Kirsten Dunst took home Best Actress for Melancholia at the Cannes 64th Annual Film Festival on Sunday, despite the recent controversy over the film's director, Lars Von Trier.
Last week von Trier was expelled from the festival after making inappropriate Nazi related comments during a press release.
After accepting the award, Dusts stated: What a week! My thanks to the Jury, this is a real honor. I'm grateful to the Festival for keeping the film in Competition. And I'm grateful to Lars Von Trier for letting me play the role with such freedom.
The grand prize, the Palme d'Or, was awarded to Terrence Malick for The Tree of LIfe. After last week's preview, the film received mixed reviews.
In replacement of the illusive Terrence Malick, Actress Jane Fonda awarded the film's producer, Bill Pohlad with the honor.
After receiving the prize, Pohlad said: I have always wanted to speak French, and tonight more than ever. Tonight I have to take the place of a giant.
Terrence Malick is very shy and discreet. But I spoke to him today and I know he is very happy to receive this honor. The Tree Of Life was a long journey, but it was all worth it. I would like to thank especially the Festival de Cannes.
Malick had been MIA for the entirety of the film festival. He had been seen dining with the film's producers and with its star Brad Pitt (who was joined by Angelina Jolie), yet Malick did not attend the film's premier, press conference, or award ceremony.
The official Jury of the 64th Festival de Cannes, presided over by Robert De Niro, composed of Jude Law, Ulma Thurman, Olivier Assayas, Martina Gusman, Linn Ullmann, Nansun Shi, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and Johnnie To.
After the closing ceremony, the jurors attended a press conference where they discussed the event which unfolded over the past 12 days.
De Niro stated: Sometimes we had different tastes but we really enjoyed ourselves. I made some new friends. When you make a film, the drama has to be happening in front of the screen. Not behind it. That is how it was for us.
In regards the festival's Palme d'Or winner, De Niro said: I can't go into all the details, but we felt that it was a film that in its scope and its intentions was the best fit for the Palme d'Or. This decision was difficult because the other films were also very good, albeit very different. We had to find a compromise.
Olivier Assays commented on the film Melancholia by Lars Von Trier, stating: It is one of his best films. We all agreed about the condemnation of his comments made during his press conference. But the film is very well acted, very well written; it's a great work.
The festival which commenced on May 11 concluded on May 22, 2011.