Los Angeles – The curtain was drawn following the 2009 Cannes Film Festival's closing feature, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, but that's when the fun really started.
Following the final film, judges deliberated on this year's awards winners and to the surprise of many, the Austrians and veritable newcomers came out on top.
The coveted Palme d'Or—the equivalent to a best picture nod—went to Austria's Michael Haneke and his drama The White Ribbon, which centers on impending World War I guilt and tragedy.
Acting honors were given out in similar fashion, as Austrian Christoph Waltz, star of Quentin Tarantino's World War II flick Inglourious Basterds, took home the best actor nod and another Austria native, Charlotte Gainsbourg of Lars von Trier's Antichrist, received best actress recognition.
Gainsbourg stars opposite veteran actor Willem Dafoe in Antichrist, whom she thanked in her speech, while Waltz showed gratitude to Tarantino saying, "Above all I owe this to [my character, Nazi Colonel] Hans Landa and his unique and inimitable creator, Quentin Tarantino."
Among the surprise shutouts at this year's Cannes Festival were past Palm d'Or winners Jane Campion and Ken Loach and Oscar winners Ang Lee and Pedro Almodóvar.