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'Titane' wins top prize at Cannes Film Festival

July 17, 2021
French filmmaker Julia Ducournau has become only the second female director to win the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, for her film
French filmmaker Julia Ducournau has become only the second female director to win the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, for her film "Titane." — Courtesy photo

PARIS — French filmmaker Julia Ducournau has become only the second female director to win the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, for her film "Titane."

In a shocking moment, jury president Spike Lee announced the win in error early in the awards ceremony after a miscommunication. Gasps rang around the Grand Theatre Lumiere before the ceremony collected itself and reverted back to the normal running order. The awkward atmosphere did not dissipate, however, with the typically garrulous Lee noticeably bashful.

"Raw" director Ducournau returned to Cannes with her second film, her first in the competition.

"Titane" tells the story of a young woman who survives a car crash as a child and goes on to have a peculiar relationship with cars in adulthood. It divided critics with vocal supporters and detractors, but the jury of Lee, fellow directors Mati Diop, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Jessica Hausner, actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Tahar Rahim and Song Kang-ho and singer-songwriter Mylène Farmer saw fit to award it top honors.

The Grand Prix — the festival's second prize — was jointly awarded to Asghar Farhadi's "A Hero" and Juho Kusomanen's "Compartment No.6."

A two-time Oscar winner from Iran, Farhadi's intricate morality play "A Hero" centers on a prisoner whose good deed on day release sets off a chain of fortune and misfortune.

"Compartment No.6" has been compared to a "Finnish 'Before Sunrise'" for its offbeat meet-cute set on a train.

"Memoria" by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and "Ahed's Knee" by Israeli Nadav Lapid shared the Jury Prize.

Best director went to Frenchman Leos Carax for his musical "Annette," starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard as A-list lovers in a doomed romance, set to music by cult pop duo Sparks. Best screenplay was awarded to Ryusuke Hamaguchi for "Drive My Car," the Japanese director's adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story.

Best actor went to Caleb Landry Jones for "Nitram," Justin Kurzel's retelling of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, while best actress went to Renate Reinsve for Joachim Trier's "The Worst Person in the World."

Camera d'Or for first film (and award spanning the Official Selection and the wider program's The Director's Fortnight and Critics' Week) went to Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic for "Murina," her tense family drama set on the Adriatic Coast. — CNN


July 17, 2021
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