Monday, May 23, 2011

Terrence Malick wins Palme d'Or

The Cannes Film Festival wrapped Sunday night with their annual awards ceremony. Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life was awarded the coveted Palme d'Or, marking the first time since 2004 the United States has claimed the prize.

Malick's film, set to bow this weekend in limited release, had some of the most intense reactions at Cannes. Reports from the first screening of the film noted that a small sect of viewers burst into "boos" as soon as the "Directed by" title came up at the closing credits, but was momentarily drowned out by a burst of applause. The idea here that many bloggers played up was that Life is a film that needs to be thought about before issuing a rash judgment - the boos came from people who didn't want to think, the late applause from people who were taking a second to let it all sink in.

Indeed, several critics who took to Twitter immediately after the screening derided the film, but as last Monday wore on more and more people started calling The Tree of Life a beautiful and demanding art film. Malick was set to premiere the film at last year's Cannes Film Festival, but asked to be moved to this year's festival to give him one more year to work in the editing room.

Robert de Niro headed this year's jury.

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