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The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival came to a close Sunday night with the main competition awards ceremony at the Palais des Festivals.
The top prize, the Palme d’Or, was awarded to Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard. The film follows a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl who pose as a family in order to escape the civil war in Sri Lanka. Audiard received a standing ovation when he took the stage to accept the honor.
Nineteen films competed in the main competition, which has been screening the films over the past week and a half.
The best actress honor went to two actresses: Rooney Mara for Carol and Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon Roi. Todd Haynes, who directed Carol (which stars Mara and Cate Blanchett as two women who have a love affair), accepted the prize for Mara.
Vincent Lindon won the best actor award for his work in The Measure of a Man, which is directed by Stephane Brize. Lindon plays an unemployed man who starts a new job that soon sees him facing a moral dilemma.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien won the best director prize for The Assassin. The martial arts film stars Shu Qi as a mysterious female assassin whose heart gets in the way.
The jury prize went to The Lobster, the surreal drama by Yorgos Lanthimos that stars Colin Farrell. The film is set in a world where single people have 45 days to find a mate or be turned into an animal.
Michel Franco won best screenplay for Chronic. His English-language debut stars Tim Roth as a nurse specializing in terminal illness home care.
Camera d’Or, which honors the best first feature film, was given to Land and Shade (La Tierra y La Sombra), which premiered in Critics’ Week and is directed by Cesar Augusto Acevedo.
Waves ’98 by Ely Dager won the short film award, the first honor given out after the show opened with a dance number.
The opening performance wasn’t the only show of the night: John C. Reilly, who appeared in Tale of Tales and The Lobster, also came to the stage to sing “Just a Gigolo.”
Director, writer and visual artist Agnes Varda was given an honorary Palme d’Or during the closing ceremony. She received a standing ovation from the audience. Only Woody Allen, in 2002, Clint Eastwood, in 2009, and Bernardo Bertolucci, in 2011, have been honored with this award.
The main jury was led by directors Joel and Ethan Coen, while other members included Jake Gyllenhaal, Guillermo Del Toro, Sophie Marceau and Sienna Miller.
The Cannes Film Festival ran May 13 through May 21.
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Sterling K. Brown