Despite a great critical reception to competition entries like Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre or Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive, it was Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life that took home the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The jury lead by American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences member Robert De Niro chose to give the top Cannes award to the American auteur whose film was one of the most anticipated leading into the festival. The Tree of Life is expected to have a strong showing at this year’s Academy Awards with a well-respected filmmaker and a strong, Oscar-friendly cast.
The Grand Prix Award, which can be thought of as a runner-up prize, went to both the Dardennes brother’s The Kid With the Bike and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Annatolia. Nicholas Winding Refn took home the Best Director prize for his film Drive and Kirsten Dunst won the Best Actress award for her performance in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Curiously, French actor Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor award for his silent performance in Michael Hazavanicius’ The Artist.
The results from the Cannes Film Festival are not notoriously influential on the Oscar race, but this year with three of the top awards going to English-language films it could be different. The Tree of Life already has high expectations for Awards success and Nicholas Winding Refn may have just emerged as a strong contender along with his film. View the entire list of award-winners below:
The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick
The Kid With a Bike, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Footnote, Joseph Cedar
Prix du Jury
Results are courtesy of In Contention. Stay tuned for a final Cannes Wrap-Up along with my most anticipated films that are coming from Cannes to the U.S.