Thriller wins best picture, audience kudos

Guillaume Canet’s sophomore feature “Tell No One” won the best picture nod at the Lumiere awards ceremony Monday night.

Thesp-turned-helmer’s breathless thriller about a man whose dead wife may not be dead after all, adapted by Canet from Harlan Coben’s English-language novel, also nabbed the audience prize, for which filmgoers were invited to vote online. Pic has racked up more than 2.8 million admissions since its Nov. 1 release and is in the running for nine Cesars.

Pascale Ferran won director for “Lady Chatterley” and her leading lady, Marina Hands, was named for actress.

Gerard Depardieu won the actor award for his touching turn as a provincial entertainer who gives his all at regional dance halls  in “The Singer.”

Philippe Lioret’s “Don’t Worry, I’m Fine” produced both promising newcomers: Melanie Laurent and Julien Boisselier. Story of a young woman’s disarray when her beloved twin brother vanishes has been a steady earner since its September bow.

Screenplay honors went to Rachid Bouchareb’s Oscar contender “Days of Glory.” Story of soldiers conscripted from French colonies to fight in WWII was an uphill battle to finance, but Cannes acting ensemble winner has sold more than 3 million tickets and counting.

Prize for French-language film from a country other than France went to Mali’s “The Court” (Bamako), a spirited indictment of the West’s financial approach to Africa, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako.

The Lumieres, invented as a French version of the Golden Globes, are voted on by foreign journos posted to Paris, although most are on a straight news rather than entertainment beat.

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