triumph for “Anatomy of a Fall”, poignant speech by Judith Godrèche, Monia Chokri creates a surprise… What to remember from this 49th edition

Anatomy of a fall continues its harvest of rewards. Its director Justine Triet emerged as the big winner at the 49th César ceremony, Friday February 23 at the Olympia (Paris), with six trophies, including best film. This psychological drama, which continues to attract spectators in theaters, also won best direction, best actress (for Sandra Hüller), best screenplay (a prize shared with her partner Arthur Harari), best supporting actor ( for Swann Arlaud) and best editing.

The film emerges victorious from the duel which pitted it against Animal Kingdom, another big favorite, with twelve nominations. Thomas Cailley’s fantastical feature film is a winner in five categories (best photography, best original music, best sound, best costume, best visual effects).

The evening was also marked by the highly anticipated speech by Judith Godrèche, who received a long standing ovation, while her testimony at the beginning of the month launched a second #MeToo wave on French cinema. Franceinfo summarizes this 49th edition of the Césars for you.

“Anatomy of a Fall”, big winner

At 45, Justine Triet became the second woman to win the César for best director (after Tonie Marshall in 2000 for Venus Beauty Institute). “It’s a bit scary and great at the same time, it gives hope for the future. We very much hope so in any case”, she declared on stage. She is also the third director in history to have won a Palme d’Or at Cannes.

The big winner of the evening gains new momentum for the Oscars ceremony, which will take place on March 10, and for which she is nominated five times, notably in the best director category. “I would like to dedicate this Caesar to all women (…) to those who succeed and those who fail, those who have been hurt and who free themselves by speaking, and those who do not succeed,” also said Justine Triet.

Lasting 2h30, his snowy thriller attracted more than a million spectators in France. It traces the trial of a woman accused of having killed her husband, played by Sandra Hüller, best actress for this complex and mysterious role.

Judith Godrèche dreams of a “revolution”

“Why accept that this art that we love so much, this art that binds us, is used as a cover for illicit trafficking in young girls?”, launched Judith Godrèche, receiving a standing ovation from representatives of the seventh art, when she entered the Olympia stage. The actress gave a powerful speech to denounce the “level of impunity, denial and privilege” middle.

“You have to be wary of little girls. They touch the bottom of the pool, they bump into each other, they get hurt but they bounce back,” continued the one who filed a complaint against directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon for sexual and physical violence during her adolescence.

“Little girls are punks who come back dressed as hamsters [un clin d’œil à sa série Icon of French Cinema sur Arte] and to dream of a possible revolution”, she added, on a hopeful note.

Raphaël Quénard new star of French cinema

Sacred masculine revelation for Dog of the breakageof Jean-Baptiste Durand (the latter won the award for best first film), Raphaël Quenard went, in a few months, from the status of a young actor confined to supporting roles to that of a rising glory of French cinema. To get the role of Mirales, which earned him this award, he said he had “harassed and sent an astronomical amount of emails” to the director, reports AFP.

The 32-year-old from Isère, with his inimitable chat, was also nominated in two other categories during this evening (best actor in Yannick by Quentin Dupieux and best documentary short film with The actor).

“I have a sentence that I heard: ‘Our lives are punctuated with suffering and sorrow. But the most terrible of them is to see us every day trying to suffocate the little child who is in us'”, he said on stage, receiving his prize, before thanking the farmers “who work hard”.

Monia Chokri creates a surprise

“I’m so sorry Mr. Nolan.” It is with these words that the Quebec director addressed the director of the giant Oppenheimer after winning the César for best foreign film for Simple like Sylvain, a comedy about a philosophy professor who falls in love with a carpenter, from a social background very different from her own.

It was highly unlikely that this award would not go to Christopher Nolan, who received the Honorary César during the evening. However, it had already happened, in 1995: Steven Spielberg received the Honorary César and was nominated for best foreign film with Schindler’s List. But it had escaped him, in favor of the cult comedy Four weddings and a funeral, directed by Mike Newell, as reported First.

Agnès Jaoui plays the ukulele

She is the only woman in French cinema to have won six Césars: one as an actress, one as a director and four as a screenwriter. This list earned Agnès Jaoui an honorary César, making her the most awarded female artist in the history of the ceremony. “She is one of the actresses most committed to the fight against inequalities, violence, preconceptions, mediocrity, smallness”assured Jamel Debbouze, who presented him with the trophy, in a touching introductory speech.

“I know that by offering me this prize, you also salute the work that I have accomplished with Jean-Pierre Bacri”, declared Agnès Jaoui, very moved. The immense actor passed away at the age of 69, in January 2021. Both were inseparable and formed an accomplice tandem on the screen and in the private sphere.

The actress, who was recently seen in The last of the Jewsthen grabbed her ukulele. “Of course, films in the industry are lagging behind and the money always goes to the same people. This evening, I chose to sing about French cinema, its exceptional vitality,” she intoned.

Agnès Jaoui celebrates her honorary César by playing the ukulele, at the Olympia (Paris), February 23, 2024. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

The complete list

Best film : Anatomy of a fallby Justine Triet.

Best actress : Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a fall)

Best actor : Arieh Worthalter (The Goldman Trial)

Best achievement : Justine Triet (Anatomy of a fall)

Best editing : Laurent Sénéchal (Anatomy of a fall)

Best photo : David Cailley (The Animal Kingdom)

Best foreign film : Simple like Sylvainby Monia Chokri.

Best Documentary : Olfa’s Daughtersby Kaouther Ben Hania

Best Documentary Short Film : Fluid Mechanicsby Gala Hernández López

Best Original Screenplay : Justine Triet and Arthur Harari (Anatomy of a fall)

Best Original Music : Andrea Laszlo De Simone (The Animal Kingdom)

Best Supporting Actor : Swann Arlaud (Anatomy of a fall)

Best visual effects : Cyrille Bonjean, Bruno Sommier and Jean-Louis Autret (The Animal Kingdom)

Best short fiction film : Alice Douard (The Wait)

Male revelation : Raphaël Quenard (Dog of the breakage)

Female revelation : Ella Rumpf (Marguerite’s Theorem)

Best Animated Film : Linda wants chicken!by Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach,

Best Animated Short Film: Summer 96by Mathilde Bédouet

Best first film: Dog of the breakageJean-Baptiste Durand.

Best sound: Fabrice Osinski, Raphaël Sohier, Matthieu Fichet and Niels Barletta (The Animal Kingdom)

Best decors : Stéphane Taillasson (The three Musketeers)

Best costume : Ariane Daurat (The Animal Kingdom)

Best adaptation : Love and ForestsValérie Donzelli and Audrey Diwan

Best Supporting Actress : Adèle Exarchopoulos, (I will always see your faces)

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