A movie starring Jessica Chastain took the top prize in competition at Cannes on Thursday – but it wasn't "The Tree of Life," in which Chastain appears with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and it wasn’t the festival's main competition, which will announce awards on Sunday.
Rather, "Take Shelter," a psychological thriller directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon and Chastain, won the Grand Prize in the Critics Week competition, in which a jury headed by Korean director Lee Chang-Dong singled out the film from among seven competitors.
The film, starring Shannon as a man trying to protect his family from an impending natural disaster, will be released in the United States by Sony Pictures Classics. It had previously screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
"Take Shelter" also won the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers SACD prize.
It was the only American feature in competition at Critics Week. Two American shorts also screened, while the U.S.-French-Belgian coproduction "Walk Away Renee" showed out of competition.
Justin Kurzel's "Snowtown" was given a Special Mention, while Pablo Giorgelli's "Las Acacias" won the OFAJ Young Critics Prize and the ACID/CCAS Award.
Other winners: Stephen Kang's short film "Blue" (Canal Plus Grand Prix), Valery Rosier's "Dimanches" (Discovery Prize) and Guillaume Gouix's "Alexis Ivanovitch Vous Etes Mon Hero" (Special Mention).