Cannes Film Fest 2008: Year 61–Laurent Cantet’s The Class Wins Palme d’Or

May 25, 2008–Laurent Cantet’s “The Class” (“Entre Les Murs,” which literally translates into “Between the Walls”) won the Palme d’Or as the 2008 Cannes Film Festival came to an end tonight.

The movie is based on the semi-authobiographical novel by Francois Begaudeau, a former critic for Cahiers du Cinema, about his experiences as literature teacher in a Parisian inner city middle school.

The jury, headed by actor-director Sean Penn, gave the best director award to Turkish helmer Nuri Bilge Ceylan for “Three Monkeys.”

Belgian filmmakers Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the best screenplay award for “Lorna’s Silence” (“Le Silence de Lorna”).

Il Divo

The Jury Prize went to the Italian film, “Il Divo,” directed by Paolo Sorrentino, a drama inspired by former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, who had controversial associations with the Mafia and the Catholic Church.

Prior to th festival, the real-life Andreotti, now in his 80s, said he wished Sorrentino could have waited until he was dead before making his movie.