The Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival is one of the highest prizes in the film industry, so winning one is never easy.
"The Palme d'Or: It has to be something where all the elements come together, where the acting is extraordinary, the direction is extraordinary, where the mise-en-scene is profound and deep," said Australian actress Cate Blanchett, president of the jury of this year's Cannes Film Festival, at a news conference.
This makes it all the more necessary for us to take a look at Shoplifters, the winner of this year's Palme d'Or on May 19. Let's have a look.
Unlike much of the Western world, theft is so uncommon in Japan that people often leave their bicycles parked unlocked. Culturally speaking, it suggests just how ashamed a family of thieves in Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda's Shoplifters must feel.
The film follows Osamu, the father of the family, who comes across a little girl who is struggling to survive in the cold. He's able to convince his wife to take care of the child. It's not an easy decision because of the family's lack of money. And beyond having another mouth to feed, the relationship between the family's members is tested after an unexpected event that reveals a series of big secrets.
Koreeda, who's famous for his humanist stories, has won over 40 awards for direction and screenwriting at major film festivals. But Shoplifters is considered to be his best, which is both familiar and inventive.
Blanchett called awarding the film a difficult decision, but the right choice for the Palme d'Or. "We were completely bowled over by Shoplifters … [and] how intermeshed the performances were with the directorial vision," she said.