August 17, 2019

South Korean Movie ‘Parasite’ Wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes

South Korean Movie ‘Parasite’ Wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes


The Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, was awarded Saturday to “Parasite,” a ferocious satire and critical favorite from the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho.

“I never imagined this,” Mr. Bong said, accepting the award. This is the first time that a South Korean movie has won the Palme d’Or. Sylvester Stallone, who was honored at the festival, presented the Grand Prix, or second prize, to the French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop for her feature debut “Atlantics.” Ms. Diop is the first black woman to have a movie in the main competition.

The streamlined awards ceremony was quick and almost painless. The main competition jury was led by the Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who said from the stage that while “democracy is disappearing” the jury was still very democratic. Its prizes included a “special mention” for “It Must Be Heaven,” an existential comedy from the Palestinian director Elia Suleiman.

The French director Céline Sciamma won the best screenplay prize for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” Another critical favorite, this love story set in the 18th century centers on a female painter and her subject, a young woman whose portrait she is painting.

The best actress was presented to Emily Beecham, the star of “Little Joe,” a mordant, amusing movie from the Austrian director Jessica Hausner. The best actor was won by Antonio Banderas, the star of Pedro Almodóvar’s widely-loved “Pain and Glory.” “This is my night of glory,” Banderas said, as the audience burst into applause.

One of the biggest surprises was best director, which was given to the Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne for “Young Ahmed.” Press members in the theater opposite of the one in which the awards took place erupted in vigorous boos at the announcement. The Dardennes have won the Palme d’Or twice and their influence on contemporary cinema is profound, as was evident throughout the festival. But their new movie was seen by many critics as a disappointment.

The documentary filmmaker Michael Moore presented the Jury Prize (third prize), though only after taking a swipe at President Trump: “Trump is the lie that enables more lying,” he said. This award was shared by two radically different movies about marginalized communities under siege: the French genre movie “Les Misérables” from Ladj Ly, and the Brazilian movie “Bacurau,” from Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles. “We are ambassadors of culture in Brazil,” Mr. Mendonça said, and “we need support and respect.”

The most hotly anticipated film in the festival, Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” left without any prizes. Saturday’s ceremony capped what was widely seen as one of the strongest festivals in years, and which found Mr. Tarantino, Mr. Almadóvar and Terrence Malick receiving some of their best reviews in a long time.



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