Cannes 2012: Michael Haneke, and Ken Loach win awards
Amour takes the Palme d'Or while the Jury Prize goes to comic caper The Angels' Share
MICHAEL HANEKE'S sombre drama Amour won the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival on a stormy Sunday night, while Ken Loach's whisky heist caper The Angels' Share took the Jury Prize, The Guardian reports.
Haneke's film (pictured above), which follows an elderly Parisian couple as they prepare for death, is his second Palme d'Or in three years: the director also won the top prize for The White Ribbon in 2009. Amour won near-unanimous praise from critics and the two leads, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, were singled out for praise by Italian director Nanni Morettti as he announced the result.
The Austrian director accepted the award in his characteristically low-key way, saying: "It's a harsh thing to have to contend with. It's something I had to contend with in my own family, and that's why I started to make this film."
The runners-up Grand Prix award was handed to Matteo Garrone's Reality, a satire on celebrity.
Loach's Scottish drama The Angels' Share, while widely viewed as not the director's finest work, was nonetheless warmly received. Several of the judges were reportedly in gales of laughter throughout the screening, which perhaps should have been a clue to where the Jury Prize was heading.
"The characters in the film have no work, and the world tells them they have no worth," Loach said. "We are reminded of the situation in Europe where people are told they have to stay out of work, and stay of no value."
The most hyped film of the festival, Leos Carax's Holy Motors, a surreal odyssey through Paris in which a sharp-dressed man, played by Denis Lavant, disguises himself as a number of shadowy figures, won nothing at all. David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, wildly lauded by many, was similarly overlooked.
Mexico's Carlos Reygadas won the best director prize for Post Tenebras Lux, an "exasperating stew of Jungian imagery" and Mads Mikkelsen's stirring performance in Thomas Vinterberg's crude but compelling The Hunt won him the best actor award.
The best actress award was shared between Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur for their parts in Beyond the Hills, which also won best screenplay for Cristian Mungiu.