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Cannes 2023: Anatomy of a Fall wins Palme d'Or

Justine Triet's "Anatomy of a Fall," a French courtroom drama that finds an author (Sandra Hüller) accused of the murder of her husband, won the Palme d'Or at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Triet is only the third woman to win the top prize in the festival's history, after Jane Campion shared the award for "The Piano" in 1993 and Julia Ducournau, who was on the jury this year, won for "Titane" in 2021. Before the jury president, Ruben Östlund, announced the award, the presenter, Jane Fonda, noted that there were a record seven women competing for the Palme d'Or this year.

Putting a spin on Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of a Murder," "Anatomy of a Fall" is something like "Anatomy of a Marriage." The Hüller character's husband (Samuel Theis) may have died in an accident, a suicide, or a murder. But when Hüller character, called Sandra, is put on trial for homicide, the case begins to focus on the dynamics of their relationship and their family life.

The Grand Jury Prize, effectively second place, went to Jonathan Glazer's "The Zone of Interest," which takes a ruthlessly formalized approach to attempt to imagine how the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), and his wife, Hedwig (Hüller again), lived from day to day with a death camp that murdered more than one million in their backyard. Accepting the award, Glazer said he wanted to honor the memory of Martin Amis, who wrote the novel from which the film was loosely adapted, and who died the day it premiered. Glazer also thanked the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, saying that the film was only possible because of the museum's support.

The jury prize went to the veteran Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki for the warmly received "Fallen Leaves." The two lead actors, Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen, accepted the award, and Pöysti read a thank-you from Kaurismaki. "Merci and 'Twist and Shout'!" she quoted him as saying.

Best Director went to Tran Anh Hung for "The Pot-au-Feu," an exquisitely made drama the relationship between an epicure (Benoît Magimel) and the cook (Juliette Binoche) who has worked for him in 20 years.

Merve Dizdar won Best Actress for Nuri Bilge Ceylan's ropey, dialogue-heavy drama "About Dry Grasses." She plays a teacher who has lost part of a leg to a suicide bombing. Koji Yakusho took Best Actor for his dialogue-lite performance as a bathroom janitor in Tokyo in Wim Wenders's mood piece "Perfect Days." 

The screenplay prize went to Sakamoto Yuji for "Monster," directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, who frequently writes his own

The Camera d'Or, the award for best first feature, went to Thien An Pham's three-hour "Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell," set in Vietnam and shown in the parallel festival Directors' Fortnight.

At the awards ceremony, Quentin Tarantino, who was at Directors' Fortnight for a talk on Thursday, paid tribute to the exploitation maestro Roger Corman, who took the stage and joked that he made it to Cannes at last.

Ben Kenigsberg

Ben Kenigsberg is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. He edited the film section of Time Out Chicago from 2011 to 2013 and served as a staff critic for the magazine beginning in 2006. 

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