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December 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Kirsten Dunst & Lars Von Trier at Cannes

Lars von Trier’s Melancholia beat out a host of impressive contenders, including Oscar winner The King’s Speech, as it was named Best European Film at the 24th European Film Awards. The award caps a roller-coaster year for the Danish director, who was declared persona non grata by the Cannes Film Festival last May when, at a news conference held in connection with a screening of Melancholia, he joked about Hitler and the Nazis. Although his film had received more nominations than any other by the 2,500-member European Film Academy, it won only two other awards — for cinematography (Manuel Alberto Claro) and production design (Jette Lehmann). The King’s Speech, which was not released in Europe until this year, had been heavily favored to win the top award. It did win The People’s Choice Award, and its star, Colin Firth, won for best actor. Tilda Swinton was named best actress for We Need to Talk about Kevin.