Winning ways: Benjamin Voisin who was named best male newcomer for Lost Illusions which took the top prize at the Césars as best film Photo: Lost Illusions
Antoine de Caunes in full flood as host of the Césars at the Olympia Theatre in Paris - France’s equivalent of the Oscars Photo: Canal+
His co-conspirator in the film Vincent Lacoste was named best supporting actor and the much favoured production picked up awards for cinematography and best adapted screenplay.
Giannoli was not available to pick up the prize in person at the Olympia Theatre and neither was Annette director Leos Carax whose film was the other significant focus of the evening scooping a best director accolade as well as prizes for best sound, best editing, best original score and visual effects.
The much loved icon Valerie Lemercier was rewarded with a best actress statuette for Aline, inspired by Canadian singing star Celine Dion, and which she also directed. Best actor honours went to Benoît Magimel as a cancer sufferer in emotional conflict with his mother played by Catherine Deneuve in Emmanuelle Bercot’s Peaceful/De son vivant.
Cate Blanchett who received an honorary César for the sum of her career … bestowed by Isabelle Huppert at the Césars Photo: Canal+
The grand dame of French cinema Isabelle Huppert presented an honorary César to Cate Blanchett who responded by saying that it was difficult to think of anything else this evening in the shadow of the war in Ukraine. Blanchett continued: “But as Antoine said at the start of the ceremony we are here to celebrate cinema. It is such an honour to receive this accolade from Isabelle who is someone who epitomises French cinema. I believe in the power of the Seventh Art to change things.”
A tribute to actor Gaspard Ulliel, who died recently in a ski-ing accident aged 37 was paid in an emotional tribute by Quebec actor and director Xavier Dolan who had written two roles for him that had never got made. Veteran Jean-Paul Belmondo was also remembered on screen following his death last September at the age of 88.
Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues, Xavier Giannoli
Leos Carax, Annette
Valerie Lemercier, Aline
Benoit Magimel, Living
Best Actress in Supporting Role
Aissatou Diallo Sagna, The Divide/La Fracture.
Best Actor in Supporting Role
Vincent Lacoste, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
Best Female Newcomer
Anamaria Vartolomei, Happening/L'Événement
Best Male Newcomer
Benjamin Voisin, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
Arthur Harari, Vincent Poymiro, Onoda, 10,000 Nights In The Jungle/Onoda, 10.000 nuits dans la jungle
Best Adapted Screenplay
Xavier Giannoli, Jacques Fieschi, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
Best Animated Feature
The Summit Of The Gods/Le Sommet des dieux, Patrick Imbert
Best Animated Short
Folie Douce, Folie Dure, Marine Laclotte
Best Documentary Feature
The Velvet Queen/La Panthère des neiges, Marie Amiguet, Vincent Munier
Best First Film
Magnetic Beats/Les Magnétiques, Vincent Maél Cardona
Best Foreign Film
The Father, Florian Zeller.
Best Original Score
Annette (Sparks - Ron Male, Russell Mael)
Annette (Erwan Kerzanet, Katia Boutin, Maxence Dussere, Paul Heymans & Thomas Gauder)
Best Visual Effects (first time at the Césars)
Annette (Guillaume Pondard)
Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues (Christophe Beaucarne)
Annette (Nelly Quettier)
Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues (designer Pierre-Jean Laroque)
Best Set Design
Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues (art director Riton Dupire-Clément)
Best Documentary Short
Maalbeek (Joffroy Chandoutis)
Best Fiction Short
Les Mauvais garçons (Elie Girard)