Refn and Dunst awarded in Cannes

CANNES. Nicolas Winding Refn received the best director award for "Drive" and Kirsten Dunst was singled out for her lead in von Trier's "Melancholia" at Sunday's awards ceremony.

"Thanks to Ryan Gosling who enabled me to make this film," Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn said in his acceptance speech in the Palais des Festivals on Sunday as he received the best director award for his L.A. noir "Drive".

Gosling chose Refn   

Gosling stars in the film as a loner who works as a stunt man by day and a getaway driver by night, a character in the vein of Refn's preferred outsider hero as seen in "Valhalla Rising", "Bronson" and Refn's breakthrough debut "Pusher".

Gosling's choice of Refn as director of "Drive" came after the Canadian actor saw Refn's Viking epos "Valhalla Rising" with Mads Mikkelsen as the fearsome one-eyed warrior from a nameless distant past. 

The script is an adaptation by Hossein Amini of James Sallis's novel, and the cast includes Carey Mulligan ("An Education"), Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), Oscar Isaac ("Sucker Punch"), Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), as well as veteran actors Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks. See trailer below. 

Award to Melancholia

Kirsten Dunst was honoured for her role in Lars von Trier's "Melancholia". Dunst plays a depressed bride who has a sixth sense about the approaching planet Melancholia. 

Following the controversy of Wednesday's press conference, Dunst declared in her acceptance speech: "I'm grateful to Lars Von Trier for letting me play the role with such freedom."

This is the third time Cannes honours a von Trier film with Best Actress. In 2009 the award went to Charlotte Gainsbourg for her role in "Antichrist", and in 2000 Björk won the award for her performance in Palme d'Or winner "Dancer in the Dark".

"Melancholia" is produced by Meta Louise Foldager and Louise Vesth for Zentropa, and the cinematography is signed by Manuel Alberto Claro.

Read also  

Article on "Drive" (FILM#72)
Driving into Cannes

Article on "Valhalla Rising" (FILM#66)
Guerilla-style filmmaking

Facthsheet on new film by Refn
Only God Forgives