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Cannes Palme d'Or goes to Ruben Ostlund's "The Square"

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/28/2017
Director Ruben Ostlund with his Palme d'Or award for his film The Square during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Director Ruben Ostlund with his Palme d'Or award for his film The Square during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

CANNES, France (AP) — The Cannes Film Festival awarded its coveted Palme d'Or award to Ruben Ostlund's Swedish comedy "The Square" on Sunday, while Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to win the best director award.

Actress Diane Kruger with her Best Actress award for her role in the film In The Fade poses for photographers during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Actress Diane Kruger with her Best Actress award for her role in the film In The Fade poses for photographers during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

"Oh my god! OK," the Swedish filmmaker exclaimed after he bounded onto the stage to collect the prestigious Palme, in a rare and somewhat surprising win for a comedy.

Actor Joaquin Phoenix with his Best Actor award for the film You Were Never Really Here poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Actor Joaquin Phoenix with his Best Actor award for the film You Were Never Really Here poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

In "The Square," Claes Bang plays a museum director whose manicured life begins to unravel after a series of events that upset his, and the museum's, calm equilibrium. The movie's title comes from an art installation that Bang's character is prepping, which invites anyone who enters a small square to be kind and generous.

Director Fatih Akin, right, and actress Diane Kruger pose for photographers upon arrival at the award ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Director Fatih Akin, right, and actress Diane Kruger pose for photographers upon arrival at the award ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The film's satire and exploration of moral dilemmas culminated in one of the festival's most eye-catching scenes. A muscled, grunting man pretending to be a gorilla upsets a black-tie dinner for the museum, sniffing attendees and dragging a woman by the hair.

Jury members Will Smith, left, and Jessica Chastain pose for photographers upon arrival at the award ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Jury members Will Smith, left, and Jessica Chastain pose for photographers upon arrival at the award ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

The president of the Cannes jury, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, praised the film for exploring the "dictatorship" of political correctness and those trapped by it.

Actors Adrien Brody, left, and Mathieu Amalric pose for photographers upon arrival at the screening of the film Based On A True Story at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Actors Adrien Brody, left, and Mathieu Amalric pose for photographers upon arrival at the screening of the film Based On A True Story at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

"They live in a kind of hell because of that," Almodovar said.

Jury member Will Smith waves to fans upon arrival at the award ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Jury member Will Smith waves to fans upon arrival at the award ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

"It's clever. It's witty. It's funny. It deals with questions so important," said French actress and filmmaker Agnes Jaoui, a member of the jury that also included Americans Will Smith and Jessica Chastain.

Director Andrey Zvyagintsev with his Jury Prize award for his film Loveless poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Director Andrey Zvyagintsev with his Jury Prize award for his film Loveless poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Most odds makers didn't have "The Square" as a favorite to win the prestigious Palme d'Or, the top prize awarded at Cannes.

Directors Lynne Ramsay with her joint Best screenplay award for the film You Were Never Really Here poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Directors Lynne Ramsay with her joint Best screenplay award for the film You Were Never Really Here poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Coppola won best director for "The Beguiled," her remake of Don Siegel's 1971 Civil War drama about a Union soldier hiding out in a Southern girls' school. Hailed as Coppola's most feminist work yet, the remade thriller told from a more female point of view stars Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst, with Colin Farrell playing the wounded soldier.

Actor Joaquin Phoenix with his Best Actor award for the film You Were Never Really Here poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Actor Joaquin Phoenix with his Best Actor award for the film You Were Never Really Here poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Coppola was one of three female filmmakers out of 19 in competition for the Palme this year. The first — and until now, only — female winner of the best director prize was Soviet director Yuliya Ippolitovna Solntseva in 1961.

Directors Lynne Ramsay, left, with her joint Best screenplay award and actor Joaquin Phoenix with his Best Actor award both for the film You Were Never Really Here, pose for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Directors Lynne Ramsay, left, with her joint Best screenplay award and actor Joaquin Phoenix with his Best Actor award both for the film You Were Never Really Here, pose for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Diane Kruger was named best actress and Joaquin Phoenix best actor as the festival celebrated its 70th anniversary.

Director Ruben Ostlund, centre, with his Palme d'Or award for his film The Square, presented by actress Juliette Binoche, left, and jury president Pedro Almodovar during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Director Ruben Ostlund, centre, with his Palme d'Or award for his film The Square, presented by actress Juliette Binoche, left, and jury president Pedro Almodovar during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Kruger was honored for her performance in Fatih Akin's "In the Fade." She played a German woman whose son and Turkish husband are killed in a bomb attack. The film alludes to a series of actual killings that shook Germany six years ago, when it came to light that police had spent more time investigating the possible mob connections of migrant victims than the tell-tale signs of the far-right plot eventually uncovered.

Directors Yorgos Lanthimos with his joint Best screenplay award for the film A Killing of a Sacred Deer poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Directors Yorgos Lanthimos with his joint Best screenplay award for the film A Killing of a Sacred Deer poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

"I cannot accept this award without thinking about anyone who has ever been affected by an act of terrorism and who is trying to pick up the pieces and go on living after having lost everything," the actress said. "Please know that you are not forgotten."

Actress Diane Kruger with her Best Actress award for her role in the film In The Fade poses for photographers during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Actress Diane Kruger with her Best Actress award for her role in the film In The Fade poses for photographers during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Phoenix was recognized for his role in Lynne Ramsay's thriller "You Were Never Really Here," in which he played a tormented war veteran trying to save a teenage girl from a sex trafficking ring.

Director Ruben Ostlund with his Palme d'Or award for his film The Square during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Director Ruben Ostlund with his Palme d'Or award for his film The Square during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The actor wore sneakers on stage as he collected the prize. He said his leather shoes had been flown ahead of him. He apologized for his appearance, saying the prize was "totally unexpected."

Jury member and presenter Jessica Chastain, with Actor Joaquin Phoenix who won the Best Actor award for his role in the film You Were Never Really Here, gestures as photographers ask for Phoenix to hold the trophy during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Jury member and presenter Jessica Chastain, with Actor Joaquin Phoenix who won the Best Actor award for his role in the film You Were Never Really Here, gestures as photographers ask for Phoenix to hold the trophy during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The French AIDS drama "120 Beats Per Minute" won the Grand Prize from the jury. The award recognizes a strong film that missed out on the Palme d'Or.

Director Robin Campillo with his Grand Prix award for his film 120 Beats Per Minute poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Director Robin Campillo with his Grand Prix award for his film 120 Beats Per Minute poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Directed by Robin Campillo, the co-screenwriter of the Palme d'Or-winning film "The Class," the movie centers on the activist group ACT UP in Paris in the 1990s during the AIDS crisis.

Master of ceremonies Monica Bellucci gives a kiss to president of the jury Pedro Almodovar after he walked on stage during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Master of ceremonies Monica Bellucci gives a kiss to president of the jury Pedro Almodovar after he walked on stage during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The film's docu-drama retelling of that painful period, combined with a burgeoning spirit of unity for the gay community, earned it some of the best reviews of the festival.

Director Qiu Yang poses for photographers with his short film Palme d'Or award for the film A Gentle Night during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Director Qiu Yang poses for photographers with his short film Palme d'Or award for the film A Gentle Night during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Vanity Fair called the film "a vital new gay classic."

Director Leonor Serraille with her Camera d'Or award for best debut film Jeune Femme poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Director Leonor Serraille with her Camera d'Or award for best debut film Jeune Femme poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Almodovar said: "I loved the movie."

Director Ruben Ostlund reacts to winning the Palme d'Or award for his film The Square just after it was announced during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Director Ruben Ostlund reacts to winning the Palme d'Or award for his film The Square just after it was announced during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The jury also presented a special prize to Nicole Kidman to celebrate the festival's 70th anniversary.

Director Ruben Ostlund, right, celebrates winning the Palme d'Or award for his film The Square, presented by actress Juliette Binoche, back left, and jury president Pedro Almodovar, back right, during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) © The Associated Press Director Ruben Ostlund, right, celebrates winning the Palme d'Or award for his film The Square, presented by actress Juliette Binoche, back left, and jury president Pedro Almodovar, back right, during the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Kidman wasn't at the French Rivera ceremony, but sent a video message from Nashville, saying she was "absolutely devastated" to miss the show.

Actress Diane Kruger, right, with her Best Actress award for her role in the film In The Fade poses with director Fatih Akin during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Actress Diane Kruger, right, with her Best Actress award for her role in the film In The Fade poses with director Fatih Akin during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Jury member Smith made the best of the situation, pretending to be Kidman.

Director Robin Campillo with his Grand Prix award for his film 120 Beats Per Minute poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Director Robin Campillo with his Grand Prix award for his film 120 Beats Per Minute poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

He fake-cried and said in halting French, "merci beaucoup madames et monsieurs."

Directors Yorgos Lanthimos with his joint Best screenplay award for the film A Killing of a Sacred Deer poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © The Associated Press Directors Yorgos Lanthimos with his joint Best screenplay award for the film A Killing of a Sacred Deer poses for photographers during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

There were no prizes for the first Netflix releases selected to be in competition for the Palme d'Or: Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" and Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories."

Almodovar had made clear beforehand that he didn't want the Palme to go to a movie that isn't shown on big screens. The Netflix selections prompted protests from French movie distributors and led Cannes to rule out, beginning next year, streaming-only films.

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