Danish director Bille August won best picture honors at the Cannes Film Festival for a second time Monday, triumphing with "The Best Intentions," a love story written by Ingmar Bergman.

Offbeat United States films had captured the award, known as the Golden Palm, each year since Mr. August's "Pelle the Conqueror" won in 1988. Pernilla, his wife, was honored as best actress for her role in his film.

The other big winner at the 45th-annual festival was an American film about American films: Robert Altman's "The Player." The biting satire earned best director honors for Altman and best actor award for Tim Robbins.

John Turturro, last year's best actor for "Barton Fink," won this year as a director with the Golden Camera award for best first film, "Mac," which was based on his father's life.

"Howards End," a British-produced adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel by James Ivory of the US, won a special prize in honor of the festival's 45th anniversary.

The Jury Grand Prize, normally the top runner-up award, went to "The Thief of Children," by Italy's Gianni Amelio.

Two lesser jury prizes went to Victor Erice of Spain for "El Sol del Membrillo" and Vitaly Kanievsky of Russia for "An Independent Life."

The 10-member jury was headed by French superstar Gerard Depardieu and included American actress Jamie Lee Curtis, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, British director John Boorman, and Italian cinematographer Carlo di Palma.

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