France’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” takes top prize at Cannes

Producer Brahim Chioua, cast member Adele Exarchopoulos, director Abdellatif Kechiche, cast member Lea Seydoux and producer Vincent Maraval pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of
Producer Brahim Chioua, cast member Adele Exarchopoulos, director Abdellatif Kechiche, cast member Lea Seydoux and producer Vincent Maraval pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of

It was a win for the home team at Cannes, with French film “Blue is the Warmest Color,” Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour lesbian drama, taking the Palme d’Or, triumphing in what became one of the toughest-to-predict races in the festival’s recent history. The film is also the first gay love story to win the top prize. Other contenders for the Palme d’Or included Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past” and the Coen Brothers’ ’60s folk drama “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which won the Grand Prix.

Palme d’Or aside, the Cannes jury seemed particularly smitten with films from Asia. Japan’s Hirokazu Koreeda won the Jury Prize for “Like Father Like Son,” China’s Jia Zhang-ke won Best Screenplay for “A Touch of Sin,” Singapore director Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo” won the Camera d’Or and South Korea’s Moon Byounggon took home the award for Best Short Film for “Safe.”
In other categories, Bruce Dern won for his work in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” while “The Artist”‘s Berenice Bejo was awarded for her role in “The Past.” Mexico’s Amat Escalante was named Best Director for his “Heli,” the second Mexican director in a row to earn the prize after last year’s award went to Carlos Reygadas.
The festivals jury for 2013 was chaired by director Steven Spielberg and included Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman and “Django Unchained” star Christoph Waltz, among others. Last year’s Palme d’Or winner, Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” went on to earn a Best Picture nomination and a win for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

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