As the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday, the jury, which included Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and Jude Law, among others, revealed the winners of the various awards, including the prestigious Palme D’Or, the highest award given at the festival.

This year, Jane Fonda presented the award on the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière to Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life. This period film, which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, chronicles the life of Jack, a young man who grew up in the Midwest in the 1950s, as he struggles to find meaning and constancy in an ever-changing world. “It seemed to have the size, the importance, the tension to fit the prize,” De Niro said.

The Grand Prix this year was shared by two movies – Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan from Turkey, and The Kid With A Bike by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne of Belgium. Nicolas Winding Refn of Denmark was earned the best director for his movie Drive, while the Jury Prize was awarded to France’s Maïwenn for Poliss.

Jean Dujardin of France won the Best Performance for an Actor award for his role as a silent movie actor George Valentin in The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius. The best actress award went to Kirsten Dunst for her performance as Justine in the drama Melancholia, where the relationship between two sisters is tested as another planet threatens to collide with Earth. While Dunst said she was honored to have been chosen for the role, the film’s director Lars Von Trier was at the center of controversy at a festival press conference, where, in response to a question about the Germanic influences on his films, he said, “… I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit,” as Dunst and costar Charlotte Gainesbourg looked on in horror. While von Trier claims it was a joke, he was made to apologize formally by Cannes organizers, who later declared him persona non grata at the festival.


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Rounding off the major award winners were Joseph Cedar’s Footnote from Israel, which won for best screenplay, and Las Acacias by Argentine director Pablo Giorgelli, who won the Camera d’Or, an award given to first-time directors.


Palme d'Or

The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick

Grand Prix

Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

The Kid With A Bike by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

Best Director

Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

Jury Prize

Poliss by Maiwenn

Best Performance for an Actor

Jean Dujardin in The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius

Best Performance for an Actress

Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia by Lars von Trier

Award for the Best Screenplay

Joseph Cedar for Footnote

Camera d'Or

Las Acacias by Pablo Giorgelli

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