I know this is a bit of old news but I was on an European vacation for the last two weeks and I have to comment on this year's winners from the Cannes Film Festival. "Winter Sleep", the latest from Turkish director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan took home the top prize. This lengthy (196 minutes!) drama examines a wealthy former actor who has great influence in his small town but not much respect. I don't know how much commercial appeal this film will have but at this time, there is no distribution deal set for it to screen in America. I was thrilled that Julianne Moore took home the "Best Actress" Award for her performance in David Cronenberg's "Maps To The Stars". Ms Moore has been passed over far too many times in the past for such great work, so this is a long time in coming. I'm also happy that the amazing twenty-five year old film maker, Xavier Dolan won the Jury Prize for his new film, "Mommy" which, in a surprise, tied with eighty-three year old art-house legend, Jean-Luc Godard's "Goodbye To Language". Another pleasant surprise is the American director of the well received, "Foxcatcher", Bennett Miller went on to capture the directing award.
This year also marks the final appearance of Gilles Jacob, the long-time president of the festival who is retiring after thirty-five years. Some of the many innovative ideas he brought to help mold this in to a first-class celebration of world cinema include starting a market at Cannes to help independent films find distribution as well as securing investors for future productions, creating the Un Certain Regard competition for the more challenging works, the Camera d'Or prize for first-time directors and the Cinéfondation which offers support for new filmmakers. Mr Jacob received a warm standing ovation at the closing night ceremony.
Here is the list of winners from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival:
Palme d'Or: "Winter Sleep"
Grand Prix: "La Meraviglie" (The Wonders)
Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director): Bennett Miller, "Foxcatcher"
Prix d'interpretation masculine (Best Actor): Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"
Prix d'interpretation feminine (Best Actress): Julianne Moore, "Maps to the Stars"
Prix du Scenario (Best Screenplay): Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, "Leviathan"
Prix du Jury (Jury Prize): "Mommy" and "Goodbye to Language" (Tie)
Camera d’Or (Best First Feature): "Party Girl"
Un Certain Regard: "White God"