Cannes 2011: And the Palme d’Or Goes to ‘The Tree of Life’

Brad Pitt and Hunter McCracken in The Tree of Life
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

My time in Cannes is complete and now the festival itself is complete as today the jury announced the winners of the 64th Cannes Film Festival with the Palme d’Or going to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Personally, I would have rather seen Drive or We Need to Talk about Kevin take the top prize as I don’t think a true verdict on Malick’s picture can be had in such a short time, but you also won’t catch me arguing at any great length against someone that thought it was the best of the festival.

Drive did, however, come out a winner with Nicolas Winding Refn winning Best Director, which makes me quite happy, and while I seem to be the only non-French critic to have really enjoyed Maiwenn Le Besco’s Polisse, it managed to win the Jury Prize.

On an acting front, Kirsten Dunst took home Best Actress for Melancholia which will hopefully be the highlight for that film rather than the silliness that came out of the Lars von Trier press conference. As for Best Actor, that went to the deserving Jean Dujardin for The Artist, which was one of the many unique films in the festival and was one of the early favorites for the Palme.

Overall, you won’t catch me complaining about any of the winners even though I may have gone a different route on a couple of them. That said, you can read all 18 of my reviews from the festival by selecting from the list right here.

It was an absolutely great festival with diversity from film to film and I can only hope Toronto will be just as exciting this September. I have included the complete list of winners directly below.

Palme d’Or:
The Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick) – [my review]

Best Director:
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive – [my review]

Best Screenplay:
Joseph Cedar for Footnote

Jury Prize:
Polisse – [my review]

Camera d’Or:
Las acacias (dir. Pablo Giorgelli)

Best Actress:
Kirsten Dunst for Melacholia (dir. Lars von Trier) – [my review]

Best Actor:
Jean Dujardin for The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanavicius) – [my review]

Grand Prix: TIE
The Kid with a Bike (dirs. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadoulu’da) (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

Short Film Palme d’Or:
Cross-Country (dir. Maryna Vroda)