“He actually got the call when he was on his barge with his wife today, and hot-footed it down from Holland to collect this prize.” Entertainment reporter Emma Jones reveals that one of the biggest shocks of the Cannes prize ceremony was felt by Timothy Spall, who won the best actor prize for his portrayal of the painter JMW Turner in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner.
“[He] has been the frontrunner for best actor ever since this competition started with his amazing performance in Mr Turner, so it’s no surprise to anybody, apart from probably Timothy Spall himself.”
Mr Turner was touted as a top contender for the Palme d’Or, but it lost out to Winter Sleep by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who dedicated the prize "to the young people of Turkey, those who lost their lives during the last year”.
While it was the bookie’s favourite, some were sceptical that the three-and-a-quarter-hour drama could claim the top award. It’s the second year in a row that the longest film in contention has won, following Blue is the Warmest Colour's victory in 2013.
Jones gives her take on Ceylan’s win, and reveals the reaction after Julianne Moore was named best actress for her role in David Cronenberg’s Hollywood satire Map to the Stars. Moore plays a self-obsessed actress suffering a breakdown, and the film has attracted attention for her sex scene with Robert Pattinson in the back of a car.
BBC Culture’s report explores the festival’s other surprises, including a prize shared by the 83-year-old Jean-Luc Godard and the 25-year-old Xavier Dolan, and the snubbing of favourite Two Days, One Night. The latest from the Dardenne brothers was hotly tipped for both the Palme d’Or and best actress (for Marion Cotillard), yet failed to pick up a prize. “We haven’t seen perhaps the more arthouse doyennes of Cannes rewarded,” says Jones.