Cannes 2009: The Tomato Report - Haneke's The White Ribbon Scoops Palme d?Or

While Inglourious' Christoph Waltz wins Best Actor

Michael Haneke took Cannes' top honour tonight as his film, The White Ribbon, won the prestigious Palme d'Or. It's Haneke's third major Cannes prize but his first Palme d'Or. The director took to the stage to be presented with the award by jury president Isabelle Huppert, who starred in his 2001 film La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher). Set in a small German town on the eve of the First World War, The White Ribbon is a tragic tale of life as conflict approaches. "Happiness is a rare thing, but this is a moment in my life when I am truly happy," Haneke told the Cannes audience.

Another film heavily tipped for the Palme, Jacques Audiard's A Prophet, went home with the Grand Jury prize but failed to win Best Actor for its young star Tahar Rahim, despite much praise for his performance. That award instead went to Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds and his role as Nazi 'Jew Hunter' Col. Hans Landa, who thanked his director in a speech which mixed French, German and English. "You gave me my vocation back," he said.

Dominique Charriau/WireImage.com
Michael Haneke takes home the Palme d'Or

Charlotte Gainsbourg won the Best Actress award for her role alongside Willem Dafoe in Lars von Trier's controversial and explicit meditation on grief, Antichrist. It was the only award for a film which has heavily divided critics as von Trier is wont to do. From a showbiz dynasty, Gainsbourg thanked her mother, Jane Birkin, and late father Serge Gainsbourg in her speech.

Brillante Mendoza took the best directing prize for Kinatay while Lou Ye's Spring Fever won the screenplay award. Honouring a first film, the Camera d'Or went to Aussie Warwick Thornton for Samson & Delilah, which ran in Un Certain Regard. Yaron Shani's Ajami, running in Director's Fortnight, got a special mention for the award.

Two films shared the jury prize. Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, also heavily tipped for the Palme, shared the award with Park Chan-wook's vampire tale Thirst. Arnold took the same prize for her debut feature Red Road in 2006, while Park won the Grand Prize for Oldboy in 2004.

87-year-old director Alain Resnais took to the stage to receive a lifetime achievement award, the Exceptional Prize of the Cannes Film Festival, and received a standing ovation. His film, Wild Grass, is his sixth in competition at the festival.

Best Short went to Joao Salaviza for Arena, while a special mention went to The $6.50 Man by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland.

Click on the film titles below to jump straight to our Tomato Report articles with further information on critical reactions to them.

Palme d'Or
The White Ribbon - Michael Haneke

Grand Prix
A Prophet - Jacques Audiard

Lifetime achievement award
Alain Resnais - Wild Grass

Director
Brillante Mendoza - Kinatay

Jury prize
Fish Tank - Andrea Arnold
Thirst - Park Chan-wook

Actor
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Actress
Charlotte Gainsbourg -- Antichrist

Screenplay
Mei Feng - Spring Fever

Comments

Ace

Jose Blancarte

Well glad to see Inglorious Basterds get something.

May 24 - 03:12 PM

Cslroy

Christopher Lopes

Me too. Even though it would have been amazing if it won the Palme d'Or.

May 24 - 03:20 PM

Cslroy

Christopher Lopes

Me too. Even though it would have been amazing if it won the Palme d'Or.

May 24 - 03:20 PM

JohnnyJonJon

Jonathan Groen

Congrats to Christoph Waltz and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Can't wait to see their movies.

May 24 - 03:42 PM

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

Screw Inglorious Bastards, all I care about is ChanWook Park's Thirst. I liked OldBoy, but I didn't like the two follow ups as much. They were just a little too morbid for my tastes. Sounds like he might have something with 'Thirst', all the reviews have been positive so far and it did win the jury prize.

May 24 - 03:45 PM

Joe Utichi

Joe Utichi

CtrlAltDestroy - It's good stuff. I won't spoil, but there was a part of me that wanted to see it go in a different direction, but damn, seeing that guy take on a vampire movie is a pretty exciting thing on its own.

All in all a pretty great festival this year - I didn't see The White Ribbon (in three Cannes I've managed to miss every Palme d'Or winner - it's becoming a pattern that if you see me in a screening, it won't win the Palme d'Or) but I hear amazing things, and as much as I had problems with Antichrist, was happy to see Gainsbourg get that award.

May 24 - 04:12 PM

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

Good news about Thirst, just give me that and Ong Bak 2 and I'm set.

This does seem like an exciting year for indie films. With so many films being affected by the writers strike (Wolverine, Terminater), it seems like this is the indie films time to shine.

As blasphemous as it might sound, I kinda wish Lars Von Trier would make something a little more commercial. Watching the trailer for antichrist gave me silent hill vibes.

May 24 - 09:33 PM

JHE

Jimmy He

i was hoping the jury would go crazy and pick antichrist but Michael Haneke deserves the Palme d'Or

May 24 - 04:47 PM

oddjob323

kevin strawn

The White Ribbon doesn't sound interesting whatsoever, but I will probably end up seeing thirst and Inglorious Basterds.

May 24 - 05:34 PM

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

Good news about Thirst, just give me that and Ong Bak 2 and I'm set.

This does seem like an exciting year for indie films. With so many films being affected by the writers strike (Wolverine, Terminater), it seems like this is the indie films time to shine.

As blasphemous as it might sound, I kinda wish Lars Von Trier would make something a little more commercial. Watching the trailer for antichrist gave me silent hill vibes.

May 24 - 09:33 PM

martinscorsese25

christopher cantos

heyeh for Dante Mendoza... though i feel bad for Ebert not liking it(worst premiere at Cannes). i'm still happy it won. a Filipino winning Best Director at Cannes?! gone are the days when we were just Janitors woooohoooooooooo!!!...

i wish someday, if i become a Director, i'll win the Palm D'or and become the first Filipino to win it...(don't care much for Best Director, Palm D'or is what i want)


also yehey for Basterds, but i think alot of people agree that QT should have taken his time in Editing the movie... still, i'm glad he'll be re-editing it and 'add' scenes, not 'cut'... maybe he'll put the action back which alot of people say was lacking in the movie

May 24 - 09:53 PM

Joe Utichi

Joe Utichi

It's NOTHING like Silent Hill... In tone, in subject matter, in approach, in commercial appeal, it couldn't be further removed from Silent Hill. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg go to some pretty shocking depths in Antichrist and it's being erroneously called a horror movie. It's terrifying, but it's not horror in my mind. There's a part of me that wants to tell you what Antichrist is, either to warn or arm you, and there's another part of me that doesn't want to say anything to let its full impact be felt. I still can't make up my mind if I loved it, loathed it or was indifferent to it. That's Lars.

The hilarious thing about von Trier, is that while it was firmly planted in indie territory, The Boss of It All from a couple of years back was probably his most accessible pic in recent memory. In the "Director's Confession" in the Cannes press kit for Antichrist he says, and I'm paraphrasing here, "A couple of years ago I was suffering from great depression and I didn't know if I'd ever make another film again. I wrote a script to see if I could do it and we shot and released it. It was crap, with no thematic depth, and a big waste of time."

That's what I love about von Trier - just as people were starting to praise TBOIA for being an accessible von Trier flick, he's telling us he hates the film.

May 24 - 09:55 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Why didn't we hear anything from RT about the showing of Drag Me to Hell? I've been waiting for RT to say something about it's showing at Cannes and never got anything!

May 24 - 09:58 PM

Joe Utichi

Joe Utichi

Hi Whitey,

We didn't cover every film in the festival this year and since Drag Me To Hell coincided with the day Inglourious screened we chose to focus on the latter. Since Drag Me To Hell had opened at SXSW, wasn't in competition and was nearing mainstream release, we felt it better to leave that out of our coverage to spend more time with the Tarantino pic.

I can tell you the flick is at 100% for 15 reviews, though, over here: http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/drag_me_to_hell/ - I will do a further reviews sweep this afternoon to see if there are any ones we've missed out.

I can also tell you that I'm but a few hours away from sitting down with Sam Raimi, Alison Lohman and Justin Long to discuss the movie, so you should be able to see video of those interviews before the week is out. I hope that goes some way to making up the lack of DMTH coverage as part of Cannes.

May 24 - 10:28 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Thanks for the info! I was watching the tomatometer and reading a few of the reviews. I'm most likely going to be seeing it opening night, I was just surprised there wasn't any coverage on here about the Cannes showing considering it was listed as one of the looking forward to films of Cannes in an earlier segment. But I'm happy with the rating so far, even if it is just out of 15, I don't see it dropping to much from what I've read so far.

May 25 - 12:24 AM

Joe Utichi

Joe Utichi

Just got back from the junket. Lovely guys all - and Justin Long was particularly excited that the movie's at 100%. Sorry to disappoint by excluding a mention as part of our wider coverage, but pleased nonetheless that you were following it! As I say, hopefully we'll make up for it later in the week with some nice interviews.

May 25 - 05:13 AM

DeweightJensen

Deweight Jensen

Great results this year, much better than last year's. Too bad I wasn't there. Lasy year I was in Cannes and had a great time, although none of the films I liked won a single award (The Chaser, Synecdoche NY, Waltz with Bashir, Adoration). I hope to be there next year!

May 25 - 05:50 AM

TheCaptain of TeamLoyalty

John Webb

I still dont understand the obsession with Drag me to Hell it just does not look good at all.

May 25 - 07:08 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Think the obsession of Drag Me to Hell is that according to the reviews this is a return to Sam Raimi's horror roots which will be welcome to fans of The Evil Dead series and could be exactly what Raimi needs to restore his credability with the fans put off by Spiderman 3.

Second point, I don't know that much needs to be said about UP. You know what you're getting from Pixar at this point i.e. smart professional family fair done to the uber-extreme. Based on UP's tomatometer I think that's probably what we're going to get this time as well.

May 25 - 03:06 PM

TheCaptain of TeamLoyalty

John Webb

Why is the best movie being ignored? You guys have like nothing on Up.

May 25 - 07:19 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Think the obsession of Drag Me to Hell is that according to the reviews this is a return to Sam Raimi's horror roots which will be welcome to fans of The Evil Dead series and could be exactly what Raimi needs to restore his credability with the fans put off by Spiderman 3.

Second point, I don't know that much needs to be said about UP. You know what you're getting from Pixar at this point i.e. smart professional family fair done to the uber-extreme. Based on UP's tomatometer I think that's probably what we're going to get this time as well.

May 25 - 03:06 PM

Helge B.

Helge Beck

Haneke AND Waltz... hach, ai aem sou praud of mai kauntry!! ;)

May 25 - 03:11 PM

Louise H.

Louise Hansen

I really liked the review and am looking forward to seeing Antichrist:-) Just wanted say that I think you may have "misquoted" Lars Von Trier in you comments.

"I wrote a script to see if I could do it and we shot and released it. It was crap, with no thematic depth, and a big waste of time."

I'm pretty sure i've seen the interview and I don't remenber him saying anything resembling "crap" or "waste of time".

Maybe its just a different source you're referring to :-) Anyway.. this is the most in depth interview i've seen with Lars about Antichrist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIU_sOgC1FI

May 25 - 03:53 PM

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