UPDATE, 3:00 PM PT: This was a big night for Guillaume Gallienne’s Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! The Gaumont-backed comedy led the night with 10 nominations coming in and picked up five key prizes: Best Film, Best Debut Feature, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. It was heavily favored, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a bunch of surprises in the mix. Blue Is The Warmest Color walked away nearly empty-handed, taking only the Best Female Newcomer prize for Adèle Exarchopoulos. On accepting, she thanked director Abdellatif Kechiche, who was not present at the ceremony. She also called co-star Léa Seydoux, “My most beautiful love story… on film.” Seydoux ultimately lost out on the Best Actress trophy to 9 Mois Ferme‘s Sandrine Kiberlain. That film won one other prize, for director and co-star Albert Dupontel’s original screenplay. Also notable is Roman Polanski‘s win as Best Director for Venus In Fur. The helmer was visibly surprised, “I really, really didn’t expect this,” he said in his very concise thank yous.
Gallienne’s Les Garçons is a virtual one-man show that also stars and is written by the director. In the autobiographical coming-of-age tale, he plays the two lead roles — himself and his mother, a woman for whom his love is boundless and by whom he has always been treated as the daughter she never had. It debuted in Directors’ Fortnight this year where it was a prize winner. Gallienne, who hails from the venerable Comédie Française, adapted the film (see trailer here) from his own stage show. Winning the film’s first prize, for Debut Feature, he said, “If anyone ever needed to thank their mother, it would be me.” Later in the evening he gave a shout-out to the Comédie Française theater where he learned to “respect the spirit of a troupe.” The movie does not have a U.S. distributor.
Quentin Tarantino presented the Honorary César to Scarlett Johansson. He told her that of all honors to be given there is none “as important as a French cinema honor” and said he “really wanted to vote for you for Best Actress [at the Oscars] in Spike Jonze’s Her” but was “robbed of that satisfaction” so was “doubly happy to give you this prize in France.” Johansson said she felt she was only at the mid-point in her career and thanked France and the city of Paris for their embrace; “Thank you for giving me this cultural refuge,” she added. Up against the likes of Gravity and The Great Beauty, it was Belgium’s Oscar nominee The Broken Circle Breakdown that won for Best Foreign Film. Also an Oscar nominee, for Short Film, Avant Que De Tout Perdre, by Xavier Legrand was a winner tonight. Meanwhile, over the three-hour proceedings, the camera cut almost incessantly to Julie Gayet, a Supporting Actress nominee (Suzanne‘s Adèle Haenel won) for Quai D’Orsay, who was making her first public appearance since being linked to an alleged affair with French president François Hollande.
PREVIOUS, 12:00 PM, PT: Gaumont comedy Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! leads the pack of nominees at tonight’s César Awards which are about to be handed out at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. Intouchables star François Cluzet is presiding over the 39th ceremony and appearances are expected later in the evening by Scarlett Johansson, recipient of an honorary César, and Quentin Tarantino who will be presenting the statue to the actress. Among the other major candidates for the French equivalent to the Oscar this year are Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color with eight nominations and Cannes Un Certain Regard directing winner Stranger By The Lake, also with eight nods. Rounding out the Best Film picks are comedy 9 Mois Ferme; Jimmy P with Benicio Del Toro; Asghar Farhadi’s The Past; and Roman Polanski‘s Venus In Fur. This is notably the first time in a few years that France has no major skin in the Oscars game, so tonight is essentially the last major awards stop for many of the local films. Mixed in with the awards this evening is a bit of presidential scandal. Among the nominations is a supporting turn for Julie Gayet in Bertrand Tavernier’s political satire Quai D’Orsay. The accomplished actress and producer was linked to an alleged affair with France’s president, François Hollande, earlier this year. Gayet has arrived at the ceremony, which some think could give Canal Plus its best ratings ever for the show. Winners are updated below:
Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!
Sandrine Kiberlain, 9 Mois Ferme
Guillaume Gallienne, Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!
Roman Polanski, Venus In Fur
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Adèle Haenel, Suzanne
BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown
BEST SHORT FILM
Avant Que De Tout Perdre, Xavier Legrand
Thomas Hardmeier, The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet
Valérie Deseine, Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Loulou L’Incroyable Secret, Eric Omond
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Mademoiselle Kiki Et Les Montparnos, Amélie Harrault
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Guilaume Gallienne, Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!
Sur Le Chemin De L’Ecole, Pascal Plisson
Pierre Deladonchamps, Stranger By The Lake
Jean-Pierre Duret, Jean Mallet & Mélissa Petitjean, Michael Kohlhaas
BEST ART DIRECTION
Stéphane Rozenbaum, L’Ecume Des Jours
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Martin Wheeler, Michael Kohlhaas
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Niels Arestrup, Quai D’Orsay
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Albert Dupontel, 9 Mois Ferme
Pascaline Chavanne, Renoir
BEST DEBUT FEATURE
Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!, Guillaume Gallienne
Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is The Warmest Color
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