27 May 2013

Love story about two women wins Cannes prize

8:51 am on 27 May 2013

Blue is the Warmest Colour, an intimate love story about two young French women, won the Palme d'Or for best film at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday.

The film has attracted attention for its explicit sex scenes as well as the acclaimed performances of actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.

Exarchopoulos plays a girl who falls in love with an older woman, played by Seydoux.

Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, it won rave reviews in Cannes, being described as "epic yet intimate" by The Guardian.

But the BBC reports it also shocked some critics. Variety magazine said it contained "the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory".

Some critics questioned whether the sex scenes may make it too explicit for the top prize.

But in an unusual move, the festival jury awarded the prize to the two lead actresses as well as the director.

Other awards

US film-makers the Coen brothers won this year's Grand Prix, for their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis, about the 1960s New York folk scene.

Hollywood veteran Bruce Dern won best actor for his performance in Nebraska.

Dern, 76, is is best known for roles in 1970s films including Coming Home, The Cowboys and The Great Gatsby.

In Nebraska, he plays an ageing, alcoholic father on a road trip to collect a lottery prize. The film was directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways and The Descendants).

French star Berenice Bejo, known for silent film The Artist, won best actress for her role in The Past, a family drama by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi as the follow-up to A Separation (2011).