UPDATE, 12:26 PM PT: The Cannes jury said this was the longest deliberation process in the history of the festival as tonight’s awards ceremony began. Following conventional wisdom, there are some head-scratchers in the mix (stay tuned for Pete Hammond’s analysis). The Palme d’Or went to Ken Loach’s well-regarded I, Daniel Blake, a social drama about an ailing carpenter’s struggle against the bureaucracy of the healthcare system. The 79-year-old director had previously said he’d made his last film, but with Daniel Blake, he enters the pantheon of double Palme d’Or winners which also includes the Dardenne brothers — who were in competition this year with La Fille Inconnue. Loach previously won the Palme in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
Mel Gibson handed the prize to Loach who thanked the jury and the festival, which, he said, “is very, very important for the future of cinema. Stay strong!” He made a plea against neo-liberalism, saying, “We live in a period of austerity driven by ideas that risk to bring us to catastrophe… Film has many traditions and one of them is to present protest against those more powerful and mighty. I hope this is a tradition that goes on… We must give a message of hope and say that another world is possible and necessary.”
Graduating from his 2014 Jury Prize for Mommy — his first time in competition — Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan took the Grand Prize in his sophomore outing this year. His It’s Only The End Of The World is the story of a writer who returns home to tell his family he is dying; the film is based on a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995. The emotional Dolan was choked-up throughout his acceptance speech and paid tribute to Lagarce, saying he hoped he hadn’t disappointed him. “I will do movies my whole life that will be loved or not,” he said, and added a quote from Anatole France: “I prefer the madness of passion to the wisdom of indifference.”
Andrea Arnold’s well-received American Honey took the Jury Prize. This is the director’s third time winning that honor after Fish Tank and Red Road. She said being on stage was surreal since she’d just been sitting five hours ago at a friend’s house drinking tea.
In a surprise tie, Romanian helmer Cristian Mungiu shared the Best Director prize with France’s Olivier Assayas for Graduation and Personal Shopper, respectively. Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, which was the last film to screen, won two prizes: for screenplay and lead actor Shahab Hosseini.
Best Actress went to the Philippines’ Jaclyn Jose for her role in Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa. This was a hotly-contested race with strong perfs from the likes of American Honey breakout Sasha Lane; Elle‘s Isabelle Huppert; The Neon Demon‘s Elle Fanning; From The Land Of The Moon‘s Marion Cotillard; and Ruth Negga in Jeff Nichols’ Loving. Apart from Honey, each of those films was shut out.
Camera d’Or winning director Uda Benyamina, meanwhile, likely wins the prize for longest acceptance speech ever for her first film Divines.
Finally, the Palme d’Honneur went to veteran actor Jean-Pierre Léaud who first came to Cannes as a 14-year-old boy in François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. “I was born in Cannes in 1959,” Léaud said. “Today I feel the same profound joy that I had 58 years ago.”
See below for the full list of winners.
PREVIOUS, 10:18 AM PT: After 10 days and 21 films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, the top prizes are being awarded tonight. On the way into the Palais this evening, members of George Miller’s jury said they now hold the record for the longest deliberation time ever. Among some of the best reviewed titles have been Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann from Germany, which yesterday scored a FIPRESCI; Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson; and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. There is also a lot of heat on Andrea Arnold’s American Honey; Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden; and Jeff Nichols’ Loving. Reliably, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon has divided critics. But Cannes juries are typically hard to predict, and with such major previous prize winners as the Dardennes, Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach, Cristian Mungiu and Asghar Farhadi in play — plus that lengthy debate — it’s anybody’s guess until the names are read off in just a few moments. Follow along as the winners are updated below:
I, Daniel Blake, dir: Ken Loach
Xavier Dolan, It’s Only The End Of The World
Cristian Mungiu, Graduation
Olivier Assayas, Personal Shopper
Asghar Farhadi, The Salesman
Jaclyn Jose, Ma’Rosa
American Honey, dir: Andrea Arnold
Shahab Hosseini, The Salesman
Divines, dir: Uda Benyamina
Short Film Palme d’Or
Timecode, dir: Juanjo Gimenez
The Girl Who Danced With The Devil, dir: Joao Paulo Miranda Maria