Japanese movie ‘Shoplifters’ won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Japanese drama, which was directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda and depicts a self-made family whose secret jeopardises their ability to stay together, picked up the coveted accolade ahead of 20 other films in consideration.
Jury president Cate Blanchett said of their choice: “The ending blew us out of the cinema.”
Spike Lee’s anti-Donald Trump comedy, ‘BlacKkKlansman’, was runner-up and took the Grand Prix, and the veteran director called for an awakening and return to “truth”.
He said: “Cannes was the perfect launchpad for this film. I hope the film can globally get us out of our mental slumber, and start to get back to truth, goodness, love and not hate.”
Meanwhile, ‘Capernaum’, Nadine Labaki’s attack on the needless suffering of children took the Jury Prize, while Best Actor and Best Actress went to ‘Dogman’s Marcello Fonte and ‘Ayka’ star Samal Yeslyamova respectively.
A special Palme d’Or award was given to 87-year-old director Jean-Luc Godard – who was not in attendance – for his film ‘Image Book’ because the jury felt it “almost sat apart from the other films, almost outside time and space” so could not be considered against them.
Cate added: “[The film] lingered with us, confused, confounded, provoked, angered, excited us [and ultimately] influenced our perspective on the rest of the festival.”
Little-known Italian actor Marcello Fonte won best actor for his role as a hapless cocaine-dealing dog groomer who faces down a thug in Dogman.
And a special Palme d’Or was awarded to French-Swiss Jean-Luc Godard for the film Image Book.
The 12-day festival was the first since the downfall of Weinstein, who was for decades an annual fixture in Cannes. In the aftermath, this year’s festival was shaken by debate over gender equality in the film industry and at Cannes.
The ‘Notes on a Scandal’ actress admitted it had been “bloody difficult” to choose the winners.
She said: “We had to try to put our objective hats on…
“There a lot of rules in France, surprisingly. And the Palme d’Or has to go to a film that brings lots of different things together. We felt that several films did that. It was quite painful but it [Shoplifters] is an extraordinary film.”
Meanwhile, jury member Kristen Stewart really enjoyed the experience.
She said: “It was like the summer camp of my dreams. It was like a consolidated 10-day film school.”