CANNES, France – Spanish actor Javier Bardem won the best actor award for his performance in “Biutiful” at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday – although, in an unusual twist by the judging panel, he had to share it with Italian actor Elio Germano for “La nostra vita.”
The Mexican film “Año bisiesto,” directed by Michael Rowe, won the Camera d’Or prize for the best first work at the 63rd edition of the Cannes festival.
“Biutiful” was directed by Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, and the 41-year-old Bardem, in his acceptance remarks, dedicated his work to the filmmaking team, his girlfriend – Spanish actress Penelope Cruz – mother Pilar and his siblings Carlos and Monica, all of whom were at the ceremony at the Lumiere Theater at the Cannes Festival Palace.
In his acceptance remarks, Bardem – in Spanish – publicly declared his love for Cruz, saying: “To my girlfriend, my companion, my love. Penelope: I owe you much and I love you a lot,” comments that brought tears to Cruz’s eyes.
Bardem went on to say that this latest recognition of his work “would not have have existed without Iñarritu’s magnificent film,” adding that “he’s an incredible director who highlights the work of the actor. A unique creator who represents the human being who struggles to be better.”
The role that won Bardem the prize – and for which he was the favored nominee – is that of Uxbal, a penny-ante hustler who exploits illegal immigrants in Barcelona, listens to the dead and is raising two children alone although he pursues a difficult and on-and-off relationship with his wife, who is bipolar.
British actress Kristin Scott-Thomas was the master of ceremonies at the gala festival.