‘Amour’ Wins the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival


Michael Haneke accepts the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Michael Haneke accepts the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Today the winners at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival were announced with Michael Haneke‘s accepting the Palme d’Or for his devastating new film, Amour, a story of an 80-something couple in which the wife is slowly dying and her husband tends to her during her final moments.

Of the films predicted to win, Amour was at the top along with Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors and Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone. Ironically enough, the latter two films went home empty-handed with a few surprise winners elsewhere.

In the acting categories it was thought the performances of Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva from Amour or the performances of Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts in Rust & Bone would be likely winners for the acting awards. No dice. Acting prizes went to a pair of divisive films, neither of which I saw, but both of which I heard exact opposite response from those that saw them.

Best Actor went to Mads Mikkelsen for The Hunt and the Best Actress award was split between Cosmina Straten and Cristina Flutur for their performances in Cristian Mungiu‘s Beyond The Hills. Mungiu was also awarded for Best Screenplay.

The Grand Prix went to Matteo Garrone‘s Reality, which was reportedly met with a chorus of boos when announced and another surprise is Best Director going to Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenebras Lux, a film I that seemed to be overshadowed by Holy Motors in the “What the hell was that?” department.

Finally, the Jury Prize went to Ken Loach‘s The Angels’ Share with the least surprising award, the Camera d’Or (awarded for best first film) going to Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts of the Southern Wild, which actually didn’t end up winning the Un Certain Regard.

Already announced over the last couple of days were the Directors’ Fortnight and Un Certain Regard winners. In the Directors’ Fortnight, Pablo Larrain‘s much talked about No, which was picked up by Sony Classics took home top honors with Merzak Allouache‘s The Repentant winning the Europa Cinemas Label for best European film and Noemi Lvovsky‘s Camille Rewinds won the SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers) Prize, given to a French-language film in the section.

In the Un Certain Regard selection, which was chaired by Tim Roth, Michel Franco‘s Despues de Lucia took home top honors though most thought Beasts of the Southern Wild was the front-runner. Beasts did, however, take home the FIPRESCI jury award from the Un Certain Regard, an award that essentially equals the critics award when it comes to the fest.

The Un Certain Regard special jury prize went to Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern‘s Le Grand Soir and then there was a split for Best Actress with both Emilie Dequenne and Suzanne Clement being awarded for their performances in Our Children and the excellent Laurence Anyways (my review here) respectively.

I have listed all of today’s winners directly below along with links to my review where applicable.

Palme d’Or:

Grand Prix:

Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director):

  • Carlos Reygadas (Post Tenebras Lux)

Prix du Scenario (Best Screenplay):

  • Cristian Mungiu (Beyond The Hills)

Camera d’Or (Best First Feature):

  • Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) [my review]

Prix du Jury (Jury Prize):

  • The Angels’ Share (dir. Ken Loach)

Prix d’interpretation feminine (Best Actress):

  • Cosmina Straten and Cristina Flutur (Beyond the Hills)

Prix d’interpretation masculine (Best Actor):

  • Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt)

For all of my coverage from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival click here.