The 2012 Cannes Film Festival drew to a close last night, with Michael Haneke’s “Amour” winning the festival’s most prestigious award; the Palme d’Or.
The award which marks the culmination of the week long event is the highest accolade in the competition and was presented to the Austrian director for his feature film which tells the story of an elderly couple struggling to cope, after a series of strokes leaves one of them with debilitating and deteriorating health.
The film stars 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva and 81-year-old Jean-Louis Trintignant and is a touching picture about life and death. This is the second time that Haneke has received Cannes’ top prize – he also won the Palme d’Or back in 2009 for “The White Ribbon”.
Haneke was one of the favourites to scoop the award and in his acceptance speech, he thanked the actors, saying that they are “the essence” of the piece and also thanked the jury, before paying tribute to his wife of thirty years.
Matteo Garrone’s “Reality” took home the Grand Prix, Cannes’ second-place prize, for his satirical take on the influence of reality television, as it tells the story of a Naples fishmonger obsessed with becoming a reality TV star.
However, all eyes were on Haneke, as Audrey Tautou and Adrien Brody presented the director with the festival’s most celebrated award for his unflinchingly honest depiction of disease, decline, austerity and unsentimentality.