'Son's Room' Takes the Palm

The Son's Room, by Italian director Nanni Moretti, won the most coveted prize, the Palme d'Or, today at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film tells the story of a close family living in a small northern Italian town who live through the death of a teenage son.

The Festival's Grand Prix, the second highest award, went to The Piano Teacher, by Austrian director Michael Haneke. The film also took home awards for best male and female acting, which were given to France's Benoit Maginel and Isabelle Huppert, respectively.

The Piano Teacher , based on the novel by Elfriede Jelinek, is about a spinster piano teacher who lives with her overbearing mother and is seduced by a pupil.

Lynch and Coen Share Director Award

Jodie Foster, who was first announced as the head of the jury of this year's festival but later had to drop out due to conflicting movie schedules, handed out (in perfect French) the best director award to David Lynch for Mulholland Drive and to Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There. The two directors shared the best director award.

The animated film Shrek, produced by Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks Studio and directed by Victoria Jensen and Andrew Adamson, received a warm welcome among moviegoers. But the film did not make the final cut. It marked third time a full-length animation film was selected to compete for the Golden Palm in the festival's 54-year history.

Americans in the Mix

Other American movies in competition this year were Moulin Rouge, directed by Australian director Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, and Sean Penn's The Pledge.

The award for best short movie was awarded to Bean Cake, by young American director David Greenspan. The film is about a boy in 1930s Tokyo who makes the mistake of saying he likes sweet, red bean cakes more than the emperor.

The Golden Camera, an award for first-time directors, went to Canada's Zacharias Kunuk for Atanarjuat The Fast Runner.

The screenplay award went to Danis Tanovic for No Man's Land. It was the first film from Bosnia-Herzegovina to be selected to compete in the festival.

Finally, the jury awarded a prize for technical achievements to Tu Duu-Chih, sound designer for two films in competition, What Time Is It There? and Millennium Mambo.