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Highlights of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is held every year in the beautiful city of Cannes, France, showcasing new films from directors and genres around the world. This year’s Cannes Film Festival may have come and gone, but it left audiences with plenty of great films to ponder. Highlights of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival include diverse films from all genres and from all corners of the world, ensuring there is something for everyone.

The film that won the festival’s most prestigious award, the Palme d’Or, was ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’, a feature film about a lesbian couple living in France. The film is particularly notable because it was released just after France passed a controversial decision allowing same-sex marriage. “Blue is the Warmest Color” was directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, and the film is already making waves internationally for its sweet script and political timing. The stars of the film, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, also left with the first prize for interpretation at the Cannes Film Festival.

Bruce Dern won Best Actor for his role in “Nebraska,” directed by Alexander Payne. “Nebraska” follows the story of an old man with dementia who constantly tries to escape from his home because he thinks he has won a prize in a major sweepstakes. His children must attempt to bring him home safely while facing the reality of their father’s mental decline. “Nebraska” was a standout film at the festival because of its storytelling and down-to-earth setting. The film probed life on the American plains as well as the nature of dementia and its effects on modern families. “Nebraska” is filmed entirely in black and white, giving it a unique atmosphere that complements the film’s dark themes.

“All Is Lost” is an action movie starring Robert Redford as a lonely man adrift. Her boat begins to sink, and the rest of the film follows her attempts to fix the boat and save herself from drowning in various innovative ways. “All Is Lost” is arguably one of the most notable films produced by director JC Chandor, known for his films about life at sea and the human condition.

Kore-Eda Hirokazu also made waves at the festival with his film “Like Father, Like Son,” the story of a young Japanese couple who discover their beloved son was mixed at birth. Ryota, the film’s protagonist, is a hardworking man who leads an idyllic life with his beloved wife and a perfect six-year-old son named Keita. He and his wife are caught off guard when the hospital informs him that there was a mix-up on the day Keita was born and that Keita is not their biological son. Ryota and his wife must choose whether they want to keep the son they loved and raised as their own, or sacrifice six years of parenthood to find their biological son. The limits of love are tested and Hirokazu takes a deep dive into what it means to be a father. The young couple’s heartbreaking struggle to choose between two children they instinctively love deeply is incredibly relatable and makes ‘Like Father, Like Son’ one of the standout films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“The Past” is a Franco-Italian film directed by director Asghar Farhadi. The film follows a young man named Ahmad who visits his ex-wife, Marie, in Paris after an extended stay in Tehran. Upon his return, he discovers that his wife is experiencing serious problems in her relationship with her young daughter, Lucie. Even though the couple are in the middle of divorce proceedings, Ahmad decides to try to help Marie and Lucie mend their mother-daughter relationship while he’s there. The film gives a unique look at a blended family, covering the nature of divorce, parenthood and moving on. Ahmad’s character is relatable, and the relatively short film moves at a steady pace before reaching an unexpected climax that is sure to surprise audiences.

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival was filled with unique and controversial films that make viewers reflect on life, circumstances and their own beliefs. There were many new actors and actresses as well as familiar directors, adding great diversity to the festival. From familiar actors like Robert Redford to awe-inspiring and candid performances by newcomers like Adele Exarchopoulos in ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival is one of the most memorable to date.

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