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Haneke’s ’Amour’ wins top prize at Cannes

by Lionel Cironneau
Sunday May 27, 2012
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Michael Haneke won the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize for a second time Sunday with his stark film about love and death, "Amour."

The Austrian director’s powerful and understated movie stars two French acting icons - 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva and 81-year-old Jean-Louis Trintignant- as an elderly couple coping with the wife’s worsening health.

Haneke previously won Cannes’ top prize in 2009 for "The White Ribbon."

The festival jury awarded the second-place Grand Prize to Matteo Garrone’s Italian satire "Reality," the story of a Naples fishmonger obsessed with reality TV, while Ken Loach’s whiskey-tasting comedy "The Angels’ Share" won the third-place Jury Prize.

Loach said the prize for his film about the struggles of a group of unemployed Glasgow youth proved that "cinema is not just an entertainment. It shows us who we are."

Carlos Reygadas was named best director for his surrealism-tinged story of a Mexican family, "Post Tenebras Lux."


Acting prizes went to Mads Mikkelsen as a man ostracized by his small-town community when he is accused of child abuse in "The Hunt," and jointly to Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan for Romanian movie "Beyond the Hills."

Cristian Mungiu’s drama of love and faith in a remote Romanian monastery also won the award for best screenplay.

Benh Zeitli’s "Beasts of the Southern Wild" won the Camera d’Or for best first film.

The festival is wrapping up Sunday in the French Riviera resort.

The prize-winners were chosen by a jury, led by Italian director Nanni Moretti, that included actors Ewan McGregor and Diane Kruger, director Alexander Payne and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier.
The 12-day festival has seen plenty of glamour, with the likes of Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart appearing both on-screen and on the red carpet.

But in the movies, weighty themes dominated at an event whose French Riviera froth was subdued by several days of unseasonable rain and cold.


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