Japanese veteran director Hirokazi Kore-eda’s intense drama Shoplifters was the unexpected dark horse winner at Cannes this year, taking home the festival’s highest honor, the Palme D’Or, in the face of stiff competition from contenders with significantly more buzz. A emotionally poignant tale of a family torn apart by their sticky-fingered secret, Shoplifters was well-received, if overshadowed by more impassioned reviews and calls to gild a female director with the Palme–something that’s only happened once in the festival’s nearly 80-year history. Cate Blanchett, President of this year’s Jury, said, however: “[Shoplifters’] ending blew us out of the cinema.” This is just the second time an Asian director’s taken the award in the 21st century, 8 years after Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” 2010 win.
American icon Spike Lee took home the Grand Prix for his satirical evisceration of modern-day racism, BlacKkKlansman, while female Lebanese director Nadine Labacki’s Caperneum, about a destitute Beirut street urchin suing his parents for giving him life, was awarded the Jury Prize.
Many critics were surprised, however, to see Lee Chang-dong‘s overwhelmingly-acclaimed BURNING leave the festival without one of the main competition’s awards, as it had received the highest marks of all time in the Screen Cannes Jury Grid–it earned a whopping 3.8 out of 4 stars, beating out last year’s favorite Toni Erdmann 3.7 star record. The indie thriller, based on Murakami’s short story “Burning Barn,” starred THE WALKING DEAD’s Steven Yeun and Korean household name Yoo Ah-in, and was Lee’s first feature film in eight years.
In IndieWire’s critics’ poll, 35% picked BURNING as the best film; with Cold War (20%) and Birds of Passage (10%) taking 2nd and 3rd place.
Via The Guardian