CANNES — Cannes might have been all about the ladies for the past 12 days, but the coveted Palme d’Or, the festival’s main prize, still went to a man.
French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (think “A Prophet”) took home the Chopard-sponsored trophy for his drama “Dheepan,” a heartfelt story of a former Tamil freedom fighter looking to build a new life in Paris with his fake wife and daughter.
“I accept this prize as a symbol of resistance and endurance,” said Agnès Varda, who received the honorary Palme d’Or after 60 years in business. The only woman of the French Nouvelle Vague, Varda was honored by trendsetter Jane Birkin, who opted for a black tux and biker boots to mark the occasion.
Emmanuelle Bercot thanked her director Maiwenn for her “anti-conformist approach” to filmmaking, having scooped the prize for best actress. “After the success of ‘Polisse,’ you could have aimed for higher spheres, yet you chose to work with an unknown actress of 46 years,” she gratefully noted.
Bercot shared her trophy with Rooney Mara, who, absent from the ceremony, convinced the jury with her performance in “Carol,” a love story between two women in New York in the early Fifties, alongside Cate Blanchett.
“She plays a discreet role in the movie, but the story is very much attached to her. A film like ‘Carol’ would never hold without the two women,” lauded director Todd Haynes, who accepted the award on behalf of Mara.
Chic in Dior Homme, Vincent Lindon took to the stage, thanking each jury member individually for making him the best male lead – “to gain time,” as he joked, fighting back tears. “This is the first time in my life that I receive a price,” the Frenchman divulged, upon taking the trophy from Michelle Rodriguez, who flashed some skin underneath her translucent turtleneck gown.
Leatitia Casta, handing out the Jury Prize to “The Lobster,” starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly, put a more refined spin on transparency with a Twenties-style party gown mixing fun fringes with elegant crochet work.
Reilly upheld the period dressing theme, crooning the Twenties classic “Just a Gigolo” in a white three-piece suit, straw hat and two-tone brogues, which he aptly accessorized with a walking cane. It was his birthday.