Cannes 2018: Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or award

Film hailed as a modest masterpiece from a veteran filmmaker

Tom Batchelor
Saturday 19 May 2018 20:35
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Hirokazu Kore-eda collected the award for his ‘modern masterpiece’ alongside Cate Blanchett
Hirokazu Kore-eda collected the award for his ‘modern masterpiece’ alongside Cate Blanchett

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film Shoplifters has won the Palme d’Orthe highest prize – at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Cate Blanchett-led jury selected one of the festival’s most acclaimed entries for the award during Saturday’s closing ceremony.

Shoplifters has been hailed as a modest masterpiece from a veteran filmmaker that centres on a small-time thief who takes a young girl home to his family. After seeing scars from abuse, they decide to keep her and raise her as their own.

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, the highest-profile American film in the competition, was awarded the grand prize, the runner-up.

The true tale of a black police detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan drew a rousing standing ovation but less enthusiastic critical reviews.

Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum was given Cannes’ jury prize.

Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski took best director for his follow-up to the Oscar-winning Ida, Cold War.

Best actress went to Samal Yeslyamova for Kazakh writer-director Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Ayka.

Taking best actor was Marcello Fonte for Matteo Garrone’s Dogman, an award that was presented by fellow Italian actor Roberto Benigni.

The prize for best screenplay was split between Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher’s time-warped fable about a poor farm boy in rural Italy Happy as Lazzaro, and Nader Saeivar and Jafar Panahi’s script for Three Faces.

Panahi has been banned from travelling outside Iran since he was arrested for participating in “propaganda against the regime” in 2010 after supporting mass protests over the country’s disputed 2009 election. Both Panahi and Russia’s Kirill Serebrennikov were unable to attend their Cannes premieres because both are barred from travelling out of their home countries. Seats were left empty for both, who received standing ovations in absentia.

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A Palme d’Or Speciale, a special award not previously awarded, was given to Jean-Luc Godard for “continually striving to define and refine what cinema can be”, said Blanchett. Godard’s Image Book is a film essay collage that contemplates the West’s relationship to the Arab world. The 87-year-old French filmmaking legend called into his Cannes press conference via FaceTime.

Last year’s Palme d'Or winner was Ruben Ostlund’s The Square, which went on to be nominated for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards.

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