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‘Kings’ rules over French crix nods

Coppola accepts Prix Moussinac for foreign film of year

PARIS — “Kings and Queen,” Arnaud Desplechin’s tragicomic look at two interlocking lives, was voted Gallic film of the year by the French Union of Film Critics on Monday evening.

An annual distinction since 1946, the Prix Melies is selected by the org’s 200-plus members from the 198 French films released in Gaul in 2004.

Desplechin’s film had already won the prestigious Prix Louis-Delluc the week before its Dec. 22 release and is nominated for seven Cesars, the Gallic equivalent of the Oscars.

Sofia Coppola, writer-director of “Lost in Translation,” accepted the Prix Moussinac for foreign film of the year. Some 368 films from 45 countries were eligible — 177 of last year’s foreign releases were U.S. productions.

Coppola, who is scouting locations and casting for her next feature, thanked French film critics “for being so supportive of my work and encouraging people to see my films.”

“Lost in Translation” is one of five nominees for foreign film honors at the Cesars on Feb 26.

Of the 198 French releases last year, 83 were first films. Eleonore Faucher’s “A Common Thread” was voted best first feature of 2004.

The Prix Novais-Texeira for short film went to Jihane Chouaib for “Sous mon lit” (Under My Bed).

The French Union of Film Critics programs and administers the Intl. Critics Week at Cannes. This year will be the 44th lineup of the festival’s oldest sidebar.

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