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Winners of Cannes Film Festival 2023 - "Anatomy of a Fall" Takes Palme d’Or

Justine Triet Wins Palm d'Or at 76th Cannes Film Festival
By: Ekaterina Shevliakova| Justine Triet Wins Palm d'Or at 76th Cannes Film Festival | Image: Getty

The main award Palme d'Or was given for the film "Anatomie d’une Chute” (“Anatomy of the Fall" (directed by French director Justine Triet who previously took part in the Cannes Film Festival: in 2019 her "Temptation" entered the main competition, but that time left Cannes empty-handed.

This year at Cannes Film Festival 2023 Justine Triet became the third woman to receive "" (the main award of the Cannes Film Festival) in the entire 76-year history of the event. She joined her colleagues who were previously honored in the same way: Jane Campion ("The Piano" in 1993) and Julia Ducornough ( "Titan” in 2021).

Triet received the Award from the hands of the special guest of the ceremony, Jane Fonda

who said the following on the occasion:

“Last time when I visited this Festival was in 1963. Many of you weren't even born yet... At that time, there was not a single female director in the competition, and it never occurred to us that there was anything wrong about it. We made progress, but we have a long way to go. We have to celebrate change when it happens. This year, for the first time, seven women directors are taking part in the competition."

Anatomy of the Fall tells the story of Sandra a German writer (played by Sandra Huller), her French husband Samuel and their eleven-year-old son Daniel, who lead a secluded life in a remote town in the French Alps. The family lived in a high-altitude chalet near Grenoble. Samuel died after falling from the attic. There are no witnesses to the incident, and the circumstances of the death and the conclusion of the pathologist make the police suspect that Samuel was killed. Sandra fell under suspicion and goes through all the circles of judicial bureaucratic hell.

Triet resorts to a proven dramatic technique: the investigation of the incident turns into a study of the personality of the heroine, relationships within the family, as well as the nature of the woman as such. Ultimately, the viewer will have to find out not only and not so much the cause of Samuel's death, but also the deep tectonic causes that provoke a crack in the relationship. Sandra, unfortunately, turned out to be a more talented novelist than her husband, and the tragedy, because of which her son became visually impaired, launched a time bomb.

This is a film about family relationships and responsibility. Justine Triet asks very difficult questions, there is no direct answer to them and there cannot be. Do we owe each other something in marriage? What do we give to our loved ones? Where is the balance between yin and yang? Is Sandra a successful woman who, with her success, creates an imbalance in relationships, or is Samuel a whiner and a loser, always offended by everyone? Is equality in relationships a fantastic ideal, or is it possible to achieve it?

The film is multifaceted - Triet also touches on the eternal art criticism question of the connection between the author and his literary alter ego. The prosecutor, trying to accuse Sandra, reads excerpts from her own books at the trial, and the court examines the materials of Samuel's unfinished work - audio recordings, notes and letters that relate not so much to the future book as to the personality of the writer himself.

The director blurs the line between real and fictional, truth and falsehood - and invites the viewer to understand what happened. The court's decision is announced at the very end of the picture, but there is an understatement that makes you mentally return to the content of the film and analyze the words and deeds of the characters.

Most of the screen time in the frame is the main character. Sandra Hüller manages to convey the writer's deep feelings very restrainedly, with small changes in intonation or facial expressions - the whole bunch of human emotions from the joy of communicating with her son to the despair of losing a loved one. Once after the screening of the film, film critics noted that "Anatomy of the Fall" echoes the work of Ruben Östlund "Force Majeure", and predicted the main prize for it. Checkout the list of additional winners below.

 Cannes Film Festival 2023 Winners
Cannes Film Festival 2023 Winners | Image: Getty

Top Winners of the 76th Festival de Cannes

Palme d'Or for Best Film

“Trajectory of the Fall” / “Anatomy of a fall”, director Justin Triet

Grand Prix

“The Zone of Interest”, director Jonathan Glazer

Jury's Prize

"Fallen Leaves", director Aki Kaurismäki

Best Director

Chan Anh Hung for the film “Dodin Bouffant's Pot-au-feu”

Best Screenplay

Yuji Sakamoto – "Monster", director Hirokazu Kore-eda

Best Actress

Märve Dizdar – "About Dry Grasses", director Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Actor

Koji Yakuse – "Perfect Days", director Wim Wenders

Golden Camera for Best Debut

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell”, director Fam Tien An

For more information on the full list of winners, visit:


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