CANNES, France (AFP) ‚Äî A French film about life in a tough Parisian classroom on Sunday won the Cannes film festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, the country’s first Palme in 21 years.

“The Class” by Laurent Cantet, is a “fly-on-the-wall” story about life in a classroom that was based on an autobiographical novel by Francois Begaudeau about his life as a young teacher.

“It is an amazing, amazing film,” said the head of the nine-member Cannes jury, US actor-director Sean Penn, as he announced the prize.

Best Director went to Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey) for Three Monkeys, the story of an imprisoned man whose wife and son find ways of making money in his absence.

“We are nine people, but we are only nine people,” Penn told the audience just before the presentation of prizes. “We are in a time, in a stage of our lives, where certain things chose us to speak.’

“It was our second unanimous decision,” he said.

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  • dela

    Now we know who didn’t like Changeling.

  • AD

    You forgot to mention the Grand Jury Prize : Gomorrah and the Special Jury Prize Il Divo.

  • Rafael

    Congratulations France! I´m looking forward to watching “the class”

  • TAD

    Hey Awards Daily writers!
    I really want to see “The Class” now… though “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” is first on my list since I unfortunately missed it at my local cinema while it was here.

    Also, just thought I’d mention that I think you guys should add Benicio Del Toro to the top of the Best Actor List for “Che”. I think at the moment he is the most favoured (of the stuff that’s been seen) so he should definitely be at the top (or at least on the list).


    P.S. I like the addition of Chiwetel… if only the academy would range a little bit.

  • filmboymichael

    to dela:

    Clint Eastwood DID in fact receive an award for Changeling…so I don’t think a certain juror didn’t like it….

  • dela

    fimboymichael, I thought Clint and Catherine Denevue’s awards were more of an honorary thing (not sure I would count them as very competetive prizes even if their respective films were cited). But that’s besides the points, I just thought it would get one of the big pirzes.

  • Jonny

    Also, Steve McQueen picked up the Camera d’Or for “Hunger” which looks set to pick up some awards buzz, if not set the director on course for a fruitful future.

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