Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” received the prestigious top prize at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The jury recognized the film, a captivating French courtroom drama that puts a marriage on trial, for its meticulous structure and storytelling. It stands as only the third film directed by a woman to win the Palme d’Or, following in the footsteps of Jane Campion’s “The Piano” and Julia Ducournau, who served on this year’s jury.
Cannes awarded Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” a chilling adaptation of Martin Amis’ novel set near Auschwitz, with the Grand Prix, the festival’s second-highest honor. Sandra Hüller, who stars in “Anatomy of a Fall,” also appears in “The Zone of Interest.”
The president of the jury responsible for making the decisions was Ruben Östlund, the Swedish director who has previously won the Palme Award twice. Last year, Östlund received the award for his film “Triangle of Sadness.” The festival’s closing night featured the screening of the Pixar animation “Elemental” before the award ceremony.
Neon, an independent distributor, secured the Palme d’Or win for “Anatomy of a Fall,” marking their fourth consecutive win. It previously supported “Triangle of Sadness,” “Titane,” and Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” which later won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Neon acquired “Anatomy of a Fall” after its debut at Cannes.
Dedicated the award to young directors around the world
Jane Fonda presented the Palme award to Justine Triet, sharing her own experience of attending Cannes in 1963 when no female directors were in competition. Fonda emphasized the progress made, with a record-breaking seven out of the 21 films competing at Cannes this year being directed by women.
During her acceptance speech, the 44-year-old French director passionately addressed the protests that have swept through France this year, particularly those concerning changes to pension schemes and the retirement age. Triet expressed her concern about the repression of these protests, drawing a connection between official influence in society and in films. She criticized the violation of the French cultural exemption through commercialization, which is supported by a liberal administration.
Triet dedicated her prize to young female and male directors and all those who currently lack the means to make films. She emphasized the importance of creating opportunities for aspiring filmmakers in a more forgiving world where it is still possible to make mistakes and start over. Reflecting on being the third female filmmaker to win the Palme d’Or, she looked back on the achievements of Jane Campion and Julia Ducournau.