On Golden Palme


CANNES, FRANCE—Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won their second Palme d’Or for The Child, a characteristically well-acted, hectic, and metaphorically rich social drama. Its award was nearly as surprising as the Palme presented the Belgian brothers’ Rosetta in 1999. Jim Jarmusch’s soulful comedy Broken Flowers, Michael Haneke’s political thriller Hidden, and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s ecstatically praised Three Stories were all regarded as more likely winners. The jury, headed by Bosnian director Emir Kusturica (himself a double Palme d’Or laureate), gave Broken Flowers the runner-up Grand Prix and named Haneke best director.

Kusturica would later publicly bad-mouth the quality of the competition. The third-place Jury Prize went to Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai’s conventional
Shanghai Dreams. Tommy Lee Jones scored an upset over
Broken Flowers
star Bill Murray, in winning best actor for his self-directed performance in the neo-western The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, for which Guillermo Ariaga won best screenplay. Israeli comic Hanna Laslo was named best actress for her performance as a voluble cabdriver in Amos Gitai’s otherwise undistinguished Free Zone. The Camera d’Or for best first feature shown in the festival was shared by Sri Lankan writer-director Vimukthi Jayasundara’s bleak political allegory The Forsaken Land and performance artist Miranda July’s whimsical romance Me and You and Everyone We Know.