23 May 2011

Malick's 'Tree of Life' takes top Cannes prize

2:24 pm on 23 May 2011

US director Terrence Malick's film The Tree of Life has won the Palme d'Or for best picture at the Cannes film festival.

The film, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, is the story of a family in Texas in the 1950s.

The BBC reports the film divided critics at Cannes - some considering it pretentious and others profound.

US actress Kirsten Dunst won best actress for her role in the apocalyptic drama Melancholia.

Its director, Demark's Lars Von Trier, had been barred from the festival for saying during a medica conference that he had some sympathy for Hitler. He said he had been joking.

Best actor went to Jean Dujardin for his role in The Artist, a re-make of a 1920s silent film.

The runner-up Grand Prix went to two films - Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan and The Kid With a Bike by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Denmark's Nicolas Winding Refn won best director for his thriller Drive.

Best screenplay went to Israeli director Joseph Cedar for Footnote.