A year after collecting his second Palme d‘Or for “Triangle of Sadness,” Ruben Östlund bestowed the same honor to Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” a thought-provoking legal drama which purports to investigate the guilt or innocence of a popular novelist (Sandra Hüller), accused of murdering her husband. But the film is every bit as much an inquest into their marriage, bringing private details from the couple’s personal life into the courtroom for the press, public and audience to dissect, as if under a microscope.
Triet is only the third woman to win the Palme d’Or (after Jane Campion for “The Piano” and “Titane” helmer Julia Ducournau, who joined Östlund on the jury this year). The prize was presented by Jane Fonda, who remarked on how far Cannes has come — setting a record for female representation, with seven woman helmers in competition this year — since the American star first attended. In accepting the award, Triet made a point of acknowledging the protests against French pension reform, which were forbidden from the festival.
Ducournau presented the Grand Prix to “The Zone of Interest” by Jonathan Glazer. An adaptation of the World War 2 novel by Martin Amis (who passed away during the festival), the haunting film depicts the private life of the German commandant (Christian Friedel) responsible for executing countless Jews at Auschwitz. The film leaves those horrors largely off-screen, while focusing on the officer and his wife (Hüller, who also starred in the Palme winner), asking audiences to consider the morality of the perpetrators.
The best actor award went to Kōji Yakusho, who plays a working-class Tokyo man in Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days.” The character spends his mornings cleaning public toilets around the city, while leaving himself free time to read books, raise trees and observe the people around him. The best actress prize took the room by surprise, honoring Turkish actor Merve Dizdar for her role as a rural school teacher who challenges the self-centered male protagonist in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s long and philosophical “About Dry Grasses.”
Sakamoto Yûji won the screenplay prize for Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Monster,” which also received the Queer Palm the night before, while Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki took the Jury Prize for “Fallen Leaves,” a seemingly timeless love story between two strangers struggling to keep their jobs, forced into the present by radio dispatches from the war in Ukraine.
Directing honors went to Tran Anh Hung for “The Pot au Feu.” Set in 19th-century France, the mouthwatering feature focuses on the shared passion between a celebrated gourmet (Benoît Magimel) and his cook (Juliette Binoche) of nearly 20 years, which extends from the kitchen to their personal lives. In accepting the prize, the director thanked his wife, then corrected himself, identifying her as “his cook” instead.
Östlund co-presented the awards with fellow jurors Paul Dano and Brie Larson, Moroccan director Maryam Touzani, French actor Denis Ménochet, British-Zambian writer-director Rungano Nyoni, Afghan author Atiq Rahimi, Argentinian writer-director Damián Szifrón and French director Ducournau.
A separate jury decides the Camera d’Or prize for best first feature. That award went to Vietnamese director Thien An Pham’s three-hour art film “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section.
Full list of prizes below.
Palme d’Or: “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet
Grand Prix: “The Zone of Interest,” Jonathan Glazer
Director: Tran Anh Hung, “The Pot au Feu”
Actor: Kōji Yakusho, “Perfect Days”
Actress: Merve Dizdar, “About Dry Grasses”
Jury Prize: “Fallen Leaves,” Aki Kaurismaki
Screenplay: Sakamoto Yûji, “Monster”
Camera d’Or: “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” Thien An Pham
Short Films Palme d’Or: “27,” Flóra Anna Buda.
Short Films Special Mention: “Fár,” Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter
Golden Eye Documentary Prize: TBA
Queer Palm: “Monster”
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Un Certain Regard Award: “How to Have Sex,” Molly Manning Walker
Jury Prize: “Hounds,” Kamal Lazraq
Best Director Prize: “The Mother of All Lies,” Asmae El Moudir
Freedom Prize: “Goodbye Julia,” Mohamed Kordofani
Ensemble Prize: “The Buriti Flower,” João Salaviza, Renée Nader Messora, cast and crew
New Voice Prize: “Omen,” Baloji
Europa Cinemas Label: “Creatura,” Elena Martín
Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “A Prince,” Pierre Creton
Grand Prize: “Tiger Stripes,” Amanda Nell Eu
French Touch Prize: “It’s raining in the house,” Paloma Sermon-Daï
GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: Pyramide Films, “Inshallah a boy”
Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Jovan Ginić, “Lost Country”