The 65th annual Cannes Film Festival came to a close earlier today and Austrian director Michael Haneke's drama "Amour" won the coveted Palme d'Or. The award, which is given to the festival's most outstanding movie and which is voted on by a hand-picked jury of film experts, is Haneke's second, having previously won three years ago for "The White Ribbon."
"I thank my wife, who has been putting up with me for years," Haneke said in his acceptance speech, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Haneke and his octogenarian stars — Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, who play a couple dealing with the end of their long life together — received a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.
Among the other major awards, director Carlos Reygadas won the best director prize for "Post Tenebras Lux," while Mads Mikkelsen was named best actor for "The Hunt" and the duo of Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur shared the best actress award for their roles in "Beyond the Hills." Matteo Garrone's film "Reality" won the Grand Prix as official runner-up to "Amour."
"Amour" and "Reality" weren't the only films to take home top accolades, though; Sundance favorite "Beasts of the Southern Wild" received the Camera d'Or for best first feature film. And "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was also named the winner of the FIPRESCI Prize yesterday, which is given out by the international press.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" director Benh Zeitlin was emotional in accepting the honors.
"For everyone making their first film, it's an award for courage and faith as much as skill," Zeitlin said, adding, "Cannes is the temple. You never know if you're allowed to dance in the temple, and I've found out that you can."
Considered the most prestigious film festival in the world, the Festival de Cannes is held every may in Cannes, France. The festival was founded in 1946.