Terry Malick’s epic exploration of life, death and the undeniable chemistry between Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, Tree of Life”, has won the coveted Palme d’Or in Cannes.

Producer Bill Pohlad, accepting the award on Malick’s behalf, said “Tree of Life’ was a long road. About a year ago this time, it seemed even longer. But coming here and having this happen and getting this award tonight has obviously made it all worthwhile.”

Robert De Niro, one of the judges on this year’s panel, said “Most of us felt very clearly that it was the movie — the size, the importance, the tension, whatever you want to call it — that seemed to fit the Palme d’Or. It’s very difficult to make these decisions because there are other movies that were great also. Most of us felt that the movie was terrific.”

Other winners at Cannes included Kirsten Dunst, for her performance in “Melancholia”; and Nicolas Winding Refn, best director for “Drive”.