this year, cannes belonged to the british
The party is over, the heels are off, here is who went home happy.
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So Cannes is over for another year. We had our highs—Chloë Sevigny's continuous takedown of sexism and patriarchy in Hollywood—and our lows—Sean Penn's white saviour romance The Last Face. With the winners recently announced one thing seems certain—this year the festival belonged to the British.
The 2016 Palme d'Or, the festival's highest prize, was taken out by British director Ken Loach for his protest drama I, Daniel Blake. The film follows a disabled man struggling with the UK's benefits system. It was the director's second win following 2006's The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
The Jury Prize was nabbed by Ken's countrywoman Andrea Arnold for American Honey—one of the most discussed and lauded films of the festival. Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough and Sasha Lane (who we flagged as a standout) star in the US set and filmed road movie that's been called a youth-culture exposé and an original take on a familiar film trope.
American Honey was a popular talking point during the festival, both for its strong female cast and direction, as well as Shia LaBeouf's return to form. On the back of Max Max: Fury Road and The Girlfriend Experience we can safely say it also sees Riley Keough complete her model-to-actress transformation. The film is Andrea's third Cannes Jury Prize which she nabbed in 2006 for Red Road and 2009 for Fish Tank.
While the aforementioned critical nods weren't huge shocks to anyone—both films were well received—the Grand Prix was more divisive. Xavier Dolan's Mommy follow up It's Only the End of the World won the festival's second most prestigious award. His story of a gay playwright returning home after a decade long absence had been called a disappointing follow up to his 2014 breakout.
In the acting categories Jaclyn Jose took out best actress for her naturalistic turn in Ma' Rosa, becoming the first Filipino actress to win the prize. While Iranian actor Shahab Hosseini won best actor for his appearance in The Salesman.
Text Wendy Syfret
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