CANNES, France – Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s class struggle comedy ‘Triangle of Sadness’ won the Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, giving Ostlund one of cinema’s most prestigious awards for the second time.
Ostlund, whose art world show-up The Square won the Palm in 2017, accomplished the rare feat of winning Cannes’ top award for consecutive films. Triangle of Sadness, with Woody Harrelson as a Marxist yacht captain and a climax scene of rampant vomiting, takes the satire even further.
“We wanted to go out together after the screening (for humans) and talk about something,” Ostlund said. “We all agree that what is unique about cinema is that we watch together. So we have to save some talking, but we should also have fun and be entertained.”
The awards were selected by a nine-person jury led by French actor Vincent Lindon and presented at a closing ceremony at Cannes’ Grand Lumière Theater on Saturday.
The jury’s second prize, the Grand Prix, was shared by Belgian director Lukas Dhont’s tender youth drama Close, about two 13-year-old boys whose bond is tragically severed after their intimacy was ridiculed by schoolmates; and French film legend Claire Denis’ “Stars at Noon,” a Denis Johnson adaptation starring Margaret Qualley as a journalist in Nicaragua.
The director’s award went to South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”, “The Handmaiden”) for his twisted noir “Decision to Leave,” a romance fused with a police procedural.
Korean star Song Kang Ho won Best Actor for his performance in Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film “Broker,” about a Korean family who seeks a home for an abandoned baby.
“I want to thank everyone who appreciates Korean cinema,” said Song, who starred in Bong Joon Ho’s Palme d’Or film Parasite at Cannes three years ago.
The Best Actress award went to Tsar Amir Ebrahimi for her role as a journalist in Ali Abbasis’s Holy Spider, a true crime thriller about a serial killer who targets sex workers in the Iranian religious city of Mashhad. The violent and graphic Holy Spider was banned from filming in Iran and was instead made in Jordan. Ebrahimi accepted the award and said the film shows “everything that cannot be shown in Iran”.
The Jury Prize was split between Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen’s friendship story ‘The Eight Mountains’ and Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s ‘EO’, about a donkey’s journey through an unforgiving modern Europe.
“I want to say thank you to my donkeys,” said Skolimowski, who went on to thank all six donkeys used in the film by name.
The jury also awarded a Special Prize for the 75th Cannes to Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, two-time Palme winners and long-time regulars at the festival, for their immigrant drama Tori and Lokita. Swedish-Egyptian filmmaker Tarik Saleh won Best Screenplay at Cannes for Boy From Heaven, a thriller set in Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque.
The Camera d’Or award for Best First Feature went to Riley Keough and Gina Gammell for War Pony, a Pine Ridge Reservation drama made in collaboration with the citizens of Oglala Lakota and Sicangu Lakota .
Saturday’s closing ceremony ended a Cannes attempting to fully revive the annual French extravaganza, which was canceled in 2020 by the pandemic and last year saw modest crowds. This year’s festival also took place against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which sparked red carpet protests and dialogue about the purpose of cinema in wartime.
Last year, French body horror thriller Titane won the top prize at Cannes, making director Julia Decournau only the second filmmaker ever to win the Palm. In 2019, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite triumphed in Cannes before doing the same at the Academy Awards.
This year, the biggest Hollywood films in Cannes – “Elvis”, “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Three Thousand Years of Longing” played outside of the 21 films in Cannes competition. But her presence helped restore some of the glamor of Cannes after the pandemic shut down the festival for the past two years.
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