Cannes 2013: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ Wins the Palme d’Or

Blue is the Warmest ColorPredicting the winners at Cannes is often a folly, but ever so often the expected winner actually wins. Consider this one of those instances, as the coveted Palme d’Or has gone to Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color. More specifically, it’s gone to Kechiche along with leads Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, dodging the rule that the Palme winner is ineligible for other awards. It was a nice way of giving the impression of multiple awards while only giving out one.

As it turns out, the Palme d’Or was the only winner I correctly predicted three days back. The rest were an amalgamation of favorites and conversation pieces across the festival. Other Palme favorite Like Father, Like Son landed the jury prize, something of a third place victory, but no less worthy of mention. Asghar Farhadi’s deeply affecting The Past, meanwhile, got its day in the Best Actress category, where Berenice Bejo took the prize for her surprising performance. I might start hedging bets on her being a wild card nomination at this year’s Oscars. There’s probably plenty love left from both her Supporting Actress nod for The Artist and Farhadi’s Screenplay nod for A Separation.

Best Actor was the first real shocker of the awards, going to neither Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis or Michael Douglass for Behind the Candelabra. Instead it went to Nebraska star Bruce Dern, which is probably the most clearly American choice Steven Spielberg’s jury made. Bigger surprises still waited, as Jia Zhangke took Best Screenplay for A Touch of Sin, which hit early in the festival and honestly flew under (or over) my radar. For Best Director the jury really decided to be bold and go with Heli director Amat Escalante. If you’ll recall, the first film to screen from the competition shocked and disturbed many upon arrival. Funny enough, I feel as though the hand of Lynne Ramsay is most present in this decision.

Inside Llewyn DavisEscalating through awards, one film seemed like it was going to be shockingly left out. Then the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis took the second place Grand Prix award. Critics breathed a sigh of relief, as that was possibly the most universally beloved of the festival. Expect a fruitful Oscar season to lie ahead for the Coen brothers’ latest.

There were some notable competition films absent from the winners, including Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, Mahamet Saleh Haroun’s Grigris, James Gray’s The Immigrant, and Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra. Easily as one could poke prejudice behind Soderbergh’s snub, it’s understandable given A) Soderbergh already has a Palme d’Or, and B) a win the night of its HBO premiere might’ve been seen as a marketing plug for ratings. Whoever sees the film on HBO tonight will at least be there to see the film, rather than to see the Palme d’Or winner.

That qualified a wrap on this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Even from afar, it’s been an exciting week, and I look forward to catch up with these films later on in the year. The full list of winners is listed below, both in competition and in the Un Certain Regard, Critics Week, and Directors Fortnight sidebars.

COMPETITION WINNERS:
Palme d’Or: Abdellatif Kechiche, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color
Grand Prix: Inside Llewyn Davis
Jury Prize: Like Father, Like Son
Best Actress: Berenice Bejo, The Past
Best Actor: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin
Best Director: Amat Escalante, Heli
Camera d’Or (Best Debut Feature): Anthony Chen, Ilo Ilo
Palme d’Or (Short Film): Moon Byoung-gon, Safe

UN CERTAIN REGARD AWARDS
Prix Un Certain Regard: The Missing Picture

Jury Prize: Omar
Best Director: Alain Guiraudie, Stranger by the Lake
Talent Award: Ensemble cast of La Jaula de Oro
Avenir Future Award: Fruitvale Station

FIPRESCI AWARDS
Competition: Blue is the Warmest Colour

Un Certain Regard: Manuscripts Don’t Burn
Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week: Blue Ruin

ECUMENICAL JURY AWARDS

Ecumenical Jury Prize: The Past
Honorable Mentions: Like Father, Like Son; Miele

DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
Art Cinema Award: Me, Myelf and Mum
SACD Award: Me, Myelf and Mum
SACD Special Mention: Tip Top
European Cinemas Label Award (Best European Film): The Selfish Giant

CRITICS’ WEEK
Grand Prize: Salvo

Special Mention: Agustin Toscano, Ezequiel Radusky, Los Duenos
Visionary Award: Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza, Salvo
Best Screenplay: Sebastien Pilote, Le Demantlement

Steven Spielberg

Well played, Spielberg! Well done!

PREVIOUS CANNES ROUND-UPS:
Heli (Dir. Amat Escalante)
Young & Beautiful (Dir. Francois Ozon)
The Bling Ring
(Dir. Sofia Coppola)

The Congress (Dir. Ari Folman)
The Past (Dir. Asghar Farhadi)
Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
(Dir. Arnaud Desplechin)

Inside Llewyn Davis (Dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)
Like Father, Like Son
(Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda)

The Selfish Giant (Dir. Clio Bernard)
Blue Ruin (Dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
Grand Central (Dir. Rebecca Zlotowski)
Shield of Straw (Dir. Takashi Miike)
Borgman(Dir. Alex van Warmerdam)
The Great Beauty (Dir. Paolo Sorrentino)
A Castle in Italy (Dir. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi)
Only God Forgives (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)
All is Lost (Dir. J.C. Chandor)

Bastards (Dir. Claire Denis)
Grigris (Dir. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)Blue is the Warmest Color (Dir. Abdellatif Kechiche)
Nebraska (Dir. Alexander Payne)
The Immigrant (Dir. James Gray)
Michael Kohlhaas (Dir. Arnaud des Pallieres)

Only Lovers Left Alive (Dir. Jim Jarmusch)
Venus in Fur (Dir. Roman Polanski)

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