Sofia Coppola becomes second woman to win Cannes director prize

Sofia Coppola becomes second woman to win Cannes director prize

Sofia Coppola becomes second woman to win Cannes director prize

Coppola picked up the best director prize at the French film festival, becoming only the second female director to do so in the event's 70-year history.

Danish actor Claes Bang plays a museum director and divorced father of two young daughters who gets robbed in broad daylight in the city centre.

A stunned-looking Joaquin Phoenix accepted best actor honours for You Were Never Really Here, appearing on stage in a pair of Converse sneakers.

The jury also presented a special prize to celebrate the festival's 70th anniversary, to actress Nicole Kidman. "Merci beaucoup madames et monsieurs!"

Diane Kruger, who won the best actress title for "In the Fade", was overcome with emotion when accepting the prize, thanking her director - her "brother", German filmmaker Fatih Akin - and paying tribute to the victims of terrorism, echoing the film's theme.

Chastain called it "disturbing" that there had not been more meaty female roles among the 19 contenders for the Palme d'Or. "This was totally unexpected, as you can see from my shoes".

The president of the awards judging panel, director Pedro Almodovar, known for his strong female protagonists, told how he puts films through a "test" by analysing how much of the female characters' storylines centre around their male counterparts.

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The award for the Best Screenplay was shared by Scottish director Lynne Ramsay for "You Were Not Really Here" and Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos for "The Killing of a Sacred Deer".

Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's The Square has won this year's Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday.

The drama "120 Beats Per Minute" was awarded the Grand Prix prize, and the Russian film "Loveless" took home the third-place equivalent.

The director of Julieta and All About My Mother said the festival was "the birth of a lot of wonderful movies" and that he had been "completely mesmerised" by some of the films in competition.

In her opening speech, the Italian actress defended the role of violence in movies, saying they only reflect the violence of the real world. "Please know that you're not forgotten", she said. It's lack of success should have come as no surprise, given that Almodovar said at the start of the festival that the Palme d'Or should not go a movie that would not be given a theatrical release. There were some exceptions, I will say.

Will Smith brought plenty of laughs to the Cannes Film Festival.

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