Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2015 Contents A39
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The 68th Cannes Film Festival was
brought to a surprising close Sunday
with Jacques Audiard s Sri Lankan
refugee drama taking the festival s
coveted top honour, the Palme d Or.
The choice of Dheepan, as selected
by a jury led by Joel and Ethan Coen,
left some critics scratching their heads.
While the dapper French filmmaker
has drawn widespread acclaim for films
such as A Prophet and Rust and Bone,
some critics were disappointed by the
thriller climax of Audiard s film.
Dheepan is about a trio of Sri
Lankans who pretend to be a family in
order to flee their war-torn country
and are settled in a violent housing
project outside Paris.
"This isn t a jury of film critics," Joel
Coen told reporters after the awards
ceremony, alongside fellow jurors like
Guillermo del Toro and Jake Gyllenhaal.
"This is a jury of artists who are
looking at the work."
The win for Dheepan comes at a
time when Europe is particularly
attuned to the experience of immi-
grants, following the recent deaths of
hundreds crossing the Mediterranean,
seeking Italian shores. Jury members,
though, said Dheepan was chosen for
its overall strength as a film, rather than
"We all thought it was a very beau-
tiful movie," said Ethan Coen, calling
the decision swift.
"Everyone had some high level of
excitement and enthusiasm for it."
Audiard, springing to the podium at
the Palais des Festivals, accepted the
award with warm gratitude, bowing to
the jury. He was joined by the makeshift
parents of his film: Kalieaswari Srini-
vasan and Antonythasan Jesuthasan,
who himself was Tamil Tiger child sol-
dier before finding political asylum in
"To receive a prize from the Coen
brothers is exceptional," said Audiard,
who added that only receiving one from
the Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, the
Belgian filmmaking siblings, could equal
it. The runner-up prize, the Grand Prix,
went to Son of Saul, a grim Holocaust
drama by first-time Hungarian director
László Nemes. Some expected Nemes
horrifying plunge into the life of an
Auschwitz worker to take the top award,
but it s been 26 years since a debut film
(Steven Soderbergh s Sex, Lies, and
Videotape) was given the Palme.
English actress Sienna Miller and
Canadian actor Xavier Dolan, both jury
members, sounded especially moved
by Son of Saul. Miller called it "breath-
taking" and an extraordinary accom-
plishment for a first-time filmmaker.
"Europe is still haunted by the
destruction of the European Jews," said
Nemes. "That s something that lives
Hou Hsiao-Hsien, the masterful 68-
year-old Taiwanese filmmaker, won
best director for his first feature in eight
years: The Assassin, a lushly painterly
martial arts drama.
The best actress prize was split but
not the way some expected. It was
given to both Rooney Mara, half of the
romantic pair of Todd Haynes 50s
lesbian drama Carol, and Emmanuelle
Bercot, the French star of the roller
coaster marriage drama My King.
(Bercot also directed the festival opener, Standing
Tall, about a delinquent teenager.) Any split was pre-
sumed to go to Mara and her Carol co-star, Cate
Best actor was awarded to Vincent Lindon, the
veteran French actor of Stéphane Brizé s The Measure
of a Man. He plays a man struggling to make a living
after a long period of unemployment. The visibly
moved Lindon won over some big-name competition,
including Michael Caine, the star of Paolo Sorrentino s
unrewarded Youth, a wry, melancholy portrait of old
age. Lindon s award added to a banner year at Cannes
for France, which had five films out of the 19 in com-
Dheepan wins Palme d'Or in upset Cannes finale
petition and went home with three awards.
Yorgos Lanthimos, a Greek filmmaker working in
English for the first time, took the jury prize for his
The Lobster, a deadpan dystopian comedy, starring
Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, about a near-future
where unmarried singles are turned into the animal
of their choice.
Chronic, an understated drama about a home-care
nurse (Tim Roth) for the terminally ill, took best
screenplay for Mexican writer-director Michel Franco.
Franco and Roth met three years ago when Roth,
serving on a Cannes jury, helped award Franco the
Un Certain Regard prize.
"It s a Cannes story," said Franco.
The Camera d Or, Cannes award for best first fea-
ture film, went to La Tierra Y la Sombra. César
Augusto Acevedo s debut, which played in the Critics
Week section, is about an old farmer returning home
to tend to his gravely ill son.
The festival was overrun by an unlikely scandal
when several women were turned away from the
formal premiere of Todd Haynes Carol for wearing
flat shoes, rather than high heels.
The festival insisted it was the mistake of overzeal-
ous security guards and not part of Cannes noto-
riously strict dress code. (AP)
Director Jacques Audiard holds the Palme d'Or award for the film Dheepan, alongside actors
Jesuthasan Antonythasan, right, and Kalieaswari Srinivasan during the awards ceremony at
the 68th Cannes Film festival, southern France on Sunday. AP PHOTO
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