Laurent Cantet’s The Class (Entre Les Murs) has taken this year’s Palme D’Or. The French film is a Paris classroom drama-documentary based on a novel by Francois Begaudeau, who plays a teacher in the film working in a tough Parisian neighbourhood. Jury president Sean Penn said the decision to give the award to Cantet’s “amazing, amazing film” was unanimous.
It was the first Palme D’Or win for a French film since Maurice Pialat’s Sous Le Soleil De Satan in 1987.
The jury Grand Prix went to Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah. Screen described the film as “probably the most authentic and unsentimental mafia movie ever to come out of Italy”.
The Jury Prize was won by Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo, which Screen described as “enjoyably original, lurid, sardonic political opera.”
Best director was Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys.
Steve McQueen’s Hunger about IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands took the Camera D’Or prize.
Benicio Del Toro won best actor for Steven Soderbergh’s Che while Sandra Corveloni won best actress for Linha De Passe.
Clint Eastwood and Catherine Deneuve won special jury awards.
The Dardenne brothers missed out on the opportunity to take an unprecedented three Palme D’Ors but did win the best screenplay honours for Lorna’s Silence.
The awards in full are as follows:
Palme D’Or The Class (Laurent Cantet)
Special Jury Awards Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood
Grand Prix Gomorra (Matteo Garrone)
Jury Prize Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)
Best Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (3 Monkeys)
Best Screenplay Lorna’s Silence (Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne)
Best Actor Benicio Del Toro (Che)
Best Actress Sandra Corveloni (Linha de Passe)
Camera D’Or Hunger (Steve McQueen)
Camera D’Or Special Mention Everybody Dies But Me (Valeria Gaï Guermanika)
Best Short Film Megatron (Marian Crisan)
Best Short Film Special Mention Jerrycan by Julius Avery