September 20, 2023

Justine Triet’s ‘Anatomy Of A Fall’ Wins Palme D’Or; Third woman ever to win the top prize

UPDATE: French filmmaker Justine Triet has become only the third woman to win the top prize Palme d’Or in the Cannes Film Festival’s 76-year history. Anatomy of a fall. She joins Jane Campion (1993’s The piano), and more recently Julia Ducournau who won for titan in 2021 (Ducournau was also on the jury this year).

Anatomy of a fall follows Sandra (Sandra Hüller), a German writer, her French husband Samuel and their eleven-year-old son Daniel who live a secluded life in a remote town in the French Alps. When Samuel is found dead in the snow beneath their chalet, the police wonder if he committed suicide or was murdered. Samuel’s death is treated as a suspected murder, and Sandra becomes the prime suspect.

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In his review, Damon Wise of Deadline called it “a cerebral smash” that “subverts the delights of genre convention to explore issues of gloating and downright morbid human curiosity.”

Neon picked it up during the festival, leading the distributor to boast of the four latest Palme d’Or winners, including Triangle of Sorrow, Titane And Parasite.

Triet was preceded on stage by Jane Fonda who spoke before jury president Ruben Ostlund announced victory. Fonda said: “The last time I came (to the festival) was in 1963, many of you weren’t even born yet… There weren’t any female directors back then and it never occurred to us that there was anything wrong with that was… We have made progress, but we still have a long way to go.” Still, she noted, perhaps a harbinger of what was to come, “We have to celebrate change when it happens. This year, for the first time, seven female directors are taking part.”

Triet was emphatic in her acceptance, saying she couldn’t be content just speaking about the “joy” she felt, but also about France’s recent social unrest over retirement age reforms.

She said: “This year our country has experienced a historic dispute… This dispute has been shockingly denied and suppressed, and this pattern of increasingly unbridled power is breaking out in several areas; it’s social, of course, where it’s most shocking, but we also see it in all spheres of society, and the cinema is no exception. The commercialization of culture advocated by the neoliberal government breaks through the French cultural exception. I dedicate this award to all young female and male directors and to those who cannot make films today. We see ourselves making room for them, this place I took 15 years ago in a world that was a little less hostile and that still considered it possible to make mistakes and start over.”

Earlier in the evening, Quentin Tarantino appeared on stage to introduce Roger Corman. The 97-year-old filmmaker and mentor to countless others received a standing ovation and called Cannes “the most interesting film festival in the world.” Speaking to the audience, he said, “You’re really lucky to be a part of it.”

Other winners included Jonathan Glazer The interest zone who won the grand prize; Tran Anh Hung who won Best Director award The Pot-au-Feu; and an absent Aki Kaurismaki, whose Fallen leaves received the Jury Prize. (See below for the full list of winners.)

John C Reilly, meanwhile, introduced the award for Best Screenplay (Yuji Sakamato, Sample) and referred, without directly mentioning it, to the ongoing WGA strike. When he arrived on stage, he paused for a while without saying anything. When he finally spoke, he said, “What we just went through is what a movie would be like without screenwriters.”

PREVIOUS, 11:30 PT: The 76th Cannes Film Festival closes tonight with the most important prizes, including the Palme d’Or, awarded by Ruben Ostlund’s jury at the Palais. Scroll down for the list of winners that will be updated when prizes are announced.

It’s been a busy and bustling two weeks here on the Riviera, kicked off with Johnny Depp starrer Joan of Barry and continue with the star world premieres of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate and that of Martin Scorsese Killers of the flower moon, all out of competition. The main race features 21 films, including titles from high-profile filmmakers such as Wes Anderson (Asteroid City) and Todd Haynes (May December) and previous Palme d’Or winners Nuri Bilge Ceylan (About dry grasses), Nanni Moretti (Il Sol Dell’Avvenire), Ken Loach (The old oak), Wim Wenders (Perfect days) and Hirokazu Kore-eda (Sample).

Among some of the best announcements received were Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of interestAlice Rohrwachers La Chimera and that of Aki Kaurismaki Fallen leaves alongside Perfect days And may december.

Still, it’s all up for grabs, as Cannes juries are anything but predictable. This year features two-time Palme d’Or winner Ostlund and director Maryam Touzani, actor Denis Ménochet, writer/director Rungano Nyoni, actress/director Brie Larson, actor/director Paul Dano, writer Atiq Rahimi, director Damián Szifron and director Julia Ducournau .

We’ll know more soon, so check back as we update the winners below:

Golden Palm
Anatomy of a falldir: Justine Triet

Grand prize
The interest zonedir: Jonathan Glazer

Dear Director
Tranh Anh Hung, The Pot-au-Feu

jury prize
Fallen leavesdirected by Aki Kaurismaki

Best screenplay
Yuji Sakamato, Sample

Best Actress
Merve Dizdar, About dry grasses

Best Actor
Koji Yakusho, Perfect days

Camera d’Or
Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shelldir: Thien An Pham

Short film Palme d’Or
27directed by: Flora Anna Buda

Special Mention:
Fardir: Gunnur Martinsdottir Schluter

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