Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

Culture

Turkish drama ‘Winter Sleep’ wins Cannes Palme d’Or

© Photo: AFP

Video by Catherine NICHOLSON

Text by Jon FROSCH

Latest update : 2014-05-24

The 67th Cannes Film Festival came to a close Saturday night, with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s three-hour-plus Turkish drama “Winter Sleep” taking home the top Palme d’Or prize.

Revolving around a wealthy rural hotel owner and his complicated relationships with his wife and sister, the film is a visually assured, fitfully spellbinding work that never achieves the grandeur it seems to be aiming for. Ceylan (who won the second-place Grand Prize here in 2011 for his magisterial “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”) dedicated his award to the young people of Turkey, “especially those who lost their lives” in the civil unrest that continues to grip the country

The choice of “Winter Sleep”, the second Turkish film to snag the Palme d’Or (the first was “Yol” in 1982), drew modest applause from the press, but nothing close to the thunderous cheers that greeted last year’s winner, Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Colour”.

The same was true for the other picks announced by jury president Jane Campion. The Grand Prize was handed to young Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher (one of two women in competition), for her lovely coming-of-age film “The Wonders”. The story of a family of honey farmers and, especially, the quiet desires and resentments of the pre-teen protagonist, the movie has a refreshingly delicate touch, but feels a bit small for the honour it was granted.

A tearful Dolan pays tribute to jury president Campion

The third-place Jury Prize was a bit more exciting: a tie between the youngest and oldest filmmakers in competition, Xavier Dolan and Jean-Luc Godard. Godard, predictably, was not present to accept the award – his first-ever at Cannes – for his exuberant 3D experiment “Goodbye to Language”. Dolan, whose ferocious, moving mother-son dramedy “Mommy” had been considered a top contender for the Palme d’Or, paid tearful tribute to Campion, singling out her film “The Piano” (itself a Palme d’Or winner in 1993) as particularly inspiring.

One of the jury’s more surprising picks was Bennett Miller as Best Director for his restrained fact-based wrestling drama “Foxcatcher”. Championed by the US press, that film, along with its trio of leading men – Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo – is now considered an early Oscar frontrunner.

Many had cited Carell as a possibility for Best Actor here. But the prize went to Timothy Spall for his portrayal of English Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh’s biopic “Mr. Turner”. In the night’s most rambling speech, the British actor profusely thanked his director, with whom he has collaborated on several occasions (in films like 1996 Palme d’Or winner “Secrets & Lies”).

An absent Julianne Moore was named Best Actress for her frequently hilarious, no-holds-barred performance as a neurotic aging screen diva in David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars”. Moore beat out a crowded field of potential rivals, including Marion Cotillard (“Two Days, One Night”), Anne Dorval (“Mommy”), Hilary Swank (“The Homesman”), and Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria”).

Meanwhile, the Best Screenplay award was given to Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin for “Leviathan”, a dark Russian satire about corruption and religion.

Two critical favourites, the Dardenne brothers’ social drama “Two Days, One Night” (solid, though far from their best) and Abderrahmane Sissako’s terrific “Timbuktu”, a portrait of a Malian community reeling after the arrival of jihadists, went home empty-handed.

There had also been speculation that two of the more divisive selections, Naomi Kawase’s lyrical tone poem “Still the Water” and Olivier Assayas’s tricky, splendidly acted “Clouds of Sils Maria”, could find favour with Campion’s jury – but neither ended up doing so.

It was an acceptable, but mostly uninspiring set of prizes for an acceptable, but mostly uninspiring competition. Some insist that every other year at Cannes brings a top-notch line-up of films (indeed, 2011 and 2013 were strong) – in which case, I say: bring on 2015!

Date created : 2014-05-24

  • CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2014

    Dolan, Godard ignite Cannes as 'The Artist' director falls from grace

    Read more

  • CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2014

    Critics see Palme d’Or for Dardennes, but do they deserve it?

    Read more

  • CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2014

    Hollywood toasted on the Croisette, roasted onscreen

    Read more

COMMENT(S)