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A quiet, selfie-less Cannes film festival came to a close Saturday night with fireworks as Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters took home the Palme d’Or, while Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman landed the runner-up Grand Prix award.
Japanese helmer Hirokazu’s film revolves around a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they find on the street.
Lee’s film, heralded as his best in decades, centers on a black cop who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s and is based on a true story.
“I’ve been coming since 1986. It’s always been great,” Lee said of his first trip to Cannes, for She’s Gotta Have It. “Thanks to everybody who worked hard on the film in front of the camera and behind the camera. During interviews, people think I know what’s going on in America, but I don’t — and they ask me, ‘What do you think of what’s going on in the world today?’ I refer to Peter Weir’s film The Year of Living Dangerously. I repeat that, this is the year of living dangerously.”
But the real drama of the night came when Asia Argento, upon bestowing the best actress award to Ayka’s Samal Yeslyamova, said: “I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. The festival was his hunting ground. … Even tonight sitting among you, there are those that need to be held accountable for their conduct. You know who you are. But most importantly we know who you are, and we will not allow you to get away with it any longer.”
Argento’s words were met with such deafening applause that it was difficult to hear Yeslyamova’s name called. The moment also coincided with news breaking that French director and former Cannes jury president Luc Besson has been accused of drugging and raping a woman.
Though Cannes 2018 was poised to be the year of the woman, the Palme d’Or, Grand Prix and best director prizes all went to men, with Cold War‘s Pawel Pawlikowski picking up the latter. The Directors’ Fortnight and Un Certain Regard top awards also went to men — Gaspar Noe’s Climax and Ali Abbasi’s Border, respectively. While Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum received perhaps the most enthusiastic reception at Cannes — with a 15-minute standing ovation on Thursday night — the film had to settle for the jury prize.
Jane Campion remains the only female director to have won the Palme d’Or, for The Piano. Last year, Ruben Ostlund’s The Square won the top prize at Cannes, while Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to win the best director prize, for The Beguiled.
Jury president Cate Blanchett gave a shout-out to Kirill Serebrennikov and Jafar Panahi, who couldn’t be at the ceremony given that both are currently incarcerated. As jury head, she also explained the move to give cinema legend Jean-Luc Godard a special Palme d’Or, an honor bestowed for the first time in the festival’s history: “We as a jury asked for special dispensation [to award a director] who challenges and advances the art form of film.”
The Palme d’Or for a short film was awarded to Charles Williams’ All These Creatures. That jury, led by French director Bertrand Bonello, included Lebanese helmer Khalil Joreige, German director Valeska Grisebach, Lithuanian helmer Alante Kavaite and French actress Ariane Labed. They also awarded a special mention to Wei Shujun’s Yan Bian Shao Nian (On the Border).
The Camera d’Or, for best first film, was awarded to Lukas Dhont’s Girl, and Dhont’s 16-year-old star, Victor Polster, landed the best actor prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar Friday night. The Camera d’Or prize was awarded from a jury presided over by Swiss director Ursula Meier, French helmer Marie Amachoukeli, French-American director Iris Brey, Cinephase president Sylvain Fage, cinematographer Jeanne Lapoirie and writers Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu.
Members of the competition jury also included Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay and Denis Villeneuve.
Gary Oldman, Adrien Brody and Un Certain Regard jury president Benicio Del Toro were on hand for the gala, as was BlacKkKlansman‘s Adam Driver and Laura Harrier. Sting and Shaggy closed out the ceremony with a performance.
Best Screenplay: (tie) Alice Rohrwacher for Happy as Lazzaro and Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar for Three Faces
Best Actress: Samal Yeslyamova for Ayka
Best Actor: Marcello Fonte for Dogman
Best Director: Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War
Jury Prize: Capernaum, directed by Nadine Labaki
Grand Prix: BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee
Special Palme d’Or: Jean-Luc Godard for The Image Book
Palme d’Or: Shoplifters, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
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