Capping off this year’s program at Cannes, one in which no clear favourite emerged and plenty of commentators have regarded as a particularly diverse crop of films, the awards have been dished out and the top gong – the prestigious Palme d’or – went to director Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, a drama about mysterious events that transpire at a rural school in the north of Germany in 1913. Haneke’s previous film was 2007’s unforgettable noodle-scratching thriller Funny Games, a Naomi Watts/Tim Roth powered remake of a film of the same name the director made 10 years earlier, and before that came his edgy cryptic masterpiece Hidden. Writer/director Jacques Audiard (The Beat My Heart Skipped) won the Grand Jury Prize (the runners-up award) for Un Prophete. Acting gongs went to Charlotte Gainsbourg for Lars Von Trier’s Anti-Christ and Christoph Waltz for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourius Basterds. Australia’s Samson & Delilah did not leave empty handed, with writer/director Warwick Thornton taking home the Camera d’or (the award for best first feature).
“Thank you for believing in our first born baby,” Thornton said in his acceptance speech. “I don’t know what to say. Viva Cannes, viva le cinema.”
Listen to Warwick Thornton’s press conference here.