French friend 'Social Network'
The Ghost Writer” nabbed director and adapted screenplay (shared with co-scribe Robert Harris). “Of Gods and Men,” produced by Why Not Films (“A Prophet”), bowed at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. While it failed to make it into the foreign-language Oscar longlist, pic has been a critical and commercial success in Gaul. “I finished this film while in jail, so I would like to thank all the people who helped me and supported me until the very end,” said the Polish-born French helmer. “The Ghost Writer” is one of the rare English-language pics eligible for the best pic Cesar as it is a French-majority co-production. Political satire “The Names of Love” was the evening’s surprise winner, taking original screenplay for Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc, and thesp for 25-year-old Sara Forestier, who plays a politician sleeping her way up the ladder. With laffers like Francois Ozon’s “Potiche,” Michel Leclerc’s social satire “The Names of Love” and Pascal Chaumeil’s “Heartbreaker” nommed for multiple kudos, this year’s Cesars appeared to celebrate comedies, a genre often overlooked by the French Academy. Nominated for eight Cesars, “Gainsbourg” took three, including actor for Eric Elmosnino and first film for comicbook artist-turned-helmer Joann Sfar. Pic was Universal Pictures Intl.’s first co-production in Gaul and animation vet producer Marc du Pontavice’s first feature. The fantasy-filled biopic was nabbed by Music Box Films for U.S. distribution. Sfar beat strong contenders in the first film category, including Chaumeil’s “Heartbreaker,” and Geraldine Nakache and Herve Mimran’s “All That Glitters,” both of which were commercial successes. Social dramedy “All That Glitters” snatched the newcomer prize for Leila Bekhti, who played a twentysomething with big dreams. Venezuelan thesp Edgar Ramirez took the newcomer nod for his perf in Olivier Assayas’ Golden Globe-winning pic “Carlos.” Foster opened the ceremony by paying homage to Gallic masters in perfect French. “It’s a big deal for a California girl like me to serve as the Cesar’s honorary president,” Foster said. “It’s as if I had been adopted by the family of French cinema, Claude Chabrol, Jean Renoir, Louis Malle, Philippe de Broca and many others.” Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist” took the Cesars’ first animation nod. Quentin Tarantino was feted by the French Academy of Arts and Sciences with an honorary Cesar. Presented by Diane Kruger and Christopher Waltz, who starred in Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” the homage featured clips from the helmer’s cult pics. Complete list of winners: FILM “Of Gods and Men,” Xavier Beauvois DIRECTOR Roman Polanski, “The Ghost Writer” ACTOR Eric Elmosnino, “Gainsbourg” ACTRESS Sara Forestier, “The Names of Love” SUPPORTING ACTOR Michael Lonsdale, “Of Gods and Men” SUPPORTING ACTRESS Anne Alvaro, “The Clink of Ice” NEWCOMER, ACTOR Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos” NEWCOMER, ACTRESS Leila Bekhti, “All That Glitters” EDITING Herve de Luze, “Ghost Writer” CINEMATOGRAPHY Caroline charpentier “Of Gods and Men” FIRST FILM Joann Sfar, “Gainsbourg” ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Baya Kasmi, Michel Leclerc, “The Names of Love” ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Robert Harris, Roman Polanski, “The Ghost Writer” COSTUME DESIGN Caroline de Vivaise, “The Princess of Montpensier” SHORT FILM “Logorama,” François Alaux, Hervé de Crecy, Ludovic Houplain MUSIC Alexandre Desplat, “The Ghost Writer” SET DESIGN Hugues Tissandier, “Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec” SOUND Daniel Sobrino, Jean Goudier, Jean-Baptiste Brunhes, “Gainsbourg” FOREIGN FILM “The Social Network,” David Fincher ANIMATED FILM “The Illusionist,” Sylvain Chomet DOCUMENTARY FEATURE “Oceans,” Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud