Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Haneke's The White Ribbon tops Cannes Film Festival

Here are the winners of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival competition, selected by a jury headed by Isabelle Huppert. (Links to Mike D’Angelo’s withering appraisals for The A.V. Club included):

Camera D’Or (Best First Film, by separate jury): Samson And Delilah

Jury Prize(s): Fish Tank (dir. Andrea Arnold) and Thirst (dir. Park Chan-wook)

Best Screenplay: Spring Fever (dir. Lou Ye)

Best Director: Brillante Mendoza, Kinatay

Best Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist (dir. Lars Von Trier)

Best Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds (dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Special Prize: Alain Resnais, Wild Grass

Grand Jury Prize: A Prophet (dir. Jacques Audiard)

Palme D’Or: The White Ribbon (dir. Michael Haneke)

We’ll leave you festival-watchers to gawp about the winners below. Quick armchair analysis: Nobody would have predicted that Lou Ye’s Spring Fever and Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay would win prizes of any kind (Roger Ebert dubbed the latter the worst film he’d ever seen at Cannes, having retracted the same proclamation about Vincent Gallo’s The Brown Bunny). But what seemed at first like a runaway jury actually conformed more to expectations as the ceremony went along, with both A Prophet and The White Ribbon considered popular contenders for the top prizes. Given that Michael Haneke directed Huppert in The Piano Teacher, several prognosticators, including yours truly, gave him the edge.