The award marked the culmination of a fairly consistent winning streak for Ceylan, who has twice received the festival's second-place honor, the Grand Prix -- for 2002′s "Distant" and 2011′s "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" -- and who won a directing prize for 2008′s "Three Monkeys." Only Ceylan's 2006 competition entry, "Climates," went home empty-handed, though it did win the Fipresci international critics' prize that year.
Although it divided critics and audiences with its reams of dialogue and challenging 196-minute running time, "Winter Sleep" became a critics' favorite and Palme contender early on in the festival. Considerably more surprising was the jury's decision to award the Grand Prix to "The Wonders," Italian director Alice Rohrwacher's semi-autobiographical drama about a family of beekeepers struggling to preserve their way of life in central Italy.
Bennett Miller received the best director award for "Foxcatcher," his drama about the complex psychological triangle involving Olympic wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz and the Pennsylvania millionaire John du Pont.
"This is quite affirming, and I'm very grateful," Miller said.
The actress prize went to Julianne Moore for her ferocious turn as a washed-up thesp in David Cronenberg's Tinseltown satire "Maps to the Stars." Moore was not present to accept at the ceremony.
Timothy Spall won the actor prize for his performance as the painter J.M.W. in Leigh's "Mr. Turner."
"I've spent a lot of time being a bridesmaid. This is the first time I've ever been a bride, so I'm quite pleased about that," Spall said in a long, moving acceptance speech. Noting that "this is as much an accolade for Mr. Leigh as it is for me," Spall reminisced about the time when Leigh's "Secrets & Lies," in which he also starred, won the Palme d'Or, at which time he was undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. "I thank God that I'm still here and alive."
The jury prize was awarded to two films from the competition's youngest and oldest helmers, respectively: Xavier Dolan's "Mommy" and Jean-Luc Godard's "Goodbye to Language." While Godard did not attend the festival, Dolan paid tribute to jury president Jane Campion in an emotional speech, citing her Palme d'Or-winning "The Piano" as one of the first and most influential films he watched as a teenager.
The Camera d'Or for best first film was given to "Party Girl," a three-way directing debut for French helmers Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis. The film, which opened the Un Certain Regard sidebar, had already received an ensemble acting prize the night before.
COMPETITION PRIZESPalme d'Or: "Winter Sleep" (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey-Germany-France)
Grand Prix: "The Wonders" (Alice Rohrwacher)
Director: Bennett Miller, "Foxcatcher"
Actor: Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"
Actress: Julianne Moore, "Maps to the Stars"
Jury Prize: "Mommy" (Xavier Dolan) and "Goodbye to Language" (Jean-Luc Godard)
Screenplay: Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, "Leviathan"