Lutz bags best actor award
LOS ANGELES, Feb 23, (RTRS): Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody”, a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors.
“Custody”, which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated short, tells the story of a boy named Julien (Thomas Gioria), who is forced by a court ruling to split his time between his mother (Drucker) and estranged father (Denis Menochet), whom he regards as a violent monster, amid his parents’ bitter divorce. “Custody” world-premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where it won two awards, and went on to play at Toronto in the competitive Platform section.
In her speech, Drucker paid homage to all the feminists, brave women who have inspired her and also dedicated the award to all the women who are suffering from domestic abuse every day and desperately need help.
Jacques Audiard won best director for “Sisters Brothers”, a western-style drama starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal. Audiard previously won best director at the Venice Film Festival. The movie also won three prizes at the Lumieres Awards.
Jean-Bernard Marlin’s “Sheherazade” which world premiered at Cannes’s Critics Week, was the surprise winner of this year’s Cesar Awards. The film won best first film and earned its cast best male and female newcomers for Kenza Fortas and Dylan Robert, both non-professionals. “Sheherazade” tells the story of Zachary, a 17 years old who gets out of jail and faces his mother’s rejection. Zachary ventures into the criminal underworld of Marseille where he meets Sheherazade, a teenage prostitute.
Andrea Bescond’s feature debut “Little Tickles” won best actress for veteran thesp Karin Viard and and best adapted screenplay for Bescond and Eric Metayer. Based on Bescond’s autobiographical play, “Little Tickles” is about a funny, intense and wild young woman who comes to term with the abuse she suffered as a child through dancing.
The best actor prize was handed out to Alex Lutz, who stars in his second feature, “Guy”, which is about a man who discovers he is the son of an on-the-road French crooner.
Nominated for 10 Cesar Awards, Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim” won the best supporting actor prize for Philippe Katerine.
Kristin Scott Thomas, who presided over this year’s Cesar ceremony, presented Robert Redford with the honorary Cesar Awards and paid homage to his legacy as an activist, filmmaker and actor.
Redfort, who attended the ceremony with his wife, was greeted on stage with a long standing ovation. In his speech, Redford spoke about his love for France and said he first came to Paris when he was 18 and penniless, and spent time drawing sketches of people, trying to figure out what was going through their minds. He then reminisced about a trip he took to Cannes. As he slept by the beach just above a Croisette place, he could hear people celebrating and laughing. When he returned to Cannes 17 years, he returned to the same palace and contemplated with emotion the beach where he had slept. Hailed as an icon in France, the legendary American actor and director received France’s elite Legion of Honour in 2010.
n Best Film: Custody, Xavier Legrand
n Best Director: Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers
n Best Actor: Alex Lutz, Guy
n Best Actress: Lea Drucker, Custody
n Best Supporting Actor: Philippe Katerine, Sink or Swim
n Best Supporting Actress: Karin Viard, Little Tickles
n Best Foreign Film: Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-Eda
n Best Animated Film: Dilili in Paris, Michel Ocelot
n Best First Film: Sheherazade, Jean-Bernard Marlin
n Best Documentary Film: Ni Juge, Ni Soumise, Jean Libon, Yves Hinant
n Best Cinematography: Benoit Debie, The Sisters Brothers
n Best Production Design: Michel Barthelemy, The Sisters Brothers
n Best Original Screenplay: Custody, by Xavier Legrand
n Best Adapted Screenplay: Little Tickles, by Andrea Bescond, Eric Metayer
n Best Costumes: Pierre-Jean Larroque, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres
n Best Editing: Yorgos Lamprinos, Custody
n Best Sound: Brigitte Taillandier, Valerie de Loof, Cyril Holts, The Sisters Brothers
n Best Original Score: Vincent Blanchard, Romain Greffe, Guy
n Best New Actor: Dylan Robert, Sheherazade
n Best New Actress: Kenza Fortas, Sheherazade