Hirozazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters” has won the Palme d’Or as the best film at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
The film was the seventh by the Japanese director to screen in Cannes, and the first to win the festival’s top prize. The story of a close-knit family who live on the edge of homelessness and resort to petty crime to stay alive, the film won near-unanimous raves since it debuted midway through the festival.
In his review at TheWrap, Ben Croll called the film “his richest film to date” and added, “Not only does ‘Shoplifters’ skillfully entwine several disparate threads he’s explored over his prolific career, it does so with the understated confidence and patient elegance of an artist who has fully matured.”
Magnolia Pictures acquired U.S. distribution during the festival.
Spike Lee took the runner-up award, the Grand Prize, for his explosive and barbed film about a black policeman who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, “BlacKkKlansman.”
Nadine Labaki won the Jury Prize, essentially third place, for “Capharnaum,” a tale of a young boy who sues his parents for bringing him into a hard world.
French cinema legend Jean-Luc Godard won a special Palme d’Or for “Image Book,” his experimental essay in sound and image. The first such award in Cannes history, it was given, said jury president Cate Blanchett, for the 87-year-old director’s “continually striving to define and redefine what cinema can be.”
Pawel Pawlikowski won the best director award for “Cold War,” his decade-spanning drama about a troubled romance set in the aftermath of World War II.
Samal Yeslyamova was named best actress award for her performance in the Russian film “Ayka” as a new mother struggling to support herself and her baby, while Marcello Fonte was named best actor his performance as a mild-mannered dog groomer swept up in violence in “Dogman.”
The screenplay award was a tie between Alice Rohrwacher for “Happy as Lazzaro” and Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar for “Three Faces.”
“Girl,” a drama about a transgender teen directed by Belgian Lukas Dhont, won the Camera d’Or, which is given to the best debut film from any section of the festival.
The film that was the clear favorite of critics at the festival, Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning,” did not win anything. That marks the second time in three years that a Cannes jury headed by an Australian opted not to award a film that had set a new record for the highest score in the history of ScreenDaily’s Cannes critics’ poll.
In 2016, “Toni Erdmann” set a record in that poll but was ignored by the jury headed by Australian director George Miller.
Blanchett served as president of the jury, which also included actors Chang Chen, Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart, directors Ava DuVernay, Robert Guediguian, Denis Villeneuve and Andrey Zvyagintsev and singer-songwriter Khadja Nin.
The 21 films in the main competition also included David Robert Mitchell’s “Under the Silver Lake,” Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows,” Christophe Honore’s “Sorry Angel,” Jia Zhang-Ke’s “Ash Is Purest White” and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “The Wild Pear Tree.”
Three were directed by women: Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun,” Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Felice” and Nadine Labaki’s “Capharnaum.”
In the 71-year history of Cannes, only one woman, Jane Campion, has won the Palme d’Or — and she did so in 1993 for a film, “The Piano,” that tied with Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine” for the award.
In addition, Agnès Varda was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or in 2015, while actresses Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos were singled out in 2013 when “Blue Is the Warmest Color” won the Palme, though director Abdellatif Kechiche was the official winner of that award.
Going into Saturday’s ceremony, Rohrwacher and particularly Labaki were considered strong contenders to become the second woman to win the award.
Palme d’Or: “Shoplifters,” Hirokazu Kore-eda
Grand Prize: BlacKkKlansman,” Spike L”ee
Jury Prize: “Capharnaum,” Nadine Labaki
Special Palme d’Or: Jean-Luc Godard, “Image Book”
Best Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Best Actor: Marcello Fonte, “Dogman”
Best Actress: Samal Yeslyamova, “Ayka”
Best Screenplay: (tie) “Happy as Felice,” Alice Rohrwacher and “Three Faces,” Jafar Panahi and Nader Saeivar
Camera d’Or (best first feature): “Girl,” Lukas Dhont
Best Short Film: “All These Creatures,” Charles Williams
Short Film Special Mention: “On the Border,” Wei Shujun