Cannes Film Festival winners announced

A scene from Michael Haneke's AMOUR.The jury prizes at the Cannes Film Festival were handed out today, with Michael Haneke’s critically-acclaimed “Amour,” about an elderly couple’s bond as the wife’s health declines, taking the Palme d’Or award for Best Film.

Haneke is no stranger to Cannes, and his last film, “The White Ribbon,” also won the Palme d’Or in 2009. He is the seventh occupant of the Repeat Winner Club, the last being The Dardennes Brothers, who took top honors for both 1999’s “Rosetta” and 2005’s “L’enfant.”

The Grand Prix–a sort of second-place award–went to “Reality,” written and directed by Matteo Garrone, who last made the Oscar-nominated “Gomorrah.” “Reality,” a dark comedy about a man who dreams of becoming a reality show contestant, was recently picked up for American distribution by Oscilloscope.

The Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director) award went to Carlos Reygadas for “Post Tenebras Lux,” which has divided audiences all festival long, and the jury acknowledged as much when delivering the awards. Reygadas was best known until now for making “Silent Light,” a tense drama set in a Mennonite community.

The Prix du Scenario (Best Screenplay) award went to Cristian Mungiu for his 2-1/2 hour opus “Beyond the Hills,” a religious drama centering on two young women of different faiths. The Romanian filmmaker previously won the Palme d’Or for his visceral abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.”

Also going to “Beyond the Hills” was the Best Actress prize, shared by the dual leads: Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur. The film was picked up for U.S. distribution by IFC’s Sundance Selects label.

Best Actor went to Mads Mikkelsen, who stars in Thomas Vinterberg’s “Jagten (The Hunt)” as an elementary school teacher falsely accused of sexual abuse.

The Camera d’Or–dedicated to the best first feature–went to Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the only American film to win an award. It will receive a platform release from Fox Searchlight beginning June 27.

The Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) was reserved for Ken Loach’s “The Angels’ Share,” the British filmmaker’s first movie at Cannes since his Palme d’Or winner “The Wind that Shakes the Barley.” “The Angels’ Share” is about a band of young thugs who find a new lease on life after visiting a whisky distillery.

Lastly, “Silence (Sessis-Be Deng)” directed by L. Rezan Yesilbas, picked up the Palme d’Or for short films.

The most notable snubs were Abbas Kiarostami’s “Like Someone in Love,” Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone,” and Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors” — all of which had their detractors, but their champions seemed far more vocal going into the final day of the fest.

Cannes is the first high-profile international film festival of the year, and the only one for awhile — next up is Venice in late-August. Until then, audiences can forget about the auteurs of the world and take in all the brain-frying summer blockbusters.

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Full winners list:

  • Palme d’Or:
 “Amour” by Michael Haneke
  • Grand Prix of the Jury:
 “Reality” by Matteo Garrone
  • Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director):
 Carlos Reygadas for “Post Tenebras Lux”
  • Prix du Scenario (Best Screenplay):
 Cristian Mungiu for “Beyond the Hills”
  • Camera d’Or (Best First Feature):
 “Beasts of the Southern Wild” by Benh Zeitlin
  • Prix du Jury (Jury Prize):
 “The Angels’ Share” by Ken Loach
  • Prix d’interpretation feminine (Best Actress):
 Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur for “Beyond the Hills”
  • Prix d’interpretation masculine (Best Actor):
 Mads Mikkelsen for “Jagten (The Hunt)”
  • Palme d’Or (Short Film):
 “Silence (Sessis-Be Deng)” by L. Rezan Yesilbas