Hannah Strong


Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2019

The South Korean director’s social satire takes top honours among a mixed bag of winners at this year’s festival.

After a manic 12 days on the Croisette, the 72nd Cannes film festival has drawn to a close. With it comes the annual distribution of prizes, including top honour the Palme d’Or. The competition was pretty fierce this year with strong efforts from Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite) and Pedro Almovódar (Pain and Glory) all vying for top honours decided by this year’s jury led by Alejandro González Iñárritu.

However, the big prize of the night went to Bong Joon-Ho for his sublime social satire. We were huge fans and couldn’t be happier that he won – incidentally two years after kicking off the Cannes/Netflix controversy when his last film, Okja, screened at the festival. The Grand Prix went to Mati Diop for Atlantique – not bad for a first feature.

In an unsurprising turn of events, Antonio Banderas picked up Best Actor for his portrayal of Salvador Mallo in Pain and Glory, but there were some unexpected nods too. Best Actress went to Emily Beecham for her role as a botanist in Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe, while Best Director was shared by the Dardenne brothers for Young Ahmed, with Céline Sciamma picking up Best Screenplay for Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

A joint Jury Prize was awarded to Les Misérables and Bacurau while a special mention was given to Elia Suleiman for It Must Be Heaven. The Palme d’Or du court Métrage (Best Short Film) was presented to Vasilis Kekatos for The Distance Between Us and the Sky, while the Camera d’Or, presented to a filmmaker for their first feature, went to Cesar Diaz for Our Mothers.

Over in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao directed by Karim Ainouz took home top honours, with a Jury Prize for Oliver Laxe’s The Fire Will Come. The Quinzaine/Director’s Fortnight section is technically non-competitive, but Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse was honoured by the International Federation of Film Critics as the best film in the selection. Jeremy Clapin’s disembodied hand animation I Lost My Body won the top prize at Critic’s Week.

Independently, the Queer Palm for best film on LGBT issues went to Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Arguably the most important award of the festival, The Palm Dog, was awarded to Brandy the American Pitbull who steals scenes in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino himself accepted the silver dog collar on her behalf on Friday at the festival.

Published 25 May 2019

Tags: Antonio Banderas Bong Joon-ho Céline Sciamma Emily Beecham Quentin Tarantino The Dardenne Brothers

Suggested For You

Parasite – first look review

By Hannah Strong

Bong Joon-ho is back with a dark, spiky and hilarious social satire about the seductive nature of greed.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – first look review

By Hannah Strong

Quentin Tarantino knocks it out of the park with this personal love letter to LA, in all its dirty sexy glory.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – first look review

By Adam Woodward

A painter falls in love with her subject in Céline Sciamma’s masterfully composed period piece.

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.