It would be hard to describe anticipation for the awards at Cannes 2017 as frenzied. There was probably more excitement over the typically universe-collapsing composition of the jury‚ÄĒheaded by Pedro Almod√≥var and including¬†Maren Ade,¬†Will Smith, Park Chanwook, and Jessica Chastain‚ÄĒthan over making predictions. For many critics, in fact, it’s been a few years since the Palme d’Or was bestowed on a suitably challenging film, and the¬†selections of the 70th anniversary edition lacked¬†a¬†clear stand-out bravura work. When the dust cleared‚ÄĒand the accordion music stopped‚ÄĒthe winner was a film that hadn’t been finished¬†when the 2017 lineup was announced in April. Below are¬†the awards from the Competition, with a few¬†notes, as well as the prizes¬†for¬†Un Certain Regard and those given in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week.


Palme¬†d‚ÄôOr:¬†The Square, Ruben √Ėstlund

At the post-awards press conference, Almod√≥var praised the “brilliant” film for taking on “the dictatorship of being politically correct,” which he decried as being just as awful¬†as¬†any actual dictatorship. That jived with¬†my grumblings about¬†the film’s¬†reactionary bent¬†and, together with the screening¬†of Twin Peaks at the festival, confirmed that it was 1990 again. At the ceremony¬†a few moments¬†before, √Ėstlund directed¬†the audience‚ÄĒwhich perhaps awkwardly included¬†other filmmakers up for the same prize‚ÄĒin¬†a group “scream of happiness.”

Grand Prix: 120 BPM, Robin Campillo

Campillo’s ensemble drama about ACT-UP in France in the early 1990s was considered¬†a possible consensus pick for the Palme.¬†At¬†the press conference, Almod√≥var was¬†asked how he felt about the fact that the film did not¬†win¬†the top prize. “This is a very democratic jury,” he said, before appearing to choke¬†up a bit over¬†its story of activism. “I loved the movie, I cannot love it more.”¬†The film’s¬†win elicited fervent applause at the ceremony and a touching dedication from Campillo.

Best Director: Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled

Jury member Maren Ade, director of shut-out 2016 contender Toni Erdmann, accepted the award for Coppola in her absence.

Best Screenplay: Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthimis Filippou, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Two¬†ticking-time-bomb stories received the award ex aequo‚ÄĒone a twisted reworking of the poisonous-visitor story, the¬†other a compact¬†avenger-for-hire story. Intriguingly, Ramsay later described You Were Never Really Here¬†as not completely finished, as she¬†planned¬†to weave in more music by¬†Jonny Greenwood, and the script was a work in progress during shooting; the film press-screened without closing credits.

Best Actress: Diane Kruger, In the Fade

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

The¬†performance prizes¬†went to films that screened right near¬†the end of the festival and culminated in ultraviolent acts of vengeance. In the Fade director Fatih Akin fist-pumped so hard¬†in his seat he nearly head-butted Kruger, while the cut-away to Phoenix, seated with Rooney Mara, showed him befuddled after his award’s announcement; he later confessed he was expecting to be “crushed.”

Jury Prize: Loveless, Andrei Zvyagintsev

The Russian auteur’s film had loomed over the festival since its opening-day press screening. Many¬†griped over¬†its¬†banner-sized State of the Nation sentiments on contemporary Russian society, such as a scene in which the female lead runs in place¬†on a treadmill in a sweatsuit emblazoned with the word¬†“RUSSIA.” Zvyagintsev explained to me that “she wears this because it was in fashion” because of¬†the Olympic Games in Sochi. In his acceptance remarks, he bewilderingly singled out Will Smith for actually existing.

Cam√©ra d’Or: Jeune Femme, L√©onor Serraille

A visibly¬†nervous Serraille was joined by her lead, Laetita Dosch, in¬†accepting¬†the award¬†for this Un Certain Regard selection about¬†a young Parisian¬†pulling her life¬†together. Jeune Femme wasn’t an entirely unknown quantity, featured on¬†the April cover of Cahiers du Cin√©ma under the headline “Cin√©ma fran√ßais. Vives les excentriques!”

70th Anniversary Award: Nicole Kidman

Palme d’Or РShort Film: A Gentle Night, Qiu Yang

Special Mention: The Ceiling, Teppo Airaksinen

While the shorts¬†section is not as closely watched as the feature awards,¬†jury head Cristian Mungiu acknowledged some unspoken¬†tensions¬†over bestowing¬†recognition at Cannes: how to encourage both “strong narrative” and¬†“non-standard” risky work. Qiu’s reaction:¬†“It’s fucking amazing. Thank you.”

Cinéfondation First Prize: Paul Is Here, Valentina Maurel

Second Prize: AniMal, Bahram & Bahman Ark

Third Prize: Two Youths Died, Tommaso Usberti

Un Certain Regard

Un Certain Regard Prize: A Man of Integrity, Mohammad Rasoulof

Jury Prize:¬†April’s Daughter, Michel Franco

Prize for Best Direction: Taylor Sheridan, Wind River

Prize for the Best Poetic Narrative: Barbara, Mathieu Amalric

Prize for Best Actress: Jasmine Trinca, Fortunata

Directors’ Fortnight

Art Cinema Award: The Rider, Chloe Zhao

The SACD Award: Lover for a Day, Philippe Garrel & Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis

The Europa Cinemas Label: A Ciambra, Jonas Carpignano

Illy Prize for Short Film:¬†Retour √† Genoa City, Beno√ģt Grimalt

International Critics’ Week

Nespresso Grand Prize: Makala, Emmanuel Gras

France 4 Visionary Award: Gabriel and the Mountains, Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa

SACD Award: Léa Mysius, Ava

Leica Cine Discovery Prize for Short Film: Los Desheredados, Laura Ferrés

Canal+ Award:¬†Najpiekniejsze Fajerwerki Ever, Aleksandra TerpiŇĄska

Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Award: Version Originale/Condor, Gabriel and the Mountains

From the soundtrack of Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck