The twelve day celebration of movies at Cannes, had some of the world’s most stellar talents on display. It’s been one of the toughest years for the jury, presided over by director Steven Spielberg. And yet today they have made their choice. As the curtains close, the contender for the coveted Palm d’Or went to an unconventional love story “Blue is the warmest colour” by the French Tunisian director, Abdellatif Kechiche.
Spielberg and his luminaries were behind closed doors, in a secluded villa, debating for consensus. Twenty films were selected for the competition and a quarter of them were strong contenders. Yet, unlike in previous years, this years competitors were vying for jury attention with equal fervour, with their strong story lines and stellar performances — no single favourite had emerged. “Blue Is the warmest color” “Inside Llewyn Davis” “The Past” “Like Father, Like Son” and “A Touch of Sin” — had each made strong cases for themselves.
Abdellatif Kechiche’s intimate alternative romance “Blue Is the Warmest Color” took the Croisette by storm and had created the greatest buzz besides dominating critic’s poll is. The three hour long explicitly passionate film with intensely graphic scenes was definitely the front runner with brilliant performances by Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux. This movie had every chance of winning considering that France has just legalized gay marriage last week. The only thing that skeptics thought would work against Kechiiche’s film was its depiction of explicitness of raw, overt intimacy. But with “Blue Is the Warmest Color’s” win it was indeed a historic moment.
After receiving his award from American actress Uma Thurman; Abdellatif Kechiche, accompanied by his two actresses, said: “I want to remind everyone of a man who helped me find my way, who I love and who I miss: Claude Berri. I want to dedicate this prize and this film to the wonderful young people of France who I met while making this film and who taught me so much about the hope for freedom and of living in harmony together. And to the young people who, not so long ago, lived through the Tunisian revolution, so as to inspire them to live in freedom, express themselves in freedom and love in freedom.”
French actress Berenice Bejo, won best actress for her role in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past” — a sensitively crafted and intricately constructed script around a marriage on the verge of a breakdown, had some restrained spectacular performances from its protagonists.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” from the Coen brothers, another critic’s favourite won the coveted “Grand Prix” in essence making them the runner’s up . “Inside Llewyn Davis’s sentimental depiction of the 1960’s folk music scene, almost to the extent of melancholic yearning had earned the movie makers rave reviews and was a strong contender for the Palm D’Or .
A surprise entry was Mexico’s Amat Escalante,who won the best director award, with “Heli” a brutally violent drama about the country’s drugs war.
Veteran Hollywood Actor Bruce Dern won best actor for his poignant performance in “Nebraska” a story about a father and son who trek from Montana to Nebraska to claim prize money.
“Like Father, Like Son” directed by Japanese Film maker Hirokazu Kore-eda, about two families who discover that their six-year-old boys were switched at birth, won the Jury Prize.
Chinese Film maker Jia Zhangke won best screenplay for his dark, macabre contemporary, in “A Touch of Sin” a vision of modern day China.
Cannes Finale 2013:
As the curtains close and the rains lose their fervour, Cannes will go back to being what it was — an exotic riviera holding the memory of days gone by– where red carpets, beautiful faces and creative genius confluence to create magic. The illusion will hold and time will not wither, the memory of her beautiful face. Life will never be the same again, until the same time, same place — next year. Here are some of the unforgettable moments at the 66th Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet.