The prizes have been awarded at the Cannes film festival and the coveted top prize, the Palme d’Or, went to Winter Sleep, a Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Cannes Festival Grand Prix in 2002 and in 2011.
Set in a mountaintop hotel, Winter Sleep is about the inner workings of people and how this informs their relationships with others.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan said: “It is a happy coincidence that this year is the centenary of Turkish cinema. And it is the second Palme d’Or for Turkish cinema; the prize was won 32 years ago by Yilmaz Gulney’s film Yol, which I admire very much, it’s a very good film.”
Winter Sleep runs for close to three hours, making it the longest film in the festival. But this obviously did not deter the jury, led by Jane Campion, best known for her film The Piano.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan said: “I think the fact that my film was selected for the competition, and then won it, shows that there is still hope for art house cinema.”
Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, said: “Nuri Bilge Ceylan could be compared to one of his countrymen, Ohran Pahmuk, who win the Nobel prize. And saying oh la la, this film runs for three hours is like saying oh la la, aren’t there a lot of pages!”
The Grand Prix went to Italian film Le Meraviglie – The Wonders – written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher, who said. “This film tells the story of a family and while we were making this film, a bigger family was born, and working with my sister Alba was a big surprise but felt very natural. It was like a river that flows, and working with Monica was also a joy because she’s very intelligent, very ironic.”
Inspired by her own life, the film is about a family of beekeepers, four sisters whose lives are overturned by the arrival of a television crew.
Julianne Moore won best actress and Timothy Spall won Best Actor, much to his evident satisfaction. He is a long-time favourite of director Mike Leigh and paid tribute to the director and the rest of the cast: “I m so delighted, but also that this represents all the actors in the film because when you work with Mike Leigh you never worked on a collaboration of such intensity.”
Best screenplay was won by Russian Andrei Zviaguintsev for his film Leviathan. He said: “This film is not only about Russian society but about human beings in general. I still believe what I have always believed, that we are in a perpetual struggle between the individual and the system.”
For more information see: http://www.festival-cannes.com/fr/archives/awardCompetition.html