Cannes Film Festival: highlights of the closing ceremony
CANNES, France – Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s satire ‘Triangle of Sadness’ won the Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival at a ceremony here on Saturday. A brutal and ugly dispatch of class politics, the film had critics sharply divided.
The awards ceremony lasted around 90 relatively painless minutes, another reminder that the focus at Cannes remains on the films themselves, not the circus that accompanies them. Held inside the magnificent Grand Lumière theater inside the festival headquarters – with the nine-person jury watching from the stage – the awards lend critical legitimation and generate much-needed public relations for films that, years after the onset of the pandemic, are heading into a still-difficult world for art cinema.
The Grand Prix – the festival’s second prize – was shared between “Close”, by Belgian director Lukas Dhont, and “Stars at Noon”, by French author Claire Denis. “Stars at Noon” was brutalized by critics, but it wasn’t much of a shock that it won an award: Vincent Lindon, this year’s jury president, appeared in several of Denis’ films. “Close,” a critical and audience favorite about two 13-year-old boys whose friendship is tragically tested, drew warm applause from the Lumiere audience.
The jury prize, the third prize, was split between two very different dramas: “EO”, a heartbreak on a donkey by Polish author Jerzy Skolimowski, and “The Eight Mountains”, a story of transition to the adulthood of Belgian filmmakers. Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. Skolimowski, 84, began his acceptance speech by thanking (and naming) his six donkeys, including a petite beauty called Taco. For his part, Vandermeersch seemed to surprise his co-director and partner by kissing him several times just before he began his acceptance speech.
South Korean director Park Chan-wook won the director’s award for “Decision to leave, an entertaining and twisty thriller (which riffs on Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”), which was a critical favorite. “That’s so cool,” Park said in English as he took the stage, though he also added a swear word.
The screenplay prize went to the gripping (and gossipy) drama”sky boyby Swedish director Tarik Saleh. The film traces the political intrigue swirling around a young Egyptian student, a Sunni Muslim, shortly after beginning his studies at a powerful religious university. After accepting his award, Saleh dedicated his prize to young Egyptian filmmakers: “Raise your voices and tell your stories.
In one of the biggest surprises of the night, Best Actress went to Zar Amir Ebrahimi, star of the much-hated true-crime drama “Holy Spider,” from Iranian-born director Ali Abbasi. She plays a journalist who faces police indifference and misogyny as she tracks down a serial killer. The Best Actor award went to brilliant South Korean actor Song Kang-ho (“Parasite”) for his sensitive and moving performance as a baby trafficker in “Broker,” the latest Japanese author Hirokazu Kore-eda.
A special prize to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the festival was awarded to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who were once again in competition with “Tori and Lokitaabout two undocumented African immigrants in a cruel and deeply inhospitable Belgium. The Dardennes are among the most justly honored filmmakers in the history of Cannes, having won the Palme twice (for “Rosetta” in 1999 and “L’Enfant” in 2005). This award was well deserved.