Haneke's 'The White Ribbon' wins Cannes top prize

Austrian director Michael Haneke's somber drama "The White Ribbon" claimed the top prize today at the Cannes Film Festival, where Quentin Tarantino and Lars von Trier entries earned the acting honors.



It was a big night for Austria, whose triumphs included Christoph Waltz as best actor for Tarantino's World War II epic "Inglourious Basterds." Charlotte Gainsbourg won the best-actress honor for von Trier's "Antichrist," a film that riled and repelled many Cannes viewers with its explicit images of physical abuse involving a grieving couple.

Haneke addressed his wife as he accepted his award, noting that "happiness is very rare."

"This is one moment in my life in which I'm very happy, and so are you, I believe," said Haneke, who received the festival's Palme d'Or for his gorgeously photographed black-and-white tale. "The White Ribbon" examines themes of communal guilt, distrust and punishment among residents of a small German town besieged by tragedies and strange occurrences as World War I approaches.

The second-place grand prize went to French director Jacques Audiard's prison drama "A Prophet," about an illiterate inmate who educates himself and becomes a player in drug and smuggling circles.

Gainsbourg delivers a terrifying performance as a psychotic woman torturing her husband (Willem Dafoe) and mutilating herself during a trip to the woods intended as a healing sojourn after the death of their child.

Waltz earned the best-actor award for his gleefully homicidal role as Nazi Col. Hans Landa, renowned in Germany as an ace "Jew hunter" in "Inglourious Basterds," Tarantino's rewrite of the history books that follows the exploits of a band of Jewish Allied commandos led by Brad Pitt.

"Above all I owe this to Hans Landa and his unique and inimitable creator, Quentin Tarantino," Waltz said. "You gave me my vocation back."

Gainsbourg thanked Dafoe and von Trier, "who allowed me to live what I believe to be the strongest, most painful and most exciting experience of my whole life." She also thanked her father, the late singer and actor Serge Gainsbourg, who would have been "proud and shocked, I hope."

The nine-member Cannes jury headed by French actress Isabelle Huppert, which included actresses Robin Wright Penn and Asia Argento and director James Gray, presented a special award to beloved French director Alain Resnais, who was in the competition with the offbeat tale "Wild Grass." The film follows the odd relationships that spring up after a married man forges a relationship with a woman whose stolen wallet he recovers.

Several well-received entries among the 20 Cannes competition films were shut out for prizes, including two from past Palme d'Or winners — Jane Campion's historical pageant "Bright Star" and Ken Loach's soccer-themed comedy "Looking for Eric."

Also snubbed for prizes were Academy Award winners Ang Lee for his rock 'n' roll comedy "Taking Woodstock" and Pedro Almodovar's tragic romance "Broken Embraces."

British director Andrea Arnold's teen drama "Fish Tank" and Park Chan-wook's vampire romance "Thirst" shared the festival's jury prize, the third-place award. Arnold won the same prize with her first film, "Red Road," in 2006, while Park won the festival's second-place honor with "Old Boy" in 2004.

The directing award went to Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza for "Kinatay," a harsh story centered on police inflicting bloody retribution on a prostitute who crossed them.

Chinese director Lou Ye's "Spring Fever," a tale of forbidden romance involving homosexual relationships, won the screenplay award for writer Feng Mei.

The prize for best first film went to Australian writer-director Warwick Thornton for "Samson and Delilah," his love story about two teens living in an isolated aboriginal community.

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...