The 2023 Festival de Cannes came to a conclusion on Saturday, 27 May, when the jury for this year’s main competition selections announced the winners for several categories, awarding the Palme d’Or, the event’s top prize, to “Anatomy of a Fall” from director Justine Triet. The film is is a Hitchcockian psychological drama starring German actress Sandra Hüller, playing a best selling author who must prove her innocence in the mysterious death of her husband.
Going into the awards ceremony Jonathan Glazer’s stark “The Zone of Interest” was heavily favored to win the Palme d’Or by those who had seen it. Instead, the jury presented the film with the Grand Prix award, which is generally considered second place. “Zone of Interest” is a period piece centered around the commandant running the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland during World War II. The action never enters the camp itself but focuses on the commandant’s family as they build a bucolic home life adjacent to the horrors taking place over their garden wall in Auschwitz.
Director Ruben Östlund was the president of this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury, having won the Palme d’Or last year for “Triangle of Sadness.” He confessed that it was not easy for the jury to pick winners from the 21 films in competition, a good number of which were well over two hours. “I think all of us had to really fight for what we believed was the right film and the competition was hard,” said the filmmaker.