After a disappointing opening from Fernando Meirelles Blindness it looked like the Cannes Film festival was going to be nominated by the presence of the world premieres for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Kung Fu Panda.
But the In Competition films pulled up their metaphorical socks and EastwoodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Changeling, SoderburghÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Che and Ari FolmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Waltz with Bashir have all done well with the critics.
Despite Clint Eastwood being the favourite for his missing child drama starring Angelina Jolie it is French picture The Class that has scooped the prestigious Palme dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or.
Directed by Laurent Cantet the film used real students and real teacher to depict a year in their lives.
Cantet was presented with the award by head of the jury, and Oscar winner, Sean Penn and the director was joined on stage by his students.
The runner up prize, the Grand Prix, was won by Gomorrah, an Italian mafia film that is based on the novel by Roberto Saviana.
The jury prize or third place was awarded to Paolo SorrentinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Il Divo, a depiction of Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.
Academy Award winning actor Benicio Del Toro won the Best Actor prize for his role as revolutionary Che Guevara in SoderburghÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s epic Che.
And Line of PassageÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sandra Corveloni scooped the best actress prize for her portrayal of a pregnant mother of four in Sao Paolo.
Despite missing out on the Palme dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or there was a lifetime achievement award for actor turned director Clint Eastwood as well as for Catherine Deneuve.
The festival that has been invaded by giant pandas, Hollywood royalty as well as a sting of high quality movies was rounded off with the premiere of Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened?
Starring Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis and head judge Sean Penn What Just Happened? follows a fading Hollywood director who is desperate to revitalise his career.
Fill list of winners:
Palme d’Or – The Class
Grand Prix – Gomorrah
Special prizes – Clint Eastwood and Catherine Deneuve
Best director – Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys
Jury prize – Il Divo directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Best actor – Benicio Del Toro (above) in Che
Best actress – Sandra Corveloni in Line of Passage
Best screenplay – Lorna’s Silence by Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Camera d’Or – Hunger