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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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"Uncle Boonmee" wins Cannes Palme d'Or

CANNES, France (AP) – The hypnotic Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" has won the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival. The film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul traces the dreamlike final days of a man dying of kidney failure as the ghost of his dead wife returns to tend him, and his long-lost son comes home in the form of a jungle spirit.

Academy Award winners Juliette Binoche and Javier Bardem earned festival acting prizes. Binoche won for the cryptic love story "Certified Copy." Bardem won for "Biutiful," a grim portrait of a dying father, sharing the best-actor prize with Elio Germano for "Our Life," an Italian drama of a widowed father with three sons.

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Awards presented Sunday at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, chosen by a jury headed by U.S. director Tim Burton:

- Palme d'Or (Golden Palm): "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand)

- Grand Prize: "Of Gods and Men" by Xavier Beauvois (France)

- Jury Prize: "A Screaming Man" by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad)

- Best Director: Mathieu Amalric for "On Tour" (France)

- Best Actor: Javier Bardem, "Biutiful" (Mexico) and Elio Germano, "La Nostra Vita" (Italy)

- Best Actress: Juliette Binoche, "Certified Copy" (Iran)

- Best Screenplay: Lee Chang-Dong, "Poetry" (Korea)

- Camera d'Or (first-time director): "Ano Bisiesto" by Michael Rowe (Mexico)

- Best short film: "Chienne d'Histoire," by Serge Avedikian (France)

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