The Cannes Film Festival has come to a close and the George Miller led jury has selected Ken Loach's "I, Daniel Blake" for the top prize of the Palme d'Or. This is the second time the seventy-nine year old British writer/director has taken this prize, previously winning in 2006 for "The Wind That Shakes The Barley". He had announced that this film, about an ill carpenter’s struggle with the British healthcare system, would be his last. We'll see if Mr Loach keeps his word but he did become the ninth film maker to take that prize twice.
Another favorite of the fest is Xavier Dolan who took the Grand Prize for his latest, "Juste la fin du monde (It's Only the End of the World )". The twenty-seven year old French-Canadian received this runner-up award two years ago for "Mommy". Based on a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce, the film tells the story of a writer returning home after a long absence to announce that he is dying and features some of the top names in French cinema including Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.
The Best Director Prize was shared by Olivier Assayas for his psychological thriller, "Personal Shopper" which stars Kristen Stewart (who was in his last feature, "Clouds of Sils Maria") and Cristian Mungiu, the Romanian film maker who won a well-deserved Palme d'Or in 2007 for his excellent "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days", for "Graduation", a drama involving a small-town Romanian doctor. "The Salesman", the latest from Asghar Farhadi ("A Separation", "The Past"), took the Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards. And English director, Andrea Arnold won the Jury Prize for the third time with "American Honey", a road movie that features an acclaimed performance by newcomer, Sasha Lane.
Here are the winners from the 2016 Cannes Film Festival:
Palme d’Or: "I, Daniel Blake"
Grand Prix: "It’s Only The End Of The World"
Prix du Jury: "American Honey"
Best Director (Tie): Cristian Mungiu, "Graduation" and Olivier Assayas, "Personal Shopper"
Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, "The Salesman"
Best Actress: Jaclyn Jose, "Ma’Rosa"
Best Actor: Shahab Hosseini, "The Salesman"
Un Certain Regard Prix: "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki"
Caméra d’Or: "Divines"
Short Film Palme d’Or: "Timecode"
Palme d’Honneur: Jean-Pierre Léaud
Special Mention: "The Girl Who Danced With The Devil"