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Cannes 2011: Palme d'Or award goes to 'The Tree of Life'

May 22, 2011 | 11:28 am

Treeoflifestory Director Terrence Malick wasn't there to accept it, but his long-anticipated "The Tree of Life" won the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or on Sunday night.

"He remains infamously and notoriously shy and humble," said producer William Pohlad, who accepted on his behalf with producer DeDe Gardner. "But he is very happy to get this."

This was a strong night for Americans and U.S.-influenced films in general.

Kirsten Dunst won best actress for Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," and Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn won for the neon noir "Drive," set in Los Angeles and starring Ryan Gosling.

Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar, who took the best screenplay honor with "Footnote," dedicated his award to Don Krim, the head of Kino International, his first American distributor, who died on Friday.

And Jean Dujardin won the trophy for best actor for his role in "The Artist," a film set in 1920s Hollywood.

This year's jury was headed by Robert De Niro and included Uma Thurman and Jude Law.

RELATED:

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Cannes: What Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life' is actually about

Cannes: Un Certain Regard prizes go to Kim Ki-duk and Andreas Dresen films

-- Kenneth Turan

Photo: Brad Pitt stars in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

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