Sofia Coppola takes directing prize at Cannes

Sofia Coppola, She of the Unparalleled Soundtracks and Eponymous Sparkling Wine, has won best director at Cannes for her new film, The Beguiled, becoming only the second woman in the highly-regarded festival's 70-year history to do so.

Sofia Coppola took home the award for best director at this year's Cannes Film Festival for her feminist remake of The Beguiled.

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless, a drama about how society is struggling under Vladimir Putin, took the "Jury Prize", considered third place at Cannes.

The jury awarded two screenplay awards this year, for "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" and "You Were Never Really Here".

The runner-up Grand Prix went to festival favourite "120 Beats Per Minute" by French director Robin Campillo.

"Un Certain Regard", a separate section from the main contest at Cannes, recognises younger talent and innovative filmmaking.

In her first film role in her native German, Hollywood star and former model Diane Kruger swapped her usually glamorous image to play a mother who vows revenge after her ethnic Kurdish husband and son are killed in a neo-Nazi attack.

U.S. actor Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor Prize for "You Were Never Really Here".

Kidman, who appeared in four different projects at the French Riviera festival, accepted a special anniversary award with a video message.

"My team and I, we never expected we were going to get into the festival so we never prepared anything and when we received the email - the acceptance email we thought: 'Holy shit, what are we going to do?'" Liu said at a press conference in Cannes on Sunday after receiving the award. The movie was one of the favorites for the Palme d'Or.

Critics hailed the movie by writer-director Ruben Ostlund as "high-wire cinema" that veers between comedy and thriller with moments of pure surrealism, though some said it could easily have shed part of its 2 hours and 22 minutes running time. He added, looking down at his sneakers (footwear usually a no-no on the red carpet), "As you can see from my shoes, I don't wear leather".

"Any work that I did was linked to the work of Lynne Ramsay", the film's British director, Phoenix said. Coppola's adaptation of Thomas Cullinan's The Beguiled won many plaudits, and in a statement read out by jury member Maren Ade Coppola thanked Jane Campion, the only female Palme d'Or victor to date, for being a "role model". The film's docu-drama retelling of that painful period, combined with a burgeoning spirit of unity for the gay community, earned it some of the best reviews of the festival.

There were no prizes for the first Netflix releases selected to be in competition for the Palme d'Or: Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" and Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories".

  • Salvatore Jensen