The nine-member jury, headed by Robert De Niro, gave the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, Palm D’Or to Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life here this evening. The American movie, with Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, is a mix of family life, father-son relationship and the creation of the universe.
De Niro and his jury -- Jude Law, Uma Thurman, Martina Gusman, Nansun Shi, Linn Ullmann, Olivier Assayas, Mahamat Saleh Haroun and Johnnie To -- were all on the stage – during the coveted announcements.
The Grand Prix was shared by two-time Palme d'Or winners, the Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, for their latest festival entry The Kid With
French director Maiwenn’s ensemble drama Polisse earned the Jury Prize and screenwriting honours went to Joseph Cedar for his father-son drama, Footnote.
Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn was named best director for his Drive, set in modern America that talks about a car driver who does movie stunts by the day and drives thieves at night.
Kirsten Dunst walked away with the best actress Palm in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. As a depressed woman whose marriage is domed by an imminent planetary collision and the end of the world, she was in danger of being ignored by the jury after Von Trier was declared persona non-grata by the festival when he joked at a press conference about being a Nazi and Hitler sympathiser.
French actor Jean Dujardin won best actor prize in Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist. As a silent film star in the 1920s-30s Hollywood, he impressed the jury through gestures, not words, in a black-and-white look at silent cinema.