Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cannes Jury Awards 'Winter Sleep' Top Prize

Nuri Bilge Ceylan sits at the edge of the stage holding his Palme d'Or for 'Winter Sleep'
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At over three hours long, and one of 18 films in competition, "Winter Sleep" might have been the longest film to show at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, but the jury didn't get a winter's nap watching it, showering the film with the coveted Palme d'Or.

The jury, headed by New Zealand writer/director Jane Campion and including Sofia Coppola, Gael Garcia Bernal and Willem Dafoe, awarded Turkish auteur, and Cannes staple, Nuri Bilge Ceylan with his first Palme during the closing ceremony at the Grand Théâtre Lumière Saturday night.

The 55-year-old director dedicated his Palme to those who have lost their lives in Turkey over the past year due to political conflict. "Winter Sleep" received rave reviews from its only official screening at the festival.


"Winter Sleep" is about a former actor who runs a hotel with his young wife and recently divorced sister in Anatolia. As the snow begins to fall their animosities toward each other rise. 

Ceylan's other wins at Cannes include a Grand Prix for "Uzak" in 2002, which also won the best actor prize for its two main stars, best director (prix de la mise en scène) in 2008 for "Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)", and another Grand Prix in 2011 for "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia", which was shared with the Dardenne Brothers "The Kid With a Bike".

The Italian film "Le Meraviglie (The Wonders)" won the Grand Prix.

Other wins at Cannes were American Bennett Miller who claimed best director for "Foxcatcher," a biographical film about the killing of Olympian Dave Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, by duPont family heir John duPont. DuPont is portrayed in the film by Steve Carrell, whose performance has already garnered Oscar attention.

The acting prizes were awarded to Timothy Spall as the titular character in Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner", and Julianne Moore in David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars." This is the first win for each at the festival.

A pair of reported frontrunners for the Palme both had to settle for consolation prizes. The Russian film "Leviathan" picked up the prix du scenario (best screenplay) and "Mommy", by 25-year-old Canadian director Xavier Dolan, won the jury prize. Dolan shared his prize with French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard for "Goodbye to Language." 

Other notable films in competition this year included Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman", Olivier Assayas' "Sils Maria", the biographical "Saint Laurent", and the Dardenne Brothers' "Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night)."

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