Despite all the controversy that swirled around Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the judges obviously didn’t hold any of it against the film’s star as Kirsten Dunst was awarded the actress prize today, May 22nd, for her performance.
Per Variety the jury, headed by Robert De Niro, clearly opted not to deny Melancholia a prize even though the festival had declared von Trier “persona non grata” after the director’s ill-judged jokes about being a Nazi at the Melancholia press conference. While the ban prevented von Trier from attending the ceremony or entering the Palais des Festivals, the pic itself remained eligible for prizes.
“What a week it’s been,” Dunst said upon accepting the prize. “Thank you to the Cannes Film Festival for still allowing our film to be in competition.” She thanked von Trier “for giving me the opportunity to be so brave in this film, and so free.”
Melancholia stars Dunst, John Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist), Kiefer Sutherland (Lost Boys, Mirrors), Charlotte Rampling (Angel Heart), Alexander Skarsgard (“True Blood”), Stellan Skarsgard (Exorcist: The Beginning), and Udo Kier (Suspiria).
The film’s title refers to Planet Melancholia, an enormous planet that looms threateningly close to Earth. Dunst plays a depressed bride whose wedding occurs a few weeks before the planet finds itself on a collision course with Earth.
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