Terrence Malick’s much-anticipated The Tree of Life has lived up to its hype by taking home the Palme d’Or for Best Picture at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival — though, true to form, the reclusive director did not appear on stage to accept the prize. This is the filmmaker’s first Cannes win, having previously been nominated for 1978’s Days of Heaven.
Meanwhile, Kirsten Dunst was awarded Best Actress for her role in Melancholia, the dark drama from the festival’s favorite wacky persona non grata, Lars von Trier. Dunst thanked her director in the acceptance speech, noting, with wry reference to von Trier’s “controversial” remarks, “what a week it’s been.”
Elsewhere, Jean Dujardin won Best Actor for The Artist and Nicolas Winding Refn took home the Best Director prize for Drive, his thriller starring Ryan Gosling. The Grand Prix was won by previous festival favorites Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for The Kid With a Bike.
For the full list of winners, head over to the festival’s official website.