Cannes Awards Ceremony Ratings Rise for France's CanalPlus

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'Dheepan' director Jacques Audiard with stars Jesuthasan Antonythasan and Kalieaswari Srinivasan

The closing ceremony reached 1.5 million viewers for a 9.4 percent share.

A triumphant end to the Cannes Film Festival, which saw the host country taking home a handful of prizes, was also a television hit for Vivendi's pay TV network CanalPlus in France.

Its ratings for the closing ceremony were up 40 percent from last year.

The program drew an audience share of 9.4 percent, reaching a total of 1.5 million viewers. The ceremony aired free on the pay cable channel from 6:50 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. local time.

France was the big winner, with Emmanuelle Bercot getting the best actress for her role in Mon Roi, the beloved Vincent Lindon winning best actor for The Measure of a Man and director Jacques Audiard winning the top film prize, the Palme d’Or, for Dheepan.

The ceremony had a more entertainment-driven style this year, with the addition of dance and musical numbers. The show opened with a tribute to cinema from Japanese visual dance troupe ENRA and featured a performance by pianist Benjamin Clementine dedicated to jury presidents’ Joel and Ethan Cohen’s film Inside Llewyn Davis.

Even John C. Reilly, who had three films in the official selection, got in on the act: He performed "Just a Gigolo" with his band, The Fly Boys.

The ceremony was hosted by actor Lambert Wilson, with Jane Birkin, Laetitia Casta, Cecile de France, Mads Mikkelsen and Michelle Rodriguez among the presenters.

The ceremony's ratings were still slightly down from 2013, when it reached 2.2 million with an 11.2 percent share. That year, controversial lesbian love story Blue is the Warmest Color was awarded the Palme d’Or for the team of its director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and its actresses Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos.

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