Despite early speculation that the Sean Penn-led jury at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival was going to reward Steven Soderbergh's four-and-a-half-hour Che epic in order to help its U.S. distribution prospects, the French docudrama The Class (Entre les Murs) won the event's biggest prize, the Palme d'Or.
Director Laurent Cantet (Human Resources, Time Out), shown at left with some of the film's cast, used real students and teachers to convey a year in the life of a Paris junior high school. His efforts resulted in France's first win of the coveted award since 1987.
Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan edged out Soderbergh in the Best Director category, for the drama Three Monkeys. But Che did not get shut out entirely: Benicio del Toro won the Best Actor award for his performance as Fidel Castro's controversial right-hand man during the Cuban Revolution.
Clint Eastwood's Changeling, which earned rave reviews when it unspooled earlier in the week, added a Special Jury Prize to its accolades. Go here for a complete list of the Cannes winners.