lemercier
It was a European sweep – with the UK, Spain and France leading the way – at the 59th edition of the Cannes Film Festival , where a surprise Palme d'Or went to veteran UK director Ken Loach for his The Wind That Shakes the Barley (see article).
This well-deserved award consecrates the career of a filmmaker who will be turning 70 next month and who has already won three times at Cannes: the Jury Prize in 1990 and 1993 for Hidden Agenda Raining Stones, respectively, and Best Screenplay for Sweet Sixteen in 2002. The revival of UK cinema was further emphasised by jury president Wong Kar-wai when the Jury Prize was given to Red Road, the debut feature Andrea Arnold.
However, it was on the acting front that these two countries picked up an unexpected number of awards (11 overall). The respective Best Actress and Best Actor prizes went collectively to the six Spanish actresses (Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohanna Cobo and Chus Lampreave) in Volver and the four French actors (Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Bernard Blancan and Samy Nacéri) of Days of Glory by Rachid Bouchareb (who also produced Dumont’s film).
Europe rounded out its victories with the Caméra d’Or for East Bucharest by Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu. The only major prize won by a non-European was the Best Directing Award, which was given to Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu for Babel.
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu - Babel
Volver - Pedro Almodóvar
Palme d´Or for the Best Short Film
Sniffe by Bobbie Peers
(Translated from French)
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