Malick's "Tree of Life" wins top honor at Cannes

Brad Pitt in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." Fox Searchlight

Last Updated 3:02 p.m. ET

CANNES, France - Terrence Malick's expansive drama "The Tree of Life" won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival Sunday.

The festival's jury chaired by Robert De Niro - awarded the family drama starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain the Palme d'Or. The award was accepted Sunday by two "Tree of Life" producers. (The press-shy Malick - whose previous films include "Badlands," "Days of Heaven," "The Thin Red Line" and "The New World" - skipped all public events.)

Photos: Cannes Film Festival awards
Photos: "The Tree of Life" at Cannes
Photos: Cannes Film Festival 2011

Jean Dujardin won Best Actor playing a 1920s Hollywood star whose career takes a tumble with the introduction of sound in the silent film "The Artist."

Cannes: Can't stop talking about silent movie

Kirsten Dunst was awarded Best Actress for the apocalyptic saga "Melancholia" by Danish director Lars von Trier.

Von Trier - whose previous films "The Element of Crime," "Europa," "Breaking the Waves" and "Dancer in the Dark" have won awards at Cannes - was himself deemed persona non grata after remarks during a press conference last week in which he seemed to express some sympathy for Adolf Hitler. Walking back the remarks only dug himself into a deeper hole, and he's since promised never to do press conferences again.

Lars von Trier "persona non grata" at Cannes after Hitler remarks

Fellow Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn won the Best Director award for "Drive."

The Grand Prix (runner-up) prize was shared by the Turkish "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan; and from Belgium, "The Kid With a Bike" directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne.

The Jury Prize was awarded to the French "Polisse," directed by Maiwenn.

The award for best first feature, the Camera d'Or, went to director Pablo Giorgelli of Argentina for "Las Acacias."

The prize for Best Screenplay went to Joseph Cedar for "Footnote" (Israel).

Photos: "Midnight in Paris" premiere
Cannes Film Festival (Official website)

Comments