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Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake” wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes

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Yesterday, the 2016 Cannes Film Festival wrapped up with the distribution of a number of awards. Of course, the jury, this time around led by George Miller, threw us some real curveballs, but Cannes surprises when the Palme d’Or is given out is more or less par for the course. Especially considering how this was apparently a weak year over in the South of France, I suppose odd choices were a given. Miller and company opted to go with the well received but not expected to win I, Daniel Blake, from festival favorite Ken Loach. The filmmaker is a mainstay at Cannes, so it’s not a huge shocker, but it wasn’t a win that many were predicting. My predictions were way off the mark for this year’s fest, so we’ll just pretend that they don’t exist…right? Right. Good. Now, let’s get on with things!

For the second time, Loach has won the Palme d’Or. Apparently, Loach is making I, Daniel Blake his final film, so if that’s the case, perhaps Miller and his jury sought to give him a proper send off with this honor. Either way, congrats to Loach. Other notable awards consisted of the Grand Prix (basically the runner up prize) going to Xavier Dolan’s poorly received It’s Only the End of the World, the Director prize being a tie between Olivier Assayas’ weakly reviewed Personal Shopper and Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation, along with Andrea Arnold taking the Jury Prize for American Honey. We also saw Asghar Farhadi win the Screenplay prize for The Salesman, along with his lead Shahab Hosseini winning the Actor prize. Actress went to Jaclyn Jose for Ma ‘Rosa, and other awards of note include the Un Certain Regard award in Directing going to Matt Ross for Captain Fantastic and the Fipresci Competition award going to Maren Ade for Toni Erdmann.

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Here now are all of the awards given out yesterday at the conclusion of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival:


Palme d’Or: “I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach, U.K.)

Grand Prix: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)

Director (tie): Olivier Assayas, “Personal Shopper” (France), and Cristian Mungiu, “Graduation” (Romania)

Actor: Shahab Hosseini, “The Salesman” (Iran)

Actress: Jaclyn Jose, “Ma ‘Rosa” (Philippines)

Jury Prize: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” (U.K.-U.S.)

Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “The Salesman” (Iran)


Palme d’Honneur: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Camera d’Or: “Divines” (Houda Benyamina, France-Qatar)

Short Films Palme d’Or: “Timecode” (Juanjo Jimenez, Spain)

Special Mention – Short Films Palme d’Or: “The Girl Who Danced With the Devil” (Joao Paulo Miranda Maria, Brazil)

Ecumenical Jury Prize: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)


Un Certain Regard Prize: “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland)

Jury prize: “Harmonium” (Koji Fukada, Japan)

Director: Matt Ross, “Captain Fantastic” (United States)

Screenplay: Delphine and Muriel Coulin, “The Stopover” (France)

Special Jury Prize: Michael Dudok de Wit, “The Red Turtle” (France-Japan)


Art Cinema Award: “Wolf and Sheep” (Shahrbanoo Sadat)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “The Together Project” (Solveig Anspach)

Europa Cinemas Label: “Mercernary” (Sacha Wolff)


Grand Prize: “Mimosas” (Oliver Saxe)

Visionary Prize: “Album” (Mehmet Can Mertoğlu)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “Diamond Island” (Day Chou)


Competition: “Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade, Germany-Austria)

Un Certain Regard: “Dogs” (Bogdan Mirică, Romania-France)

Critics’ Week: “Raw” (Julia Ducournau, France-Belgium)

I’ll have something up in a few days on this, but the likeliest Oscar contenders that we can take from Cannes probably are amongst the ones not given any citations. The more likely players for awards are Love from Jeff Nichols, The BFG from Steven Spielberg, and maybe even Paterson, from Jim Jarmusch (at least at some of the more independent precursors). Love especially seems to be the only one you can safely put down to be around in a big way come precursor season. There are no guarantees, but sit tight for that more specific article before the end of the week…

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Stay tuned to see which Cannes titles can become awards players later on this year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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