It's a remarkable year at Cannes when one film doesn't run away as the favorite for top prize of the Palme d'Or. That's exactly what happened this year with four or five films all with good odds going into today's voting. When it was all said and done, late favorite Blue is the Warmest Color (aka La Vie D'Adele) was left to reap the golden spoils. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Adele Exarchopoulos in a moving and strikingly explicit role, the film earned plenty of buzz for its graphic sex scenes between Exarchopoulos and co-star Lea Seydoux and its longest-of-competition 3-hour runtime. Nevermind the fuss, this is a devastatingly emotional love story that is nothing if not worthy of the extra patronage the top prize from Cannes should bring it. IFC/Sundance Selects will release the film in the States but there is no word yet if it will need to be edited for American audiences (especially given that Adele's character is a minor during the most explicit scenes).
Another favorite for awards, the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis fell just short of the Palme but did scoop up the runner-up Grand Prix award. Many had picked star Oscar Isaac to take home the Best Actor award, but that honor went to Bruce Dern for his role in Alexander Payne's Nebraska. Other Best Actor fave Michael Douglas and his film Behind the Candelabra, directed by Steven Soderbergh, went home empty-handed.
Bernice Bejo snagged the Best Actress award for another film that many thought had a great chance at the Palme, Asghar Farhadi's The Past. This role as an unstable single mother marks a definite departure for the French actress who is best known to American audiences for her part in The Artist.
The other much talked about film with a good shot at top prize was Kore-eda Hirokazu's Like Father, Like Son. With a touching family story, an insightful script, and remarkable performances from some talented child actors, many thought this film would appeal to Jury President Stephen Spielberg and were touting it as the odds-on favorite after it premiered over the first weekend. In the end it received a Special Jury Prize.
The biggest surprise of the night was Amat Escalante's Best Director award for the relatively disregarded film Heli. The first competition film to screen at the fest, Heli was generally disliked by much of the press, even though it did feature some striking scenes of violence and a window into the long-arm of the Mexican drug trade.
Writer/Director Jia Zhangke won the Best Screenplay prize at the festival for Touch of Sin. This modern day tale of Chinese society wove a complex narrative that offered a touch of whimsy and its fair share of violence.
Prizes were also announced over the last few nights for the sidebars and Un Certain Regard section. Anthony Chen won the Best First Feature "Camera d'Or" for Directors' Fortnight film Ilo Ilo. Rithy Panh's The Missing Picture took home the top dog "Prize of Un Certain Regard" while Hany Abu Assad nabbed a Jury Prize for Omar and Sundance-winner Fruitvale won the Avenir Prize of the Future for director Ryan Coogler.
Borgman was notably overlooked for all prizes.
Here is the full list of winners from Cannes 2013:
Palme d'Or: Blue is the Warmest Color - Abdellatif Kechiche
Grand Prix: Inside Llewyn Davis - Joel and Ethan Coen
Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director): Amat Escalante for Heli
Prix du Scenario (Best Screenplay): Jia Zhangke for A Touch of Sin
Prix du Jury (Jury Prize): Like Father, Like Son - Kore-Eda Hirokazu
Best Actress: Berenice Bejo for The Past
Best Actor: Bruce Dern for Nebraska
Camera d'Or (Best First Feature - not necessarily in competition): Anthony Chen for Ilo Ilo
UN CERTAIN REGARD PRIZES
Prize of Un Certain Regard: The Missing Picture - Rithy Panh
Jury Prize: Omar - Hany Abu-Assad
Directing Prize: Alain Guiraudie for Stranger by the Lake
A Certain Talent Prize for Ensemble Cast: La Jaula de Oro - Diego Quemada-Diez
Avenir Prize of the Future: Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
DIRECTORS' FORTNIGHT PRIZES
Art Cinema Award: Me Myself and Mum - Guillaume Gallienne
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers' Prize: Me Myself and Mum - Guillaume Gallienne
Special Jury Prize: Tip Top - Serge Bozon
Special Jury Prize for Best European Film: The Selfish Giant - Clio Barnard
CRITICS' WEEK PRIZES
Grand Prix: Salvo - Antonio Piazza
France 4 Revelation Prize: Salvo - Antonio Piazza
Best Screenplay: Sebastian Pilote for Le Demantlement
Grand Rail d'Or: The Lunchbox - Ritesh Batra
Best Short Film: Come and Play - Daria Belova
Canal+ Award: Pleasure - Ninja Thyberg
First Prize: Needle - Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
Second Prize: Waiting for the Thaw - Sarah Hirtt
Third Prize (tie): In The Fishbowl - Tudor Cristian Jurgiu & Pandas - Matúš Vizár