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Exotic dancer drama ‘Anora’ wins Cannes Film Festival’s top prize

“Anora,” a darkly funny and touching drama about a young exotic dancer who becomes involved with a Russian oligarch’s son, won the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, on Saturday (May 25).

The film by U.S. director Sean Baker beat the 21 other films in the competition line-up, including entries by established directors like Francis Ford Coppola and David Cronenberg.

“Anora” continues a streak of sex worker-focused films by Baker, including the 2021 Cannes entry “Red Rocket” and 2017’s “The Florida Project” starring Willem Dafoe.

The Grand Prix, the second-highest prize after the Palme d’Or, was awarded to “All We Imagine As Light,” the first Indian film in competition in 30 years about two women sharing an apartment and the challenges they face in a male-dominated society.

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, who was in Cannes just about two weeks after announcing he had gone into exile, was given a special award for “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” about an Iranian court official who grows increasingly controlling and paranoid as protests begin to swell in 2022.

“Emilia Perez,” a musical about a Mexican cartel boss who transitions from male to female, was doubly honored.

The film’s director Jacques Audiard received the jury prize on stage, while the best actress prize was shared between its female stars, Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez, Karla Sofia Gascon and Adriana Paz.

Jesse Plemons was named best actor for playing three different parts – a struggling police officer, a cult member and a man whose every action is controlled by his boss – in director Yorgos Lanthimos’ absurdist triptych “Kinds of Kindness.”

Best screenplay went to “The Substance,” a Demi Moore-led body horror about the perils of youth and beauty that director Coralie Fargeat said she hoped would help change the standards set for women.

Miguel Gomes took best director for “Grand Tour,” an eclectic trip through Asia by a British civil servant and his pursuing fiancee.

George Lucas, famous for “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” received an honorary award during the festival’s closing ceremony from his longtime friend Coppola, whose passion project “Megalopolis” had also been in competition.


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Last Updated: 25th Jun 2024