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Winter Sleep takes Palme d'Or (2014) as Timothy Spall takes best actor

Winter Sleep

Story by Jack Foley

TURKISH filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan has taken the coveted Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (2014) for his film Winter Sleep.

An epic story of a marriage, the film stars Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen and Demet Akbag and was the longest in the competition at 3 hours, 16 minutes.

A clearly delighted Ceylan dedicated his award “to the young people of Turkey who have lost their lives during the last year”.

President Jane Campion and her jury, which included Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Nicolas Winding Refn and Gael Garcia Bernal, picked the prizes from this year’s selection of 18 films in competition.

The runner-up Grand Prize went to The Wonders (Les Merveilles), a coming-of-age story set in the Northern Italian countryside, by director Alice Rohrwacher.

There were also high profile American wins for Bennett Miller, who was crowned best director for his now Oscar-tipped film Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

While Julianne Moore, who was absent from the ceremony, won best actress for her role in David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars.

There was also triumph for the British contingent, with Timothy Spall, the star of Mike Leigh’s biopic Mr Tuner, taking the best actor prize.

Spall was moved to tears while delivering his acceptance speech, saying: “I’ve often been a bridesmaid and this is the first time I have ever been a bride. This is a lifelong collaboration with Mike Leigh and this is as much an accolade for Mr Leigh as me.”

The jury prize went to two films: Xavier Dolan’s Mommy and Goodbye to Language by Jean-Luc Godard.

And Leviathan won best screenplay for its writers Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin.

The Camera d’Or, awarded to the best first feature by a director, went to Party Girl, which was written and directed by the trio of Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis.

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