CANNES AWARDS SHOCKER: Terrence Malick's 'The Tree Of Life' Wins Palme d'Or

Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, which just handed out its awards. The reclusive director did not attend the ceremony, and the award was picked up by producers Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner. The meditative drama starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Sean Penn received a mixed reaction when it had its world premiere in competition this week, a year after it was supposed to appear at the festival. Fox Searchlight opens the film in the U.S. on May 27. Here is the full list of winners, with an analysis coming later today:

Official Competition
Palme d’Or: The Tree Of Life (dir: Terrence Malick)
Grand Prix (Runner-up to main award): (tie) Kid With A Bike (dir: Dardenne brothers), Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Mise en Scene (Best Director): Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Prix du Scenario (Screenplay): Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Israel)
Prix Du Jury: Poliss (dir: Maiwenn)

Palme d’Or Court Metrage: Cross Country (dir: Maryna Vroda)
Camera d’Or (Best First Film): Las Acasias (dir: Pablo Giorgelli)

  1. It’s a shame ! I saw this movie in France and it doesn’t diserve the palme d’or ! It was so boring ! With DeNiro, Uma Thurman and Jude Law in the jury it’s not a surprise that Mallick wins ! Worst than Tim Burton’s choice last year M

    1. Now I really want to see this film. Isnt it ironic that film folks are so jaded they cant punch their way out of their own egos.

    2. Give me a break. You’re free to disagree, but TREE OF LIFE is a magnificent artistic accomplishment… divisive, yes, but ambitious and revolutionary in so many ways. A bold choice and one that I fully support and applaud.

    3. And I am supposed to accept the opinion of a semi-literate posting with spelling errors as a arbiter of good taste in cinema?

      1. Fact: people only have good taste when they write in their native language. L’internet m’a dit !

      2. Hey Bill in Tennessee:
        Why can’t you express your disagreement with another’s opinion
        without hurling insult? Personal attack on people with differing opinions is part of the problem we have in this world of ours.

      3. No. You’re always supposed to find a random redneck in Tennessee named Herb, or Tex, or Bill, and ask them.

    4. …but then again, they did choose Fahrenheit 911 too.
      (Could be developing a little credibility deficit.)

    5. Having suffered from the condition exhibited by the majority of posters here, I offer the following advice: Given the fact that the news of who won what at Cannes is of such importance to you that you actually take the precious time to express an opinion, please heed the following instructions without delay: In order to restore the minimum oxygen supply to your brain, you will need to relax your sphincter muscles around your trachea, and begin applying the pressure required to extricate your cranium from your digestive tract. After restoring blood and air flow, you will be better equipped to adequately address things in life which actually mean something. Like surviving Armageddon, for instance.

  2. I really hope Tree of Life is an awesome flick…The New World wasn’t the greatest, but I think I’m one of the only people who actually thought the Thin Red Line was a REALLY GOOD FILM (don’t compare it to Saving Private Ryan – it’s COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!!!!)…it’s too bad Malick takes so much time between films, but I hope this time it’s worth it! Can’t wait to see it!

    1. You’re not the only one who thinks The Thin Red Line is a great film. I was watching a bit of Platoon last night and remembered how much I LOVED The Thin Red Line. So poetic and beautiful. One of my favorites.

    2. You are not alone when it comes to Thin Red Line. I LOVE it! I watch it at least twice a year, for the last 13 years…Saving private cannot be compared to Red Line cos they have two different approaches to one theme: war. Saving Private is a war film..Thin Red Line is everything but. While Spielberg likes to show intestine and bowel of bloody men getting torn in pieces Malick has his focus on completely different things such as life its self, nature and the way of living our lives. When bomb hits the ground it’s not body parts he is focusing on it’s a broken tree branch or a bird with a broken wing or a beak. He has a tendency of showing different things, often neglected by other directors. This is why I admire him + there is an aspect of time…everything in his films lasts..for ages. But that’s how it’s suppose to be. How else could you identify with the character? You have to feel what character feels, you have to be emotionally involved, invested. I haven’t seen Tree of Life yet, but I saw everything else he made thus far whit Thin Red Line being my 4th best film ever made…so I have faith in him. He is smart, very smart, talented, patient, elaborate and above all an excellent director…

  3. Pete, thank you (and Mike) for your excellent Cannes coverage this year. It was great to run into you again and I look forward to reading more from you very soon.

  4. “The award winning..”
    In reviews, trailers and advertising those three words will be how this film is introduced from now on. Congratulations to Tree Of Life and I look forward to having my own personal experience with this film when it opens here in Toronto.

  5. Doesn’t shock me that much… he’s a talented filmmaker. Nice to see talent trump the flavor o’ the month.

  6. Kirsten Dunst? As Best Actress? Hmmm…maybe the rapture did occur yesterday and I’m stuck in hell.

  7. It is unfortunate that Tree of Life is only getting a limited release and that we won’t find out how it would have done commercially if released nationwide. It has an interesting cast and it would have been interesting to see how a smaller film for Brad Pitt and Sean Penn would do commercially.

    My favourite Brad Pitt movie is Meet Joe Black (1998). It is an underappreciated and underrated classic. Everyone should watch this epic drama at least once in their life. It should have been much more critically and commercially successful and won a truckload of Oscars.

  8. If Malick’s Tree of Life is anything like his previous films – Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, or the New World (which it surely will be) – then it deserves the Palme D’Or. Your review is “it was boring”? Ha. Thanks. You’re clearly someone with an advanced critical aesthetic. Let us know how you feel about all the other films you saw… “It was good”, “Too slow”, “Too much noise”, “It was fun”…

    1. Since i havent ever heard of any of the titles you mentioned i will say malick is a zero and has never made a single good movie.

  9. Terrence Malick has an incredible gift. I can’t wait to see this movie. The New World was a masterpiece. I love how he uses nature in his films.

    Anyone who grew up on or around farmland understands how man is one with nature … there is a beautiful Native American spirit inside that boy from Illinois. I grew up downstate around the Cahokia Mounds area and am keenly aware of that influence.

    His films are paced the way they are for a reason. You can only reach clarity and wisdom when you experience the moments … and he always captures them beautifully.

    1. in opther words you just confimred that its borring, and excused it with some kind of romanticised farmer talk…

  10. Brad Pitt’s magic is just that – magic – and combine it with his motivation behind the movie – and the results are in. Isn’t this magic blend of motivation and personality what cinematic greatness is all about? I think the answer is somewhere near these thoughts – thanks Brad – this really is for the children – and since Wayne Dyer floats the idea that we are all born geniuses and life is trying to de-genius us, let this movie sustain the spark of genius in all of us.

  11. Tree of Life was the clear favorite – how this was a shocker I have no idea.

    US readers might be interest to know this is already playing all across France in easily over 100 theatres (it would be nice for a US film blog to try to get the grosses, which should be easily available). It also has already opened in several other European countries.

  12. Ennui rings with supreme solemnity as jurors move carelessly amidst the sounds of the commonplace. Increasingly we find emptiness as these nihilists scurry to the theaters with another failed cine wave. What we require are the daring exploits of free thinking spirits bereft of capital and social approval. We do not need another Pitt bull session as there are numerous actors to fill the void.

  13. A choice between NATURE and GRACE! A great movie and really cuts to the heart of where everyone stands: one side or the other.

  14. It should have “Melancholia” but because that crazy Van Trier guy called himself a “Nazi and admirer of Hitler” Palm d’Ore was given to this shitty mess of a film.

  15. Who gives a crap. Has there be one movie ever that came out of this fukcktard of a festival that was worth watching?

    1. @ Real Deal.
      Pulp Fiction.
      Apocalypse Now (Or in case of the recent Rapture, Apocalypse Not Right Now) and Taxi Driver.

      But seeing that I had to stretch through the festival’s history all the back to Taxi Driver (1976) to get some films worth watching out of, this douchebag festival gives you an indicator of the quality of films it spews forth each year.

      Cannes, for lack of shittier words that it is most deserving, has become one big circle jerk where the film wanks of the world come together to celebrate films of a frequent nuisance: Those that don’t have any money making potential.

      Ironic that the director names they bring up every year are directors who have no ability to entertain an audience, which is a hell of a lot easier than that get them to enjoy your films.
      Von Trier: An incoherent and overrated dead in the water financially toss.
      Mallick: So he won. Now go away and do whatever it is you do in between movies, and leave the real filmmakers to do what you cannot: make some freakin’ money and get people to come watch your films.

  16. i’m pretty happy that Footnote won an award. i might be seeing it in it’s Israeli premire next week, it looks really good. Oscars, anyone? (:

  17. Well, I’ll just have to wait for it’s release here in Canada and make my own mind up about it. Critics are not always right.

  18. This baloney is so removed from anyone’s reality except the movie industry itself, that it’s, like, the Palm d OR whatchamacallit thingy. Oh yeah, that. Besides the ‘jury’ usually sees how perverted they can be, picking crap no normal person would ever want to see.

    1. I love how you think that everybody who doesn’t agree with YOUR opinion is not “normal”.

      What a terrible, elitist, arrogant person you must be to be around.

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