Cannes 2013: The Runners Up

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After looking at the Palme D'or winner at this year's festival Blue is the Warmest Colour last week, our film correspondent Séamas McSwiney explores those that missed out on the main prize but took others.

"To reinforce Cannes' role in projecting cultural diversity, the festival's other prizes went to a disparate mix of films.

  • Best Actor: American actor Bruce Dern for his role in the poignant Nebraska by Alexander Payne. Shot in beautiful black and white, it tells the story of a credulous old man in Montana who is determined to get to Nebraska and claim the $1m. In the end his son and then mother and also brother wind up accompanying him on a bittersweet road movie to his past.
  • Best Actress: French actress Berenice Bejo took best actress for her role of a French woman who gets her ex to come back to Paris from Teheran to sign divorce papers so she can marry her new partner. The film is called The Past by brilliantly sensitive Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi. Given he does not speak French, it is a remarkably solid film, though not as strong as his last year's foreign language Oscar winner A Separation or previous Berlin award winner About Elly.
  • Best Screenplay: Best screenplay went to A Touch of Sin, a quartet of short stories by Tan Zhu Ding that evoke such themes as corruption, revenge, infidelity and materialism in modern day China.
  • Jury Prize: Like Father, Like Son by Soshite Chichi Ni Aru from Japan tells how an aspiring young Japanese couple discover that their 6-year old son had been switched at birth. There follows a two hour lesson on what it means to be a good Dad with some great child performances as the two very contrasted families deliberate about whether to switch back or not.
  • Best Director: Heli hails from Mexico. By Amat Escalante, it tells the sorry tale of murder, mayhem and torture that happens when a very ordinary family accidentally gets caught up in the wars and connivances between drug gangs and police.
  • Grand Prix: Inside Llewyn Davis won the second prize, the Grand Prix. It is a lovely return to form by the Coen Brothers, giving wonderful period detail and New York attitudes in a circular tale about the musical and relational mishaps an almost emerging folksinger in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, just as Bob Dylan was about to break the troubadour mould.

The two to newcomer prizes, awarded by separate juries, best short and the Camera d'Or for best first film across all of the invited sections also went East. Safe was the title of the Korean film by Moon Byoung-Gon. It's a about a woman currency exchange worker and a man addicted to gambling.

Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen is a Singapore film set in the Philipinnes, in Chinese, English and tagalog. Set in the 1997 Asian financial crisis, this Camera d'Or winner tells the story of a new maid in a family who worsens the already strained relationship.

Cultural exceptions all.

You can watch the Awards ceremony video in english and the post awards press conference."

Séamas McSwiney is a film journalist with decades of experience and work published in some top international publications. He has been sending us special reports from the Cannes film festival, read more here.

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