Cannes 2017: Swedish satire film 'The Square' wins Palme d'Or

Carla Harmon
May 29, 2017

"The Square", a Swedish movie about the curator of a museum filled with grotesquely pretentious conceptual art, has won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. "OK", after he bounded onto the stage to collect the prestigious award.

Rasoulof's win comes three months after Asghar Farhadi won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for The Salesman, also shot in Iran, and recognises him as a major force in worldwide cinema.

"The Square", which stars Claes Bang, Dominic West and Elisabeth Moss, was not expected to win the main prize in Cannes - but Ruben admitted the accolade has made his hard work seem worthwhile.

Technically, The Square was inspired by a 2014 installation project by Ostlund created to test participants' moral code, which is similar to the piece hosted at the gallery run by slick curator Christian (Claes Bang) that invites visitors to choose different paths based on whether or not they trust people.

But after he reacts foolishly to the theft of his phone, the respected father of two finds himself dragged into shameful situations.

Sofia Coppola, meanwhile, became only the second woman to win the best director award. The award recognizes a strong film that missed out on the Palme d'Or.

He fake-cried and said in halting French, "merci beaucoup madames et monsieurs".

Joaquin Phoenix earned the Best Actor honour for the thriller You Were Never Really Here, which scored Lynne Ramsay the Best Screenplay accolade in a tie with Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou for The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Similarly, Diane Kruger's first German-language production (Fatih Akin's In The Fade) was deemed the Jury's Best Actress prize.

She told the star-studded audience she was "overcome".

He said, according to the BBC: "I think my first reaction was "oh my God, how fantastic".

The award was for his portrayal of a psychologically damaged hitman in " You Were Never Really Here by British director Lynne Ramsay.

In accepting the prize, she acknowledged anyone who, like her character, "has survived an act of terrorism and who is trying to pick up the pieces and go on living after having lost everything". He said his leather shoes had been flown ahead of him. "This is totally unexpected. you can see from..." The Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev won the jury prize for Loveless.

The Cannes Film Festival awards show is underway, with Italian actress Monica Bellucci as host. She received critical acclaim for the role in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

Bellucci said, "Cinema takes its inspiration from reality". Her 2010 film Somewhere won the Golden Lion (awarded to the best picture) at the Venice Film Festival. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) Director Ruben Ostlund, right, celebrates winning the Palme d'Or award for his film The Square, presented by actress Juliette Binoche, back left, and jury president Pedro Almodovar, back right, during the awards ceremony at the 70th global film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017.

Given the strides made at this year's fest, the female jurors were asked what women are now bringing to cinema.

But he appeared emotional when discussing how much he had loved Grand Prix victor BPM, which tells the story of activist group Act Up and the lack of government support for Aids sufferers in the 1990s.

"It's amusing. It deals with questions so important", said French actress and filmmaker Agnes Jaoui, a member of the jury that also included Americans Will Smith and Jessica Chastain. "This has been a attractive experience".

"It's very much a part of my contribution now, is being able to say, pretty much every 18 months, I'm making a movie with a female director", the actress told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The director of Julieta and All About My Mother said the festival was "the birth of a lot of wonderful movies" and that he had been "completely mesmerised" by some of the films in competition.

Moved, Almodovar then broke down into tears, saying "The majority of us loved Robin Campillo's movie, I'm sure it's going to be successful everywhere".

But for the names of the winners: Stay tuned.

Even better? There was no shortage of female-led films being honored at Cannes this year. Organizers have declared that next year, streaming-only films will not be accepted for the competition.

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