Japanese film Shoplifters wins Palme d'Or

Robin Pomeroy
Cate Blanchett and the MeToo movement have had a strong presence at the 71st Cannes Film Festival

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for Shoplifters, a movie that wowed audiences for its delicate portrayal of family life and surprising plot twists.

The win, by a director who has won prizes at the festival in previous years, defied speculation that the Palme would go to a woman director, with three strong contenders in a year when the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal was the talk of the town.

Spike Lee's political satire BlacKkKlansman, based on the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, won the runner-up prize, the Grand Prix on Saturday.

A woman director, Nadine Labaki from Lebanon, won the Jury Prize, effectively the bronze medal, for Capharnaum, a realist drama about childhood neglect in the slums of Beirut.

Poland's Pawel Pawlikowski won Best Director for Cold War, a romance that moves from the peasant farms of Poland to Paris jazz clubs and back from the 1940s to the 60s.

Girl, a Belgian drama about a transgender teenage girl's quest to become a ballerina, won the Camera d'Or for the best directorial debut for director Lukas Dhont.

Earlier Cannes jury president Cate Blanchett told reporters at the awards ceremony of the 71st Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera that the jurors didn't "judge" the winner of the Palme d'Or but they "chose" it.

The actress is one of the few women to head the jury in the festival's 71-year history.