Cannes Winner Is a Shocker
Jacques Audiard's ' Dheepan' wins in upset
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2015 7:05 AM CDT
Director Jacques Audiard holds the Palme d’Or award for the film Dheepan following the awards ceremony at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 24, 2015.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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(Newser) – The 68th Cannes Film Festival was brought to a surprising close yesterday with Jacques Audiard's Sri Lankan refugee drama taking the festival's coveted top honor, the Palme d'Or. The choice of Dheepan, as selected by a jury led by Joel and Ethan Coen, left some critics scratching their heads. While the dapper French filmmaker has drawn widespread acclaim for films such as A Prophet and Rust and Bone, some critics were disappointed by the thriller climax of Audiard's film. Dheepan is about a trio of Sri Lankans who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country and are settled in a violent housing project outside Paris.

"This isn't a jury of film critics," Joel Coen told reporters after the awards ceremony, alongside fellow jurors like Guillermo del Toro and Jake Gyllenhaal. "This is a jury of artists who are looking at the work." "We all thought it was a very beautiful movie," said Ethan Coen, calling the decision "swift." ''Everyone had some high level of excitement and enthusiasm for it." The runner-up prize, the Grand Prix, went to Son of Saul, a grim Holocaust drama by first-time Hungarian director László Nemes. Some expected Nemes' horrifying plunge into the life of an Auschwitz worker to take the top award, but it's been 26 years since a debut film (Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape) was given the Palme. Click for the rest of the winners.