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Cannes - The Cannes Film Festival rewarded one of its favourite directors on Sunday, as Michael Haneke won the top prize for a second time with his stark film about love and death, Amour.
The Austrian director's powerful and understated film stars two French acting icons - 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva and 81-year-old Jean-Louis Trintignant - as an elderly couple coping with the wife's worsening health.
Haneke said he made the film because "I experienced something in my family that touched me."
Some viewers were surprised by the humanity of the film, coming from a master of tightly controlled cinema whose movies often contain sudden bursts of violence.
The director said his reputation for delivering shocks was unjust.
"Journalists always try to stick a label on directors," he said. "For a long time I've been the expert in violence."
But he said the style of a film should suit its subject, and "this film is about love".
Haneke has brought 10 films to Cannes over the years, including Funny Games and Hidden. He previously won the Palme in 2009 for The White Ribbon, and is the seventh director to take the top prize twice.
The festival jury awarded the second-place Grand Prize to Matteo Garrone's Italian satire Reality, while Ken Loach's whiskey-tasting comedy The Angels' Share won the third-place Jury Prize.
Mexico's Carlos Reygadas was named best director for his surrealism-tinged family story Post Tenebras Lux.
The best actor prize went to Mads Mikkelsen as a man ostracized by his small-town community when he is accused of child abuse in The Hunt.
Jury member Ewan McGregor said Mikkelsen had given a beautiful performance whose "wonder is in the subtlety ... but with complete conviction with his characte"r"
Best actress was won jointly by Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan, as friends separated by faith in Romanian movie Beyond the Hills. Cristian Mungiu's drama of love and faith in a remote Romanian monastery also won the award for best screenplay.
The prize winners were chosen from among 22 contenders by a jury, led by Italian director Nanni Moretti, that included actors Ewan McGregor and Diane Kruger, director Alexander Payne and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier.
Moretti revealed that none of the winners had been a unanimous choice, with several films sharply dividing the jury.
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