CANNES, France – Austrian director Michael Haneke’s somber drama “The White Ribbon” claimed the top prize, the Palme d’Or, Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival, where Quentin Tarantino and Lars von Trier entries earned the acting honors.
It was a big night for Austria, whose triumphs included Christoph Waltz as best actor for Tarantino’s World War II epic “Inglourious Basterds.” Charlotte Gainsbourg won the best-actress honor for von Trier’s “Antichrist,” a film that riled and repelled many Cannes viewers with its explicit images of physical abuse involving a grieving couple.
Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” examines themes of communal guilt, distrust and punishment among residents of a small German town besieged by tragedies and strange occurrences as World War I approaches.
The second-place grand prize went to French director Jacques Audiard’s prison drama “A Prophet.”
Waltz earned the best-actor award for his gleefully homicidal role as Nazi Col. Hans Landa, renowned in Germany as an ace “Jew hunter” in “Inglourious Basterds,” Tarantino’s rewrite of the history books that follows the exploits of a band of Jewish Allied commandos led by Brad Pitt.
British director Andrea Arnold’s teen drama “Fish Tank” and South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook’s vampire romance “Thirst” shared the festival’s jury prize, the third-place award.
The directing award went to Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza for “Kinatay.”