Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, the metaphysical epic with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, has taken out the Palme d’Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. The jury was headed by actor, Tribeca Film Festival runner and sometimes credit card salesman Robert De Niro.
Malick’s fifth film since 1973’s Badlands was hotly anticipated by critics and audiences around the world, and faced stiff competition from the likes of Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and Australia’s own Sleeping Beauty, the debut film of Julia Leigh.
Two films shared the Un Certain Regard prizes, the official sidebar selection of the prestigious festival. Kim Ki-Duk’s self-portrait Arirang from South Korea shared the prize with Andreas Dressen’s German drama Halt Auf Freier Strecke (Stopped on Track).
The Grand Prize was also shared between The Kid with the Bike by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium) and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
Other winners included:
- Jury Prize: Polisse by Maiwenn (France)
- Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (Denmark)
- Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist (France)
- Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (Denmark, with Dunst from the United States)
- Best Screenplay: Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Israel)
- Camera d’Or (first-time director): Las Acacias by Pablo Giorgelli (Argentina)
- Best short film: Country by Maryna Vroda (Ukraine)
The Tree of Life debuts in Australia at the Sydney Film Festival on 14 June 2011, where it is also playing in Official Competition. It will be released to cinemas on 30 June 2011 in Australia from Icon.