The 2016 Cannes Film Festival is a thing of a past but not before prize winners were handed out. Director George Miller (who wowed Cannes audiences just last year with his eventual Oscar-winner – and out-of-competition – play Mad Max: Fury Road) presided over the main competition’s jury. His jury selected Ken Loach’s emotional drama I, Daniel Blake as the recipient of the fest’s top prize – the coveted Palme d’Or. Loach has had a storied tenure at Cannes, winning multiple prizes throughout the years, including a Palme d’Or in 2005 for his The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
That decision, among many others by this year’s jury, was decidedly off critical conscious. The hands down critical favorite among competition films was Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade’s father/daughter comedy – a film that went home empty-handed – it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, however, which ensures North American distribution and seems a potential hopeful to be in contention for the Oscar’s Best Foreign Film prize. Other critically admired competition titles that went home empty-handed were Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson (starring Adam Driver), Paul Verhoeven’s French-language Elle (starring Isabelle Huppert), Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (starring Sonia Braga) and Jeff Nichol’s Loving, the only competition title that captured Oscar buzz throughout Cannes this year.
Instead, the jury favored It’s Only the End of the World. Xavier Dolan’s latest film stars Oscar winner Marion Cotillard and took home the Grand Jury Prize (second place) despite middling reviews. Dolan won the Jury Prize at Cannes two years ago for his far more critically accepted Mommy and served as a member of the competition jury last year. The Jury Prize went to Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, a film that many critics admired that felt was a possible Palme d’Or contender – curiously, this is Arnold’s third Jury Prize at Cannes, the U.K. filmmaker (who won an Oscar for her short film Wasp) previously won the same prize for Red Road (2006) and Fish Tank (2009).
A full list of winners below:
- PALME d’OR: I, Daniel Blake (UK) – directed by Ken Loach
- GRAND JURY PRIZE: It’s Only the End of the World (Canada) – directed by Xavier Dolan
- JURY PRIZE: American Honey (UK/USA) – directed by Andrea Arnold
- BEST DIRECTOR: (tie) Olivier Assayas, Personal Shopper (France); Cristian Mungiu, Graduation (Romania)
- BEST ACTOR: Shahab Hosseini, The Salesman (Iran)
- BEST ACTRESS: Jaclyn Jose, Ma Rosa (The Philippines)
- BEST SCREENPLAY: The Salesman – Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
- CAMERA d’OR: Divines – Houda Benyamina (France)