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Walden Sadiri
Cannes Filmfest winners


The 58th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival, the world’s most prestigious film market, wrapped up Sunday with the popular consensus (reportedly from among the filmfest crowd) that it produced "a solid but unremarkable crop of films" this year.

Anyway, here are the winners:

"The Child," by Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardene, won the plum Palme d’Or and the filmmakers received their trophy from award-winning actors Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.

It was the second Palme d’Or award for the brothers, their first being "Rosetta" which won the trophy six years ago.

"The Child" tells the story of a young crook (he’s only 20 years old) who is suddenly faced with the responsibilities of fatherhood.

Second placer for the Palme d’Or was "Brojen Flowers," starring Jim Murray as an aging Don Juan in the pursuit of the son he never knew. The movie was directed by Jim Jarmuschi.

The Best Picture award by a first-time director went to two filmmakers: Miranda July from USA for her film "Me and You and Everyone We know;" and Vimukthi Jayasundara of Sri Lanka for "The Forsaken Land." They were chosen by critics.

Tommy Lee Jones collected the best actor award for his role as a Texas hand in "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," his full-feature directorial debut.

The movie also won the Best Screenplay award for Mexican writer Guillermo Arriaga.

Hanna Laslo, who plays a cab driver in Israeli director Amos Gitai’s "Free Zone," was named Best Actress.

Australian filmmaker Michael Haneke won the Best Director trophy for his film "Hidden," which is about a couple menanced by a video stalker.

Chinese director Wang Xiao bagged the 3rd Jury Prize for "Shanghai Dreams," a love story set in 1960, and which tells of Chinese workers who dutifully obeyed the government call to relocate factories in a remote territory.

Some of the most popular films at their year’s festival were unfortunately not in competition. One of them is Woody Allen’s "Match Point" which they Cannes crowd said was his most well-liked film in years and which could have won awards if it were competing.

But the stellar attraction during the festival was "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." In attendance were the franchise creator George Lucas and the stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson who wore their costumes at the red carpet event.

The closing film was British director Martha Fiennes’ "Chromophobia," starring his brother Ralph Fiennes, Penelope Cruz, Kristine Scott Thomas and Ian Holm.

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Hot stuffs: "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul continues to draw criticism for her demanding behaviour on or off the set of the popular talent search. She is also said to come often late to the set of "American Idol" and one time she was so demanding on the set of a skin care informercial that the producers gave her the boot! But they say that her bizarre bheaviour may have been caused by pain pills she’s been taking ever since she was operated on for a ruptured disc...Still on "American Idol:" One of its stars, crooner Anwar Robinson was posted on Blackplanet.com’s men seeking men section, a personal ad, under the name BrwnSgr288. the section featured four photos that look like Robinson. BrwnSgr288 was said to be looking for a mate - any type between lean and muscular and preferred a guy with kids...Michael Douglas’ spokesman has denied the actor  had plastic surgery earlier this year, but some Hollywood doctors are saying otherwise. The buzz is that Douglas, 60,  went under the knife before he and 35-year-old wife Catherine Zeta-Jones went on vacation at the island of Barbados. At the airport, people noted that Douglas was wearing a large hat and sunglasses but "he bore all the tell-tale marks of a recent facelift. Well, what do you do if you are twice the age of your wife? Of course, you want to look as young as she is, and the best way to enhance your looks is go through plastic surgery. Everybody who can afford  does this, and not only in Hollywood but in the Philippines as well...Angelina Jolie’s priority job is being mom to adopted son Maddox who she adopted from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002.. She always brings the three-year-old boy with him and these days, they do a lot of travelling together, especially after Jolie was appointed UN Ambassador of Goodwill. Being both mother and ambassador of goodwill pose a great deal of challenges, she said, but she’s coping very well. At the National Press Club of Washington, D.C. Jolie who was promoting her new legal-aid project, the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, said "The best education I can give my son is to show him the world. Maddox understands kids who don’t have any food or parents, but he doesn’t understand that he was one of them yet, she said. When they visited Ethiopa, Maddox asked Jolie if she could have an African brother or sister. Jolie said she would like to adopt again. "Almost any country I go to I’m prepared to adopt," she said.

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