UPDATED: Albert Dupontel’s dark comedy Adieu Les Cons (Bye Bye Morons) was the big winner at tonight’s César Awards, scooping Best Film along with Director, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Cinematography and Production Design, during a muted in-person ceremony that nevertheless provided some notable moments. Chief among them was when actress Corinne Masiero stripped down to her birthday suit while presenting the award for Costume Design. The show, aired live and unencrypted on Canal Plus (meaning not only subscribers could watch), did not cut away from Masiero’s self-exhibition in support of France’s intermittent arts workers. The incident was met with shock, for sure, and began trending on Twitter, but it didn’t exactly elicit the same whoops and hollers in the limited César audience as did the 1974 Oscars streaker.
Masiero’s intervention was a commentary on the current state of the French industry, whose Covid-impacted workers have been seeking further government relief and occupying cultural venues across the country in protest. Indeed, many presenters and winners who appeared on stage at the Césars tonight lamented that there is currently no plan in sight to reopen France’s cinemas which have been shuttered since fall 2020.
The César ceremony audience tonight was populated solely by nominees who had all been tested prior to the event and were socially distanced with about 150 people occupying every other seat at the Olympia concert hall. The only people not wearing masks were the on-stage presenters and the orchestra, as well as the winners – who enjoyed some hugging in the aisles.
Among the major winners, Dupontel was not present. His producer, Catherine Bozorgan, instead accepted a number of the awards on his behalf. The film, produced by Gaumont, was released only for one week in France prior to our second lockdown and amassed over 700K admissions at the time. The story centers on a seriously ill woman who tries to find her long-lost child with the help of a man in the middle of a burnout.
Also notably taking César trophies were Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary Adolescentes and Antoinette Dans Les Cévennes which won Best Actress for Call My Agent’s Laure Calamy. Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round was crowned Best Foreign Film while France’s Oscar rep, Two Of Us, scooped Best First Film. The latter two are in contention for Oscar nominations on Monday.
The film with the most nominations going into tonight, Emmanuel Mouret’s Les Choses Qu’On Dit, Les Choses Qu’On Fait, aka Love Affair(s), converted just one of its mentions to a win.
See below the initial post for the full list of winners.
PREVIOUS: France’s César Awards are under way this evening at Paris’ Olympia concert hall, in a live ceremony whose sole attendees are those nominated for the country’s equivalent to the Oscar.
Even without the impact of Covid, this has been a turbulent year for the presiding Académie des Arts et Techniques du cinema and the industry at large.
The 2020 ceremony held in February last year was awash in controversy that involved Roman Polanski’s An Officer And A Spy (whose Best Director win sparked walkouts by prominent actresses) as well as a general membership backlash over “elitist” and “closed” management. In September 2020, the Académie set new leadership.
Tonight, the ceremony is being held amid ongoing controversy over Dominique Boutonnat, president of France’s CNC who has been indicted on charges of alleged sexual assault and attempted rape made by his godson, accusations he has denied. However, a group of protesters picketed in front of the CNC earlier this evening calling for his removal. Boutonnat will not be present at the ceremony.
France’s cinemas were only open early in 2020 and then for a stint from late June to late October. Although the country exited a second lockdown later in 2020, movie theaters remain closed and France remains under a 6PM curfew. There is currently no clear reopening date for cinemas. The lack of moviegoing in 2020 resulted in the Césars suspending its Audience Award which goes to the film with the most amount of tickets sold.
Emmanuel Mouret’s Les Choses Qu’On Dit, Les Choses Qu’On Fait, aka Love Affair(s), leads nominations tonight with a total 13 including each of the top acting categories as well as Best Director and Best Film. The official 2020 Cannes Film Festival selection is followed by Albert Dupontel’s comedy/drama Adieu Les Cons (Bye Bye Morons) and François Ozon’s Eté 85 (Summer Of 85) with 12 each.
We will be following the ceremony and updating the list of winners as they are announced, so check back for updates:
Adieu Les Cons, dir: Albert Dupontel
Albert Dupontel, Adieu Les Cons
Laure Calamy, Antoinette Dans Les Cévennes
Sami Bouajila, Un Fils
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round, dir: Thomas Vinterberg
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Emilie Dequenne, Les Choses Qu’On Dit, Les Choses Qu’On Fait
Tina Baz, Adolescentes
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nicolas Mairé, Adieu Les Cons
Rone, La Nuit Venue
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Stéphanie Demoustier, La Fille Au Bracelet
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Albert Dupontel, Adieu Les Cons
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Madeline Fontaine, La Bonne Epouse
Adolescentes, Yolande Decarsin, Jeanne Delplanco, Fanny Martin, Olivier Goinard
Alexis Kavyrchine, Adieu Les Cons
Adolescentes, dir: Sébastien Lifshitz
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Josep, dir: Aurel
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
L’Heure De L’Ours, dir: Agnès Patron
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Carlos Conti, Adieu Les Cons
BEST SHORT FILM
Qu’Importe Si Les Bêtes Meurent, dir: Sofia Alaoui
BEST FIRST FILM
Two Of Us, dir: Filippo Meneghetti
BEST MALE NEWCOMER
Jean-Pascal Zadi, Tout Simplement Noir
BEST FEMALE NEWCOMER
Fathia Youssouf, Cuties