Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s epic follow-up to Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, has won the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Though the Turkish filmmaker is much loved on the Croissette – he has previously collected the Grand Jury Prize on two separate occasions, as well as the Best Director Award in 2008 – his victory was something of a surprise considering the stiff competition.
Jury President Jane Campion – representing fellow jurors Gael Garcia Bernal, Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Leila Hatami, Jeon Do-Yeon, Jia Zhangke and Nicolas Winding Refn – said the film triumphed because it was both “masterful” and “ruthless.”
One of the festival favourites, Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, had to settle for the Jury Prize, tying with Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language.
Bennett Miller collected Best Director for his long-delayed Foxcatcher, though stars Steve Carell and Channing Tatum missed out on the acting accolades.
Best Actor instead went to Timothy Spall (pictured above) for Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, an early favourite for the Palme d’Or.
Julianne Moore nabbed Best Actress for David Cronenberg’s divisive Maps to the Stars.
Russia’s Leviathan, another almost-frontrunner, was awarded Best Screenplay, while Alice Rohrwacher’s Italian drama Le Meraviglie (The Wonders) earned the Grand Prix (second place).
There was a local victory in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, which plays in parallel to the main competition. Australia’s own David Gulpilil picked up Best Actor for his leading role in Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country.