The 60th annual Festival de Cannes has concluded, and the Palme D'Or goes to ... not the Coens? Despite all the praise and hype, No Country for Old Men was passed over for the prize in favor of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days, an abortion drama that our own James Rocchi called "incredibly affecting, magnificently acted and superbly made." Looks like he called that one. The Grand Prix, which is second prize, went to Naomi Kawase's The Mourning Forest, a French-Japanese co-production that Variety says "had viewers and critics streaming for the exits." The 60th anniversary prize, which is third place, went to Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park, a drama about a teen skateboarder in denial over having caused someone's death. James reviewed that one too, but wasn't exactly blown away by it. "I have to wonder when -- or if -- the fierce filmmaking of [Van Sant's] earlier career will return," he wrote.
Julian Schnabel took the best directing prize for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which has been snapped up by Miramax. Get a load of this line, again from Variety: "Perhaps imagining he was at the Oscars, Schnabel overstayed his welcome at the spotlight at least three times over, shaking the hand of every jury member, making his cast stand up and rambling as he thanked everyone he could think of." The screenplay prize went to The Edge of Heaven, from a Turkish-German filmmaker, while the best actress prize went to Jeon Do-yeon, a South Korean actress who appeared in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine. Best actor went to Konstantin Lavronenko for The Banishment. The jury prize was a tie vote between Persepolis, a French-U.S. production and Silent Light, about a mennonite community in Mexico.
At the jury press conference following the prizes, Stephen Frears was asked how Javier Bardem didn't win the best actor prize, Frears joked: "He's terrible, absolutely dreadful ... he's a wonderful actor. Why did we not give it to Javier? He owes me 500 pounds." Sarah Polley and Toni Collette were also asked to defend their odd choices, with Polley saying "I've never seen so many people listen to each other so closely." The jury also included Maggie Cheung, Maria de Medeiros, Abderrahmane Sissako, Marco Bellocchio and Orham Pamuk. If you want the full rundown, you can go to Variety and check it out.