French honour for Redford’s American in Paris

César awards for domestic violence drama and Audiard’s Western

by Richard Mowe

Robert Redford receives his honorary César from Kristin Scott Thomas at the César awards ceremony in Paris
Robert Redford receives his honorary César from Kristin Scott Thomas at the César awards ceremony in Paris Photo: Canal+

Robert Redford received a standing ovation when he appeared in the Salle Pleyel in Paris to receive an honorary César for the sum of his career from Kristin Scott Thomas as part of a marathon ceremony last night (22 February) - France’s answer to the Oscars.

Best New Actress - Kenza Fortas for Scheherazade
Best New Actress - Kenza Fortas for Scheherazade Photo: Canal+

Redford, clearly moved by the reception, recalled his youthful first foray to the City of Light as an 18-year-old when he tried to blend in to the background by wearing a beret until he was rumbled by a local as an American tourist. He had his sketchbook with him and spent his time drawing in bars and cafés - and inventing stories for the people he encountered. He headed for the south of France and slept under a pier on the beach at Cannes. Some 17 years later he was back in Cannes for the Festival but he recalled his youthful self. “The older I get,” said the 82-year-old who has announced he is retiring from acting, “the faster the time passes. But in many ways these experiences in France helped to shape me.”

First time director Xavier Legrand took the main prize evening for best film for Custody for which he had also received best original screenplay while his lead actress Lea Drucker took best female performance gong. The film which is a powerful account of domestic violence, was nominated in ten categories.

Elsewhere Jacques Audiard’s Western The Sisters Brothers with John C Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jack Gyllenhaal won him Best Director for his first film in English.

Best actor César went to Alex Lutz who directs himself in Guy, the story of a young journalist, Gauthier, who discovers that his real father is Guy Jamet, a French singer who found fame in the 1960s.

Gilles Lellouche’s Sink Or Swim which was a big box office hit, won a best supporting actor award for Philippe Katerine for his performance in a comedy about a group of men tackling a midlife crisis and swim their way out.

Those awards in full:-

Best Film

Best Director

Best Actress

Best Actor

  • Alex Lutz, Guy

Best Foreign Film

Best Original Score

  • Vincent Blanchard, Romain Greffe, Guy

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

  • Karin Viard, Little Tickles

Best New Actress

  • Kenza Fortas, Sheherazade

Best New Actor

  • Dylan Robert, Sheherazade

Best Cinematography

Best Editing

Best Sound

Best Documentary Film

  • Jean Libon & Yves Hinant, Ni Juge, Ni Soumise

Best First Film

  • Sheherazade, Jean-Bernard Marlin

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Little Tickles, by Andrea Bescond, Eric Metayer

Best Animated Film

  • Dilili in Paris, Michel Ocelot

Audience Award

  • Les Tuche 3, Olivier Baroux

Best Costumes

  • Pierre-Jean Larroque, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres

Best Production Design

Best Original Screenplay

Share this with others on...

Satellite of love Joaquín Cambre on working with young actors and making A Trip To The Moon

Beautiful and poetic Mikhaël Hers on Vincent Lacoste, Stacy Martin, Isaure Multrier, Greta Scacchi and Amanda

Space for the imagination Franz Rogowski on breath control, Transit and the Kammerspiele

Your senses are there Brinsley Forde on Franco Rosso, Babylon and present day England

Capturing a life behind the camera Kim Longinotto and Ollie Huddleston on Shooting The Mafia

2019 Tribeca Talks announced Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro among participants

More news and features

We're bringing you news, reviews and interviews from New Directors/New Films.

We're looking forward to Viva and BFI Flare.

We still have reviews coming in from the Glasgow Film Festival, the Berlinale, the New York Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, the Glasgow Short Film Festival and SXSW.

Read our full for recent coverage.

Visit our festivals section.


We've got a great pack of goodies to celebrate the release of Alita: Battle Angel, plus a copy of Bad Times At The El Royale up for grabs in our latest competitions.