Lesbian love story wins top award at Cannes

An explicit story about two young lesbian lovers has claimed the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Blue is the Warmest Colour which has attracted as much attention for the performance of actress Adele Exarchopoulos as it has for its explicit sex scenes, trumped 19 other movies to take the esteemed Palme d’Or for best film.

The three-hour love story was selected for the award by a jury led by Steven Spielberg and Nicole Kidman, overcoming competition from productions including the Coen brothers’s Inside Llewyn Davis and Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s drama The Past at yesterday’s closing ceremony.

The film, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, features a 12-minute erotic sex scene between two women.

It in the film Lea Seydoux plays Emma, a fine arts student and painter with blue hair, who meets a 17-year-old student played by Exarchopoulos.

French star Berenice Bejo, who shot to fame starring in The Artist, took the best actress prize for her portrait of Marie in The Past.

Veteran Hollywood actor Bruce Dern took the best actor trophy for his role as a man who goes on a road trip with his son in the film Nebraska, which also stars US comic Will Forte in his first dramatic screen role.

Dern, who has been acting in movies for over half a century, has previously been nominated for an Oscar when he played Jane Fonda’s embittered husband in Coming Home.

The Grand Prix award went to Joel and Ethan Coen for their picture Inside Llewyn Davis starring Oscar Isaac as a gifted but self-destructive 1960s folk musician in the mould of Bob Dylan.

The cast includes Isaac, Justin Timberlake and British star Carey Mulligan.

Best director went to Amat Escalante for the film Heli, a drama about dangerous love in Mexico.

The tear-jerking Japanese film Like Father, Like Son won the jury prize for Kore-Eda Hirokazu.

The award for best first feature went to Anthony Chen for his film Ilo Iloe and writer Jia Zhangke won best screenplay for A Touch of Sin.

Michael Douglas, who some believed might be honoured for his performance as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra, was the shock omission from the list of prize winners.The film also stars Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson.