The 66th Cannes Film Festival made history of sorts last night at the Palais des Festival by awarding the coveted Palme d'Or for the first time in its history to a film that deals with a homosexual story.
“La Vie d’Adèle” (The Life of Adèle) by director Abdellatif Kechiche beat off stiff competition to become the first French film to win the top prize at Cannes since Laurent Cantet’s superb classroom drama “Entre les Murs” (released in Ireland as “The Class”) came away with the Palme d’Or in 2008.
Jury president Steven Spielberg described the story of two young women (played by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux) as “a very beautiful story, a magnificent love story with which everybody can identify, whatever their sexuality.”
The lesser Grand Prix was awarded to the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” – a nostalgic comedy on Greenwich Village of the 1960s and folk music. The Prix du Jury was given to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda for his tender portrayal of father-and-son relationships in “Like Father, Like Son”.
“The Artist” star Bérénice Bejo was reduced to tears when presented with her Best Actress title for the Iranian film “The Past”, while veteran American actor Bruce Dern was deemed the Best Actor at the age of 72 for his role in the melancholy US road movie “Nebraska”.This year’s festival was marked by an unprecedented amount of cold and rain that never managed to dampen the spirits of the attendees. On the final night, there was a surprise appearance by disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The former presidential candidate was showing no signs of stress and paused to pose for photographs with his new companion Myriam l’Aouffir on their way to the final showing of a film in competition – Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive.”