Turkey's harrowing 'Winter Sleep' takes top prize at Cannes

Sat May 24, 2014 4:52pm EDT
 
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By Michael Roddy and Alexandria Sage

CANNES France (Reuters) - Turkish film "Winter Sleep" examining the huge divide between rich and poor and the powerful and powerless in Turkey won the Palme d'Or award for best film for director Nuri Bilge Ceylan on Saturday at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival.

Ceylan's three-hour-plus dark and atmospheric film was only the second Turkish movie to win the top award at the world's most prestigious film festival, and the director noted that it came on the 100th anniversary year of Turkish film.

He dedicated the honor to "those who lost their lives during the last year", adding that he was referring to the youth of his country and to unrest in Turkey.

"These young people actually taught us a lot of things. Some of them sacrificed their lives in a way for us," Ceylan said later at a news conference.

"Le Meraviglie" (The Wonders) by Italian director Alice Rohrwacher took the second-place prize for a coming-of-age story set in the Tuscan countryside as a family tries to eke out a bohemian life making honey.

Twenty-five-year-old Canadian director Xavier Dolan's film "Mommy" shared the third-place prize with octogenarian French director Jean-Luc Godard's "Adieu au Langage" (Goodbye to Language) that uses 3D imagery to stunning effect.

An emotional Dolan said he thought the jury may have twinned him with Godard, an inventor of "New Wave" film, "because of our respective searches for freedom in cinema".

American director Bennett Miller won the best director award for "Foxcatcher", British actor Timothy Spall won best actor for Mike Leigh's film "Mr Turner" and Julianne Moore was named best actress in David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars".   Continued...

 
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (C), Palme d'Or award winner for his film "Winter Sleep", poses on stage surrounded by director Quentin Tarantino (L) and actress Uma Thurman (R) during the closing ceremony of the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Yves Herman