Sunday, May 23, 2010

Surprise Best Picture Winner at Cannes


SERIES: Major Film Festivals




A film from Thailand received the top Best Picture Palm d'or (golden palm) at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival's gala awards ceremony today in France. UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat) took the top honor for director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Remember that, if you can. Needless to say, the win took many by surprise. The director won the third-place jury prize at Cannes with TROPICAL MALADY (2004).

UNCLE BOONMEE deals with the final days of a man, a father, dying of kidney failure as the ghost of his dead wife returns to tend him, and his long-lost son comes home in the form of a furry jungle spirit.

Academy Award winners, French actress Juliette Binoche and Spanish actor Javier Bardem, received best-actor honors. However, Bardem shared his award with Italian actor Elio Germano who received the honor for his role in Italian filmmaker Daniele Luchetti's OUR LIFE, a drama about a father, a widower, with three sons.

Binoche, who is featured on this year's Festival Official Poster [above], won her best-actress Oscar for THE ENGLISH PATIENT, and won the Festival award for her role in CERTIFIED COPY, directed by past Palme d'or winner Abbas Kiarostami.

The second-place grand prize (Grand Prix) in the best film category went to French director Xavier Beauvois' solemn drama OF GODS AND MEN, based on the true story of seven French monks beheaded during Algeria's civil war in 1996, received the second-place grand prize. They were monks, so they probably weren't fathers.

Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's film A SCREAMING MAN received the third-place Jury Prize. Again, it's a tragic father. This father loses his cherished job as a swimming pool attendant to his son amid his country's civil war, which brings on tragic consequences.

French filmmaker and actor Mathieu Amalric won the directing award for ON TOUR, in which he plays the manager of a troupe of American burlesque strippers performing around France. His five stripper stars joined him onstage, at his request, as he accepted his award.

South Korean director Lee Chang-dong, won the best screenplay award for POETRY. A grandmother (Yun Junghee) struggles to write a poem as she copes with the onset of Alzheimer's and her troublesome grandson.

The Festival's Camera d'or award for a first-time filmmaker went to Michael Rowe's LEAP YEAR (Año bisiesto), a raunchy romance set in Mexico City. Rowe is an Australian-born transplant to Mexico. The jury that awarded the Camera d'or was headed by Gael García Bernal who happened to have been born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Just saying.

As reported in the previous post, South Korean filmmaker Hong Songsoo's HA, HA, HA, a drama of alternating memories shared by two friends over drinks, won the Un Certain Regard Section.

The Festival closed with the premiere of French Director Julie Bertuccelli's THE TREE, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, a mother-daughter drama.

To see the list of all winners in all section, with links to each film, click title of this post.

American Director Tim Burton was President of the Jury, and the 19 movies in the feature competition were:
ANOTHER YEAR directed by Mike LEIGH
BIUTIFUL (BEAUTIFUL) directed by Alejandro GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU
COPIE CONFORME (CERTIFIED COPY) directed by Abbas KIAROSTAMI
DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (OF GODS AND MEN) directed by Xavier BEAUVOIS
FAIR GAME directed by Doug LIMAN
HORS LA LOI (OUTSIDE OF THE LAW) directed by Rachid BOUCHAREB
LA NOSTRA VITA (OUR LIFE) directed by Daniele LUCHETTI
LA PRINCESSE DE MONTPENSIER (THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER) directed by Bertrand TAVERNIER
LUNG BOONMEE RALUEK CHAT (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) directed by Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL
OUTRAGE directed by Takeshi KITANO
POETRY directed by LEE Chang-dong
RIZHAO CHONGQING (CHONGQING BLUES) directed by WANG Xiaoshuai
ROUTE IRISH directed by Ken LOACH
SCHASTYE MOE (MY JOY) directed by Sergei LOZNITSA
SZELÍD TEREMTÉS - A FRANKENSTEIN TERV (TENDER SON - The Frankenstein Project) directed by Kornél MUNDRUCZÓ
THE HOUSEMAID directed by IM Sangsoo
TOURNÉE (ON TOUR) directed by Mathieu AMALRIC
UN HOMME QUI CRIE (A screaming man) directed by Mahamat-Saleh HAROUN
UTOMLYONNYE SOLNTSEM 2: PREDSTOYANIE (THE EXODUS - Burnt by the sun 2) directed by Nikita MIKHALKOV

To access the Web Site Page with links to each film in competition, CLICK.

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