'Nurse Betty' is sole US winner at Cannes

Everyone's hobby at Cannes is predicting the prizes that an international jury will bestow on the final night.

Last year's winners showed how impossible this is - all the acting awards went to people who'd never acted before, and the second-highest honor went to a picture most spectators disliked (Bruno Dumont's French "L'Humanit") - so handicappers seemed more cautious this time around, especially since the jury members were a diverse group ranging from stars Jeremy Irons and Kristin Scott Thomas to directors Jonathan Demme and Luc Besson.

In the end, most of the prizes made sense. The coveted Golden Palm went to Lars von Trier's musical tragedy "Dancer in the Dark," and pop star Bjrk was named Best Actress for her performance in it. Tony Leung received Best Actor for his muted portrayal of a lonely husband in "In the Mood for Love," by Wong Kar-Wai, a popular Hong Kong director. Continuing the Asian theme, Edward Yang was named best director for his richly filmed Taiwanese drama "Yi Yi," and the overlong Chinese epic "Devils on the Doorstep" surprisingly received the Grand Prize, a runner-up award.

The only US winner, the comedy "Nurse Betty," took the screenplay prize, reconfirming 2000 as a less-than-stellar American year on the spring festival circuit.

- D.S.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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