Earlier today, Laurent Cantent's The Class became the first French film in 20 years to win the Palme d'Or, the top prize at the 2008 Festival de Cannes. Coincidentally, we have James' review of The Class scheduled to run in just a little while; in it, he says of the film: "The Class may very well wind up taking home a nod or two from the jury here in Cannes; rest assured, if that happens, it'll represent more than just sympathy votes for a local favorite."
The grand prize went to Gomorra, which James called "a sweeping, stirring drama that has the shoot-and-loot tension of the best crime cinema but also has the scope and serious intent of great drama." Special Prize went to Catherine Deneuve (A Christmas Tale) and Clint Eastwood (Changeling); the latter of which was a favorite heading into the awards (as was Waltz with Bashir, which, surprisingly, did not take home one of the top awards). Jury Prize went to Il Divo, while Nuri Bilge Ceylan took Best Director for Three Monkeys. Additionally, Benicio del Toro won Best Actor for his performance in Soderbergh's Che, Sandra Corveloni took Best Actress for Linha de passe, and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won Best Screenplay forLorna's Silence.
For reviews of most of these films, head on over to Cinematical's official Festival de Cannes hub. We'll be rounding out this year's coverage over the next few days.