Cannes 2015 Award Winners Include Refugees in France, Prisoners in Auschwitz, and Rooney Mara in the 1950s

Cannes 2015 Award Winners Include Refugees in France, Prisoners in Auschwitz, and Rooney Mara in the 1950s

May 25, 2015

Dheepan / Son of Saul / Carol

The Cannes Film Festival concluded over the weekend, and the big prize winners have been announced. The main competition jury, led by Joel and Ethan Coen, made some surprising picks, awarding Dheepan the top prize, known as the Palme d'Or.

It's a French-language drama about three refugees who flee Sri Lanka and seek to make a new life in France. Jacques Audiard directed; he's known for the prison-set A Prophet and the dramatic romance Rust and Bone. Dheepan will open in theaters in the U.S. via IFC / Sundance Selects, perhaps before the end of the year.

 

The jury gave the Grand Prix to Son of Saul, a widely-acclaimed Holocaust drama directed by László Nemes. The Hungarian film is set at the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944, as a prisoner is forced into a grisly duty and then must deal with the personal consequences. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film for U.S. distribution during the festival.

 

Rooney Mara, who stars in Carol as a woman involved in a secretive romance during the 1950s with Cate Blanchett, shared the Best Actress prize with Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon Roi, a relationship drama. Carol is heading for theatrical release on December 18 -- expect it to be an awards contender.

 

The Assassin, an elegantly-shot martial arts drama, won the Best Director award for Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Shu Qi and Chang Chen star; Well Go USA picked up distribution rights ahead of the festival, so we're likely to see it in theaters later this year. 

Other prizes were awarded to Vincent Linden (Best Actor, The Measure of a Man), Michel Franco (Best Screenplay, Chronic), La Tierra y la Sombre (Best First Feature), The Lobster (Jury Prize), and Waves '98 (Palme d'Or, Best Short Film). The jury included Jake Gyllenhaal, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Guillermo del Toro, Xavier Dolan, Rokia Traore, and Rossy De Palma.

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