Proving once and for all that “longest” is just another word for “best,” the jury of the Cannes Film Festival handed its top prize, the Palme D’Or, to the ass-numbing Turkish drama Winter Sleep. At almost three-and-a-half hours, this latest epic from director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia) dwarfed the running times of its competitors. Going into the festival, which ended this Saturday, Winter Sleep seemed like a sight-unseen frontrunner for the Palme—a lengthy, presumably weighty effort from a returning darling of Cannes. Initial reviews were mixed, with some critics in attendance complaining about the mammoth length, but that didn’t stop Ceylan’s tale of privilege and discontent from going the distance.
No less expected was the awarding of Best Actor to Timothy Spall, whose emphatic grunts as landscape painter J.M.W. Turner made Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner an early critical favorite of the fest. Yet the jury, led by Jane Campion, broke with expectation in other categories. The Grand Prix, or “second place,” went to Alice Rohrwacher’s bucolic family drama The Wonders, while the Jury Prize—basically the bronze—was split between Xavier Dolan’s Mommy and Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D avant-garde whatsit Goodbye To Language. Bennett Miller, of Capote and Moneyball fame, took home the Best Director award for his solemn, speculative true-crime drama, Foxcatcher, and screenplay honors went to Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan. Perhaps the most surprising of the winners was Julianne Moore, whose performance as a shallow, aging Hollywood actress in David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars was awarded Best Actress. (She beat out Marion Cotilliard in Two Days, One Night—the first narrative feature from the Dardenne brothers to go home empty-handed at Cannes, despite the fact that it’s totally excellent.)
Click here for a full list of Cannes winners, including those included in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, as well as parallel festivals Director’s Fortnight and Critics’ Week.