Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” won the Palme d’Or at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in a ceremony Saturday that handed the festival’s prestigious top prize to a twisty French Alps courtroom drama.
“Anatomy of a Fall,” which stars Sandra Hüller as a writer trying to prove her innocence in her husband’s death, is only the third film directed by a woman to win the Palme d’Or. One of the two previous winners, Julia Ducournau, was on this year’s jury.
Cannes’ Grand Prix, its second prize, went to Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” a chilling Martin Amis adaptation about a German family living next door to Auschwitz.
The awards were decided by a jury presided over by two-time Palme winner Ruben Östlund, the Swedish director who won the prize last year for “The Triangle of Sadness.” The ceremony preceded the festival’s closing night film, the Pixar animation “Elemental.”
The jury prize when to Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves,” a deadpan love story about a romance that blooms in a loveless workaday world where dispatches from the war in Ukraine regularly play on the radio.
Best actor went to veteran Japanese star Koji Yakusho, who plays a reflective, middle-aged Tokyo man who cleans toilets in Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days.” Wenders’ film is a gentle, quotidian character study.
The Turkish actor Merve Dizdar took best actress for the Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “About Dry Grasses.” Ceylan’s expansive tale is set in snowy eastern Anatolia about a teacher, Samet (Deniz Celiloğlu), accused of misconduct by a young female student. Dizdar plays as a friend both attracted and repelled by Samet.
“The character I potray in the film is someone who is fighting for her life and she’s overcome a lot of difficulties. Under normal circumstances, I would have had to work hard on this character,” said Dizdar.
“I understand what it’s like to be a woman in this area of the country,” she continued. “I would like to dedicate this prize to all the women who are fighting to exist and overcome difficulties in this world and to retrain hope.”
Vietnamese-French director Tràn Anh Hùng took best director for “Pot-au-Feu,” a lush, foodie love story starring Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel and set in a 19th century French gourmet château.
Best screenplay was won by Yuji Sakamoto for “Monster.” Sakamoto penned Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s nuanced drama, with shifting perspectives, about two boys struggling for acceptance in their school at home. “Monster” also won the Queer Palm, an honor bestowed by journalists for the festival’s strongest LGBTQ-themed film.
Quentin Tarantino, who won Cannes’ top award for “Pulp Fiction,” attended the ceremony to present a tribute to filmmaker Roger Corman. Tarantino praised Corman for filling him and countless moviegoers with “unadulterated cinema pleasure.”
“My cinema is inhibited, full of excess and fun,” said Corman, the independent film maverick. “I feel like this what Cannes is about.”
The festival’s Un Certain Regard section handed out its awards on Friday, giving the top prize to Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature, “How to Have Sex.”
Saturday’s ceremony drew to close a Cannes edition that hasn’t lacked spectacle, stars or controversy.
The biggest wattage premieres came out of competition. Martin Scorsese debuted his Osage murders epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a sprawling vision of American exploitation with Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Harrison Ford’s Indy farewell, launched with a tribute to Ford. Wes Anderson premiered “Asteroid City.”
The festival opened on a note of controversy. “Jeanne du Barry,” a period drama co-starring Johnny Depp as Louis XV, played as the opening night film. The premiere marked Depp’s highest profile appearance since the conclusion of his explosive trial last year with ex-wife Amber Heard.
The selection of “Jeanne du Barry” added to criticisms of Cannes for being too hospitable to men accused of abusive behavior.