One of the most significant events of the world cinema– the 65th Cannes Film Festival came to an end on May 27. For the last time this year world stars shined on the red carpet, posing for photographs and smiling to the fans. For the last time this year world tabloids discussed the stars’ gowns and their conduct throughout the festival.
"Amour” wins Cannes top prize
The Cannes fest rewarded one of its favorite directors Sunday, May 27 as Michael Haneke won the top prize for a second time with his stark film about love and death, "Amour,” according to the Associated Press.
The Austrian director's powerful and understated film stars two French acting icons — 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva and 81-year-old Jean-Louis Trintignant— as an elderly couple coping with the wife's worsening health.
Haneke said he made the film because "I experienced something in my family that touched me."
Grand Prize goes to Matteo Garrone's "Reality”
The festival jury awarded the second-place Grand Prize to Matteo Garrone's Italian satire "Reality," while Ken Loach's whiskey-tasting comedy "The Angels' Share" won the third-place Jury Prize.
Both have won Cannes prizes before — Garrone took the Grand Prize for "Gomorrah" in 2008 and Loach won the Palme d'Or in 2006 for "The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” AP reported.
“The Angels' Share” awarded Jury Prize
British director Ken Loach has collected the Jury Prize for The Angels' Share.
The Angels' Share is a dramatic comedy about a visit to a whisky distillery by a group of misfit young offenders who are inspired to change their lives.
The director told reporters that he hopes his film shows an "optimism of youth".
He also thanked the people of Scotland for their part in the film-making and said that it was "a privilege" to work in Scotland, according to BBC news.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild” wins Camera d'Or
Sole prize for a U.S. entry was awarded outside the main competition, as the Camera d'Or jury presented its first-film prize to Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The Louisiana-set coming-of-ager has had a dazzling fest run since its world premiere at Sundance, where it received the grand jury prize for dramatic features and was picked up for release by Fox Searchlight.
Though the outcome would seem to reinforce the truism that U.S. pics rarely fare well with Cannes juries, it reps something of a turnaround after the strong showing for Yank talent at last year's fest, where "The Tree of Life," "Drive" and actress Kirsten Dunst ("Melancholia") all garnered awards, Variety reported.
"After Darkness, Light" baffles festival-goers
Mexican Carlos Reygadas, whose puzzling "Post Tenebras Lux" bagged him best director prize at Cannes, is a darling of the festival that has showcased all four of his often impenetrable films.
The film, whose Latin title means "After Darkness, Light" and derives from the biblical Book of Job, is a semi-autobiographical portrait of the director's family, featuring his own children.
But it baffled festival-goers with a host of unexplained elements such as a cartoon devil carrying a tool-box, a trip to a French-speaking sex club, and a rugby match in an English school.
It features Reygadas' recurring themes of violence, urban versus rural life, the divide between Mexico's indigenous people and those of European stock, and the terrifying splendour of nature.
Reygadas, whose films explore spirituality through the lives of people going through existential crises, set his latest work in the village just south of Mexico City where he lives with his wife and two children, AFP says.
Romania’s "Beyond The Hills" grabs three prizes
Cristian Mungiu, who won best screenplay prize at Cannes Sunday for "Beyond The Hills", is a part of a new wave of Romanian directors that emerged after the country's communist dictator was ousted.
Mungiu is seen as a leading member of Romania's New Wave, which includes Cristi Puiu, Cristian Mungiu, Catalin Mitulescu, and Andrei Ujica, whose works share an austere and often minimalist aesthetic.
Two Romanians shared the Cannes best actress prize for their roles as best friends, a nun and the victim of a deadly "exorcism", in "Beyond the Hills".
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur appear in the harrowing picture by the director who captured the 2007 Palme d'Or for the Communist-era abortion drama "4 Years, 3 Months and 2 Days", AFP reported.
Mads Mikkelsen clinches best actor prize
Danish heart-throb Mads Mikkelsen clinched the best actor prize at Cannes for his role in Thomas Vinterberg's taut psychological thriller "The Hunt".
Italian jury head Nanni Moretti and his eight-strong panel handed the prestigious award to Mikkelsen for his turn as a man who watches his life unravel after he is falsely accused of molesting a child.
"Eighty percent of this is Thomas Vinterberg's prize," Mikkelsen said as he picked up the statuette. "Thank you for inviting me into this universe of collaboration and love."
Cannes jury member Ewan McGregor told reporters after the awards ceremony that Mikkelsen's "performance is subtle and marvelously well played."
Mikkelsen, 46, is best known to international audiences for his role as James Bond's nemesis Le Chiffre in 2006's "Casino Royale" and is now starring in the Scandinavian blockbuster "A Royal Affair".
He told reporters during the festival that the highly-charged material in "The Hunt" required a delicate touch, according to AFP.
Cannes’ Un Certain Regard jury gave its top prize on Saturday to Michel Franco’s After Lucia(Despues de Lucia) as the film festival headed into its final hours. Jury president Tim Roth chose the film from the 20-strong Un Certain Regard sidebar that was part of the official selection.
After Lucia is Mexican writer-director Franco's second feature after Daniel & Ana, which premiered in the Directors' Fortnight in 2009. The disturbing film focuses on bullying and adolescence and follows a father and daughter who move to Mexico City for a fresh start only to find that the girl is bullied in her new high school.
A Special Jury Prize went to Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern’s Le Grand Soir and a “Special Distinction of the Jury” award went to Aida Begic’s Children of Sarajevo.
FIPRESCI critics also named Sergei Loznitsa's In the Fog the best Competition title and Rachid Djaidani's Hold Back the best film in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Behind the scenes
After the awards ceremony head of the competition jury Italian director Nanni Moretti said that the Cannes jury worked in friendly atmosphere, however with no decision having been taken unanimously.
According to Moretti, the controversy centered on Leos Carax's bizarre new film Holy Motors, Ulrich Seidl's film Love (the first of a trilogy Paradise) and Carlos Reygadas’ After Darkness, Light.
The jury head stressed that all the awards differed by style and nature, with no single principle having been observed during the jury’s selection.
It’s a little sad that another Cannes Film Festival is left in the past. Cannes diaries, celebrity gossip, scandals and amusing incidents had already become a customary for last 11 days. However, as they say the end of something is the start of something else, so let’s look forward to Cannes 2013.