Oscar-nominated Amour filmmaker Michael Haneke has won two Cannes Palmes d’Or and yet never taken home a César Award. Tonight, that was rectified in spades when Amour took the Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Original Screenplay Césars at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone was also a big winner at France’s equivalent to the Oscars with four prizes including Adapted Screenplay. Shut out was Noémie Lvovsky’s Camille Redouble which was the most-nominated film by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma coming into the party. Ben Affleck’s Argo was named Best Foreign Film.
Amour producer Margaret Menegoz first accepted the Original Screenplay prize for Haneke, who is expected in L.A. tomorrow, saying “Michael is enchanted, flattered and full of happiness that this academy that represents the most emotive of cinemas, has finally recognized him as one of their own.”
Emmanuelle Riva, who is up for a Best Actress Oscar on Sunday and the oldest woman ever to have that distinction, was in Paris to accept her César for Amour. Following a standing ovation, she said, “I worked on this film with great passion and I am very lucky at this hour or my life” to come across such a “wonder” of a subject that is “so close to all of us. This is the first time I have received a César and I thank everyone.” When she tried to pick up her César and walk offstage, she had to hand the trophy off, “It’s heavier than I am!” Riva’s partner in Amour, Jean-Louis Trintignant was not present for his win as Best Actor. But his son mounted the stage to accept the prize and promptly called his dad in Brussels where the actor was performing a play. From the speaker phone on his son’s cell, Trintignant said, “Thank you everyone who voted for me and those who didn’t vote for me because the others are good too. I’m a bit emotional, kisses to everyone.” (more…)