And the Cannes winners are…

source: guardian.co.uk

Austrian director and frequent Palme D’or bridesmaid Michael Haneke claimed the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his black-and-white World War One film The White Ribbon.

Michael Haneke, director of Palme D’or winner The White Ribbon.

Australian director Warwick Thornton claimed the prestigious Camera D’or for his debut feature Samson and Delilah, which received some of the most gushing reviews of the festival.

The Camera D’or celebrates the best first feature of the festival, and caps off a stellar festival run for the harrowing outback love story.

Andrea Arnold‘s Fish Tank and Park Chan-wook‘s Thirst were named equal runners-up, taking home the Jury Prize. Park previously won the Grand Prix in 2004 for his film Oldboy.

The winners of the acting prizes were mostly expected. Christopher Waltz’s impressive turn as the “Jew hunter” in Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds earnt him the Best Actor gong.

Charlotte Gainsbourg was named Best Actress for her contribution to Lars Von Trier‘s reviled Antichrist. Although Gainsbourg and co-star Willem Dafoe were lauded for their brave performances in the dark, supernatural drama, the director was criticised for the film’s misogynist undercurrent and scenes of graphic sexual mutilation.

A retelling of the Adam and Eve story, Antichrist received a special “anti-award” by the Cannes ecumenical jury. The jury normally awards prizes to film’s that promote spiritual, humanist and universal values. Von Trier’s picture, coupled with his post-screening statement (“I am the best director in the world“) inspired the jury to invent the anti-award.

There were more controversies during the awards ceremony. The Best Director prize went to the incredibly named Brillante Mendoza for his film Kinatay, which was named by Roger Ebert as possibly “the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.” And he should know.

Discuss: What Cannes films are you looking forward to seeing when they finally hit Australia? Personally, I’m counting down the days for Thirst.

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