|Director Abdellatif Kechiche, center, with stars Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolous collect the Palme d'Or for the film 'La Vie d'Adèle- Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour).' Photo courtesy of EPA|
A French film about a young woman's lesbian romance took the Palme d'Or Sunday Night at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
"La Vie d'Adèle- Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour)" took the top award at the renowned festival, splitting the prize three ways among its director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and two stars, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolous.
The film was selected for the top prize by a jury that was headed by director Steven Spielberg, with actors Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz, and two-time Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee serving as jury members.
"Blue" caused a stir at the festival for a 20-minute long sex scene between the two actresses, but it was also one of the most critically acclaimed films at this year's festival. This was the first time an LGBT-themed film won the festival's top prize.
A slew of other well received films won top awards, including Joel and Ethan Coen's newest film about a struggling folk musician in 1960's New York City, "Inside Llewyn Davis," which got runner-up laurels with the Grand Prix. This is Joel Coen's first win at Cannes since winning his third best director prize in 2001 for "The Man Who Wasn't There" (Ethan was not listed as a co-director).
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi followed up his internationally acclaimed "A Seperation" with "Le Passé (The Past)," which won the best actress prize for Bérénice Bejo.
Bruce Dern won the best actor prize for Alexander Payne's "Nebraska."
These were the first acting wins at Cannes for both.
The Chinese film "Tian Zhu Ding (A Touch of Sin)" picked up the best screenplay prize, and Amat Escalante won best director for his story of a young girl trying to escape the violence of Mexico with a police cadet. This is the second year in a row the best director prize was awarded to a Mexican.
The jury prize was awarded to the Japanese film "Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son)."
The closing ceremony at the Grand Théâtre Lumière wrapped up a 12-day festival that exhibited 20 films from all over the world. Sidebar competitions including Un Certain Regard and Cinefondation feted even more films.
The Cannes Film Festival will return for its 67th year on the Palais on May 16, 2014.